It’s World Backup Day: Here’s How To Avoid Inevitable Disasters

World Backup Day isn’t an official holiday, but it is a day of remembrance — as in, if you don’t back up your important data, you will be remembering one day how stupid you were for not doing so. Here are the deals offered today, along with our recommendations on how and where to back up your important stuff.

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Launched through (like so many good, worthy ideas lately), the World Backup Day site offers a great overview of the why and how of backing up. The site points to this comparison of online backup services and highly recommends both Dropbox and SpiderOak for their free and easy-to-use 2GB and 5GB offerings (respectively). The site also cajoled backup providers like BackBlaze and Crashplan to give away big, free account prizes.

Our Picks (and Our Readers’ Picks) for Backup Services

We asked our readers for their favourite backup tools a few times, in a few ways, over the last few years. Among the best online backup tools, Carbonite won out over Mozy, Jungle Disk, CrashPlan, and Dropbox (which is note technically a backup service, but can serve as one).

On the offline side, Time Machine, built into Mac OS X, sets the standard for easy, total, reliable backup. Readers also liked how SyncBack, Windows Home Server, Acronis TrueImage Home, and the command line tool rsync do their jobs.

Most recently, we took a look at the unlimited online backup options, in light of Mozy’s move away from free plans and no-limit home backup. BackBlaze, Carbonite and CrashPlan stood out as the most clear-cut online backup solutions, though we heard good things about LiveDrive, Trend Micro’s SafeSync, and DreamHost’s free 50GB space for web host customers.

Online Accounts and Smartphones

Your digital life exists in more places than just your computer these days. But phones get lost, and even Gmail accounts can be wiped out (though eventually brought back from Google’s own tape backups). So back up your phone, and back up your online accounts.

If you’ve got an Android, it’s well worth your time to look into Titanium Backup, which can automatically back up your apps and settings, along with all your SD card contents and pictures, videos and music. iPhone owners: sync your phone to iTunes on a schedule, even if you consider it a pain, then make sure that iTunes backup data is being backed up elsewhere. As for the other platforms, take a look at Gizmodo’s guide to backing up any smartphone.

Gina ran through the best free tools to back up your online accounts, and they still stand. We did, however, go deeper into backing up Gmail specifically, and found a few tools for doing so that were easy, cheap, and sometimes both.

What steps are you taking on World Backup Day to up your data safety? What help do you still need? Commiserate and give your recommendations in the comments.

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