I’ve seen too many of my writer friends panicked or devastated because they misplaced a file (or Windows 10 misplaced it for them) or because they were writing and hadn’t saved in the last hour and they lost power and Word couldn’t recover their document, or because their computer died. You can rewrite, but you can’t recreate, especially if you were on a creative roll. Or you might lose your notes. I had a list of words that I overuse. I compiled it while revising a loong manuscript. I lost the list. It was great, it was a list I could apply to everything that I wrote, and I don’t even know what happened. It’s just gone.
I started working on a new story a few days ago and decided in the early hours of Saturday morning to change the tense from the third person to the first person. I forgot to save as “Untitled 2.” I saved over the first few pages of my first draft. Not a big deal compared to what I’ve seen my friends go through, but it really bugged me because I like to have every revision of a story, and because I have OCD. I got the original right back from my Carbonite backup in less than two minutes. Carbonite saves up to three months of revisions to the same file. That’s a godsend to writers. Even as cautious as I am, I don’t back up to my external hard drive every night. But say something drastic happens and you lose your external hard drive and your computer. You can log into your Carbonite account from any other computer and download your manuscripts. Or your photos. Or your tax records. Or your thesis. Or your homework. Or your family videos.
Carbonite has great customer service. It costs about $60 per year to back up one computer. An external hard drive costs $60-$80. Of course, no backup method is infallible. Even the Carbonite reps will tell you to have a “redundant” backup. I’ve read that restoring every file in your Carbonite backup to your computer or to a new computer can be a slow process. It’s much faster to transfer files from an external hard drive.
But, if every file on that external hard drive isn’t up-to-date, you can grab the mostly recently changed files from Carbonite and minimize your down time. And writers know how important that is.
Carbonite did not pay me to write this (I wish they had.) I just decided to write it after I restored that original file a few minutes ago. I hope it helps you if you know you don’t have a great manual backup system and you’re uncertain about online backups.