Protect Dropbox SkyDrive and Google Drive files with an automated backup

first_imgCloud storage services like Dropbox, SkyDrive, and Google Drive are incredibly convenient, but trusting a large corporation to handle your most precious data can be problematic. As we discussed last week, cloud storage comes with the unsettling risk that you’ll wake up one morning to find that your files have been snatched away due to some unexplained terms of service violation.But the inherent danger of using the cloud doesn’t mean you have to abandon it completely. As long as you keep your own local backups of cloud-stored files, you can rest easy knowing that you’ll still have access to them if there’s ever a problem with your account.Dropbox, SkyDrive, and Google Drive all work by staying synced with a dedicated folder on your hard drive, which makes backing up your cloud-stored files a cinch. If you’ve already got a backup routine running on your computer, just make sure it includes those special folders and you’re all set. If you don’t have a backup solution (though you really should), there’s a simple way to set up regular, automatic copies of those cloud folders.1. As with any process that involves working with important data, start by manually making a copy of the files you’re going to be working with.2. Download and install SyncBack Freeware from 2BrightSparks. SyncBack is my favorite tool for this job because it’s free, light, powerful, and doesn’t have ads.3. Once SyncBack is installed, create a new Backup profile and name it something descriptive. In the Profile Setup menu, you’ll need to set the Source folder to your Dropbox, SkyDrive, or Google Drive folder. For the Destination folder you can use any directory you like, but it’s best to keep backups away from your Windows installation — on a secondary or external hard drive, for instance.4. Now that you have the basics set, you can dig into SyncBack’s features. Under the Simple tab, choose the option to backup the source directory and all of its sub-directories. Under the Advanced tab, the default settings (seen above) should be fine, but double-check to make sure that “Do nothing, skip the file” is set when a file is in the destination folder, but not the source — this ensures that if your cloud-storage folder ever gets wiped, SyncBack won’t remove its backups. Click Apply and then OK to confirm your settings. If you want to see exactly what the profile is going to move, you can choose to have SyncBack simulate a run.5. Now you should see your new backup profile listed in the main SyncBack window. Click the profile once to select it, then click the Run button along the bottom. Once the backup completes successfully, click the schedule button to configure when you want it to run. If you select the “Show multiple schedules” option under the Schedule tab, you can even have the backup run multiple times each day.With SyncBack or your normal file backup utility caching all your Dropbox, SkyDrive, or Google Drive files, you can enjoy all the benefits of cloud storage without worrying that they’ll get taken away. If you want finer control over exactly what you’re backing up and how it’s handled, dig into SyncBack’s advanced options.last_img

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