Two subcontractors that we work with have had their machines die in the past week. They don’t even know each other but they both missed deadlines because of it. When setting up backups think 1, 2, 3.
1 offsite copy
2 methods of backup.
3 copies of every important file.
My machine is backed up using Time Machine (the built in Mac backup, I’m sure there’s a PC equivalent) to a hard drive on my home network. I also use an online service called Crashplan every hour or so. They both have built in alerts that get in my face if ever I’m more than a week out of date with my backups and together they cover my 1, 2, 3.
1 offsite – Crashplan.
2 methods – TimeMachine. CrashPlan.
3 copies – on my machine, on a hard drive at my house, and online through Crashplan.
It took <2 hours to set up and costs me $60 a year.
Time machine is a great choice too because if my hard drive dies I just have to replace my hard drive or buy a new Mac and when I run the setup script the software will just grab everything from my backup and within a couple of hours I’ll have my machine back EXACTLY as I left it (preferences, settings and all).