From the Cheapskate: The drive alone is a steal at this price. Plus: learn to do special effects in a free online class!
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In real estate, the maxim is location, location, location.
In computing, it should be backup, backup, backup.
Because, let's face it, data loss happens. The longer you use a computer, smartphone or tablet, the greater the chances of losing precious documents, photos, videos and the like. Might be the result of a virus, might be due to theft or accident, but it can happen.
Ah, but will that event prove to be a major calamity or minor inconvenience? You can steer it toward the latter by implementing a robust backup system, by which I mean one that archives your data locally and online. Automatically. All the time.
Like this one: Exclusively for Cheapskate readers, you can get the iDrive One 1TB Wi-Fi hard drive and 1TB of cloud backup (for one year) for just $34.50. Regular price for this bundle: $79.50.
Let me start by saying that a 1TB Wi-Fi hard drive for $34.50 is a steal. Even if you decide not to renew your cloud subscription after the year is up (at a price of $59.95 per year), you'll still have a perfectly functional (and useful) drive. You do, however, need to at least maintain a free iDrive account (good for 5GB of cloud space).
The One can plug directly into your router or connect to it via Wi-Fi. If you go the latter route, the drive can actually extend your router's range. Either way, it provides local network storage to all the devices in your house, while at the same time streaming media and other files to your devices while you're on the go.
So while the drive itself isn't intended to be portable -- it requires an AC outlet -- it offers many of the same benefits of a portable media drive. Load it up with your movies, music, etc. and it'll sling that stuff to your phone or tablet.
Meanwhile, iDrive Personal (the cloud component) delivers continuous data backup and Dropbox-style syncing. CNET hasn't reviewed the service, but check out PC Mag's iDrive review to learn all the important details. (Spoiler alert: It nabbed an Editors' Choice.) And the $60/year price tag is right in line with competing services like Carbonite and Crashplan.
Even if you're not interested in the cloud part of the deal, the drive is too good to pass up. That said, check Macworld's review of the latter so you know what you're getting. And if you took advantage of a previous iDrive deal (I ran one a few months ago for an SSD version), hit the comments and let your fellow readers know how you fared.
Bonus deal: Want to add Hollywood-caliber special effects to your movies? Freebie video editor HitFilm Express is a great place to get started, but the learning curve can be steep. For a limited time, however, you can sign up for a free online course: Visual Effects for Guerrilla Filmmakers. The course is "an introduction to the world of VFX, and each week explores film history, theory and practical examples" -- and it's all based around HitFilm Express. Definitely worth a look if you want to unleash your inner Abrams.