Backups: are they really necessary? Absolutely. Are they a hassle? Very often, yes. Do they cost an arm and a leg? Sometimes -- but not today.
Through tomorrow, AppSumo is offering a one-year subscription to Backblaze backup service for $25. (That's for one PC; you can buy multiple subscriptions at that price for additional systems.) Normally that would cost you $50, or $5 per month if you elected not to prepay.
Backblaze competes with the likes of Carbonite and Mozy, offering continuous, automated backup of all your data. Like Carbonite, Backblaze affords unlimited space. And its client software (available for Windows and Mac) will automatically sift through your hard drive to find photos, music, documents, and other critical data, thus eliminating a lot of the hassles normally associated with backups.
Another perk: Backblaze includes a location-tracking option that can help you recover a lost or stolen laptop. (Once you do, call the police; vigilante justice is never as fun as it looks on TV.)
If and when the time comes that you need to restore your data, you can download it all, of course -- but Backblaze can also ship you all your files on a flash drive or external hard drive (for an added fee).
The service doesn't offer companion apps, though, meaning you can't access your data on your smartphone or tablet. I can see where that might be a deal-breaker for some users.
That said, if you're not already archiving your stuff to a cloud service and don't especially care about mobile access, it's hard to beat 25 bucks for a full year. And if you end up not liking Backblaze, AppSumo offers a 100-percent money-back guarantee "for any reason anytime before you die."
Personally, I don't care what backup service you use, as long as you use something. Data loss happens, people, as I'm sure some unfortunate victims of Hurricane Sandy have discovered.
Bonus deal: Speaking of backups, want to preserve your Blu-ray discs? Today only, Giveaway of the Day has Aiseesoft Blu-ray Copy (Win) for free. With it you can make disc-to-disc copies or turn your movies into ISO files. To get it, click only the "Download Aiseesoft Blu-ray Copy now" link. Then: "Unzip the package you've downloaded, and carefully read the instructions which you can find in the readme.txt file. This readme.txt file is included with all our downloads. Follow the instructions carefully to install and activate the software."
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