The way we take photographs today means we rarely have a printed copy of all of our photos. What would you do if you lost all the photos of your wedding or your childs first birthday? I know everyone knows you should back up your images, but do you keep a backup, or is it something you mean to do? You may have them all on Facebook, but have you ever tried to print a facebook photo?
The cheapest method is DVD-R’s, it will cost you pence per DVD, but it will take ages and its hard to keep an up to date catalogue. A second hard drive in your PC is the cheapest method, but you need to know how to fit one, and if your house gets flooded or burns down you pc is probably not going to give you your photos back on either hard drive.
Another option is USB hard drives, a cigarette packet size box that plugs into a USB port, they a a little more expensive than a standard hard drive, but idiot proof. Idiot proof is great. If you can afford it, and love you pictures get two, keep one in your house in case your computer dies and one at your parents/kids house, work, Swiss Bank deposit box. This is my choice, not the Swiss Bank, but the USB Hard Drive, a 1Tb drive will cost you well under £100 these days, and that a hell of a lot of photos!
Now you have decided you really are going to back up your photos, how are you going to do it? You can pay real money and buy a commercial backup package, or you can feel the love of the freeware world and get Karens Replicator for absolutely nothing. This handy free program will replicate a folder tree in one place with a backup copy. You point it at you photo directory on your computer and tell it to mirror this folder on your USB hard drive and away you go. You can schedule back up jobs to run every day, week, moth or whenever you want.