Speaking of file safety, when I was in Japan and China last year I was concerned about losing my digital files. Actually, somewhat in a panic about it. I could envision my hard drive being stolen from my hotel room, lost in transit, confiscated by customs officials, all sorts of disasters — none of which happened or even remotely approached reality, but my fear was real nonetheless.
So, I decided to use a non-physical backup to ease my concerns. I signed up for the ASUS web-based backup that was offered by them as part of my netbook purchase. They call it ASUS Webstorage. I have no idea if their service should be recommended or not; I did exactly zero research on their competition, although I understand there are lots of these services now available online. I was in Asia and didn't want to take the time to figure out which was "best," so I just plunged into the one that was instantly available to me.
As a concept, I love this idea. Offline backups protect us from fire, theft, corrupt hardware, etc. Neat! Simply setup the software to do the automatic backups and no more worries.
So what's the rub? Bandwidth. While in Asia, I'd let my netbook run all night, uploading files for 8-10 hours straight and it still couldn't keep up with the images I'd make during the day. I quickly found myself falling farther and farther behind. When I boarded the plane to return home, I still had only uploaded about half of my 140 gigabytes worth of digital files from the trip.
When I got home, I thought I'd try to use this service as a total backup for all my image files. It'll run in the background, uploading files 24 hours a day. Can't take that long, right? Guess again, digital breath. The last time I looked, the software was projecting it would have all my digital image files (not including any other file types) uploaded completely by the end of September. Sure hope I don't have a fire, theft, or hard drive failure before then.
Geez. There must be a better solution.