By John R. Levine, Margaret Levine Young

If you use computers, sooner or later your computer or hard disk will go west and you’ll lose a ton of work, photos, email messages, or whatever else you hold dear. Learn this lesson before it’s too late: Make backups! Better yet, make backups that are stored somewhere other than at your home or office, so your files will be safe in case of fire or flood. Here are some online backup services to consider.

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/kirstypargeter]
Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/kirstypargeter
  • Carbonite is not cheap, but it’s very convenient. You run a Carbonite program on your computer (Windows or Mac), and Carbonite automatically uploads backup copies of your files to its online storage. If something happens to a file, you can log into the Carbonite website and get it back.

  • Google Drive is Google’s online storage system. You log in with the same account as Gmail (if you use Gmail for your email mailbox). You can open your Google Drive documents in Google Docs (an online word processor), Google Sheets (a spreadsheet program), and Google Slides (a Powerpoint-like presentation program) – all for free.

  • Dropbox enables you to store files online. A free account gives you 2GB (2 gigabytes, which is to say, a ton of space) of storage. You can upload and download files from their website or install an app on your computer, smartphone, or tablet to access your files.

  • OneDrive is Microsoft’s equivalent to Dropbox.