AUGUST 2014 ;e Costco Connection 17
electronics or computers
you purchased at
Costco? Email them to:
Or mail to:
Q&A with Marc Saltzman
The Costco Connection
P.O. Box 34088
Seattle, WA 98124-1088
or fax to: (425) 313-6718.
“Marc Saltzman Q&A”
in the subject line. Marc
will answer selected questions in this column. We
regret that unpublished
questions cannot be
a leading high-tech
to more than three
on radio and TV and is
the author of 15 books.
He’s on Twitter at
UNLIKE OTHER DIGI TAL content, such as music,
movies, TV shows, games and e-books, your personal photos and videos are irreplaceable. Therefore,
you need to back them up, just in case something
happens to your camera, phone or computer.
To do so, you’ve got a few options; the two most
popular are an online “cloud” service and an external
hard drive. Each solution has benefits and drawbacks, so a smart option is to take advantage of both,
hedging your bets to ensure your precious photos
and videos will remain safe and accessible.
Why you want cloud backup
Offsite protection. Cloud services, such as
Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive, can protect
your photos, videos and other files from local threats
such as theft, fire, flood, nasty viruses, power surges
and hard-drive failure.
Anywhere access. With cloud services, you can access all of your
backed-up files from virtually any
tablet or smartphone in the world
(even Smart TVs). Cloud services have free apps that make it
easy to download or upload files
from your mobile device.
Easy sharing. Cloud computing can also reduce congestion
in someone’s inbox. Rather than trying to email a number of large photos
or videos to a family member, you can simply store them in the cloud and send a link to download the goods. This is incredibly convenient, and
easy to do.
It’s free. Cloud services typically give you 2 to
7 gigabytes of storage at no cost, so you don’t need
to spend anything to back up and protect your
stuff. It might not be a ton of storage, but it’s free
Why you want a hard drive
It’s offline. Cloud services are online only, so if
you don’t have an Internet connection (or if it goes
down), you could be without your files. This isn’t the
case with an external hard drive. Cloud services
require a lot of faith in the fact that you’ll have an
“always on” connection.
Ample storage. Rather than getting only a cou-
Costco offers an easy way
for members to store photos
on the Costco Photo Center
at Costco.com. You can also
create a variety of photo
projects through the
ple of gigabytes of free storage,
external hard drives are often
measured in terabytes (TB)—
more than 1,000 gigabytes—and
you can get a 1 TB external drive
for a low price these days. If you
have a lot of files, cloud services
aren’t an ideal solution.
Data safety. While cloud
storage protects your data from
local threats, it doesn’t mean
you’re home free. If you use a weak
password, someone could guess it
to gain entry to your cloud account.
And the cloud service could experience a data breach. It’s not likely, but
Best of both worlds. Many external
hard drives also have a cloud component: They let you access your files
via Wi-Fi not just at home but also
when you’re away. Think of it as your
own personal cloud.
(For more on preserving your
digital memories, see page 43 of the
May 2014 issue of The Costco
Connection, which is available online
Fun projects for your photos
Now that your photos are safe, what can
you do with them? All you need is a little time,
the right software and your imagination.
Scrapbooking is a popular option, but here are
a few ideas you might not have considered.
Jigsaw puzzles. Pick your favorite photo and
create a jigsaw puzzle you can play with on your
computer. This is a breeze with free programs such
as Jigsaw Puzzle Promo Creator and Jigsaw Puzzle
Lite (via Download.com).
Refrigerator magnets. Proudly display your
memories in a place you visit a few times a day: your
fridge. Make your own photo fridge magnets by purchasing magnetic sheets of paper, which can be fed
through any regular inkjet photo printer.
Slideshows. Create a sentimental slideshow by
using software built into your operating system,
such as Windows Movie Maker, and easily add
music, narration, transition sequences and creative
Hardcover photo books, posters and more.
Many online photo services let you upload your
photos and create personalized gifts, such as coffee
mugs, T-shirts, mouse pads, stationery, playing
cards and more. C
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Keeping photos safe