Some data experts will tell you that data loss is not a question of if, but a question of when. At some point, your hard drive will fail or get infected by a virus (or, worse, ransomware). Or you're going to update your phone and discover that all your contacts or photos are gone. (Cough, iOS, cough.)
Whether or not that proves to be your Worst Day Ever or just a Moderately Inconvenient Day depends on whether or not you have a backup.
Alas, most of us are cheap or lazy, which is why we need an inexpensive, highly automated backup system. Like this one: For a limited time, Cheapskate readers can get a two-year iDrive 5TB cloud backup subscription for $24.50. Regular price: $139.See it at iDrive
I've run iDrive deals before -- usually you'd get the first year at a discount, then subsequent years at the regular rate ($69.50). This is only the second time the company has offered this kind of deal on a two-year subscription, and before it was for just 1TB. Now you get five times the space! And it works out to just $12.25 per year to back up all your devices.
Unlike many, iDrive doesn't limit you to a single device. Here you can archive your desktop, laptop, phone, tablet and whatever else you might own. (The service can also preserve photos and videos from your Facebook and Instagram accounts.) Backups are done continuously and in real time, so there's really nothing you have to do once the initial setup is complete.
Here's a full rundown of the features included with your iDrive subscription. Do take note that this is not designed to back up (or restore) an entire hard drive. For that you should use an external or network drive. Cloud storage is for data, which is ultimately what you want to preserve.
You should also be prepared for your initial backup to take some time -- possibly several days or even longer, depending on how much data you've got. This is normal, and true with all online backup services. Fortunately, your subscription also includes iDrive Express, which works like this: iDrive ships you an external hard drive, which you use to quickly back up your files. Then you ship the drive back; the data gets added to your cloud repository. This can take up to a week, though, so it's not necessarily a faster solution, just a more expedient one.
How well does all this work? CNET hasn't reviewed iDrive (nor have I), so let me steer you to this PCMag review from about a year ago. Verdict: 4.5 stars and an Editors' Choice nod.
Still, do your homework. Read the company's FAQ page to get answers to any initial questions you might have and see what issues you'll potentially encounter.
For anyone who needs a bigger or better cloud-backup system, iDrive is definitely worth a look -- especially at this price. What will you do after your two years are up? That's 2020's problem.
Bonus deal: I love, love, love reading ebooks on my phone, but I don't love the constant pull of distractions that live there. I also don't love the eyestrain of the smaller, LED screen.
Feel the same? Amazon's now-discontinued Kindle Voyage e-reader (certified refurbished) is on sale for $95, the lowest price it's ever been.See it at Amazon
Originally $199, the Voyage debuted way back in 2014 to mostly glowing reviews -- except for the price. For most readers,, the less expensive Paperwhite was the smarter buy. But, now, at $95, you can treat yourself to the luxe Kindle you've always wanted.
The Voyage comes with a full one-year warranty, meaning for all intents and purposes, it's good as new. Get one before they're gone!
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