I am pretty fussy about backing my data, after i suffered one of my worst hard drive crashes few months ago. Backup to me is not synonymous to working, as each day i make changes to files, create new software's and lots of other things which I would hate to lose again.
I have used various ways to backup data, including emailing files to myself, burning the files on a CD, making multiple copies on network computers etc. Doing each of these things is a bit time consuming and bit buggy.
But till date, the best of all methods I use for backups which I religiously use now, is backing my files to Gmail using a simple extension to Windows explorer called Gmail Drive Shell extension.
Gmail Drive Shell extension is basically a Shell Namespace extension that creates a virtual drive that will point to your Gmail account, allowing you to use your Gmail account as a backup device.
Screen shot of gmail drive
Some of the features I like are that it is just like your regular explorer drive and you can use similar function's like cut, copy, paste in this extension.
This is the best for backup's, I say this because in other method's like composing a mail it would mean you having to compose a mail, upload attachment's etc. Similarly writing a CD would include compiling it and then burning it which takes up some time too.
With Gmail Drive Shell Extension, it is as easy as drag and drop. You can also create folders with in the Gmail Drive just like your regular drives too
What happens to the files you copy to this new drive?
The files that you copy over get emailed to your Gmail account with a prefix containing the words GMAILFS using which you can create filters to label mails to any folders you want.
With the amount of space Gmail provides a whopping 2.7 GB and the number of accounts you can sign up with I safely can get my data backed up with ease and have it kept safe too. Well this is not only the most cheapest way of having your backups done but also one of the safest and hassle free method.
Though still there are some limitations such as the file name or folder name cannot exceed to be more than 65 characters. But I don't thingk this is a major concern right now.
Needless to say that to use the Gmail Drive you will need to have a active internet connection and a Gmail account for starters.
You can download this useful extension from Google Drive Shell Extension's site .