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Friday, October 2, 2015

Backing Up to the Cloud

Do you back up your computer system? I've been an early proponent of backing up to the cloud. We had a streak in the recent past where my wife was practically going through a laptop a year. I don't know what she was doing to them, well at least one was dropped from counter-height, but they never lasted long. I used to make backups of her system to CDs, DVDs, or thumb drives, and restore when the new one came, but that led to some trouble. The backups were only as good as the last physical copy made. That's where the cloud comes into play.

If you're not familiar with the cloud in the computing sense, you're basically sharing computer resources that are not local. Instead of backing up files to a local hard drive or DVD, you copy them into the cloud. Somewhere, a large hard drive (or two, or two million) is present and stores your data, securely and separate from everyone else's data.
That's where Amazon Cloud Drive is most useful. Amazon is now making available unlimited cloud storage. It isn't free, unless you're an Amazon Prime subscriber. If you subscribe to Amazon Prime, you automatically get unlimited photo storage and space for 5GBs of video content each month, which is a great way to share photos between family. Not a Prime member? You can still get the same Prime Photos option for $11.99/year.

If you want to store more than photos, Amazon Cloud Drive has a $59.99/year option which allows you unlimited space to store any kind of content. It lets you securely back up and store all of your existing content collections and automatically upload endless amounts of new content, including photos, videos, movies, music, and document files.

To get started with Amazon Cloud Drive, go to or It is accessible via the web from your Mac, PC, or tablet. From your Android or iOS device, you can download the Amazon Photo app. You can then configure the app to automatically backup all your photos, and remove them from the device so you have more room on the device for additional pictures and videos. Sharing could not be easier as everything you want will be web accessible. All photos are private unless you say otherwise.
Getting started is a breeze. Whether on a Mac or Windows, the first option is to download and install their native Cloud Drive app. 
Once installed, this allows you to pick folders to backup online or easily bulk upload some or all of your photos. I clearly don't keep my pictures in the right place it seems...
Once uploaded, you can pick a photo and share. The leftmost links option gets you to share via email or get a direct link. Clicking on the Facebook f icon allows you to post to your Facebook wall.
If you do sign up for the three month free trial of Amazon Cloud Drive, you MUST choose a payment method. You will automatically renew after the three month trial using the selected credit card. If you don't wish to auto renew, look under Manage Storage for an option to not auto-renew.

It is that easy to sign up and share. And, if you back up the necessary files to the cloud, when it is time to swap machines, you just reconnect the Amazon Could Drive, download your old files, and your all set to go. It is so much easier then relying on local backup, both taking the time to actually do the backup regularly and finding the physical media when you most need it.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


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