The Surprising Portable Computer Backup Appliance – You’re Going to Want One!

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You know you should have a data backup solution to ensure that you have a harddrive backup – and in fact you may already have one or more backup solutions in place. But what about portable backup solutions – what about if you are on a trip, and your hard drive fails (as mine did last week?) At that point your free online data backup solution won’t be much help – either because you don’t have a full backup of your system, or, if you do, because it will take days to restore your system over the Internet.

So, here’s an idea! Consider an iPod video for your portable backup data storage!


There are portable external hard drives. They are about the same size as an iPod video. They may weight a little (but not much) less.

And, by all means, they are a viable option. In fact, if you want a regular portable hard drive, we can highly recommend this portable external hard drive.


But, consider instead using an iPod video as your portable external hard drive! The iPod video will work just like an external hard drive, you can back up to it, and you can restore fromh it. Your computer sees it as an external hard drive.

[All you need to do to make your computer see your iPod video as an external hard drive is connect your iPod to your computer, and in iTunes switch on the setting called “Enable disk use”. Once you have done this, it is CRITICAL that whenever you are done syncing, you “remove” your iPod from your computer by ejecting it, either through finder, or iTunes, before you unplug your iPod from your computer. Do NOT unplug your iPod before doing do!]

Set up an automatic backup using the backup utility of your choice (I just use the Mac application that comes free from Apple, and it works just fine). Now, whenever you connect your iPod to your computer, your computer is automatically backed up!

The perfect backup device!

But, of course, it is ever so much more, as well!

Consider that with the 80 gigabyte iPod video most home users (and many business users) can back up all of the data they could possibly need to recover while away from home.

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The Surprising Portable Computer Backup Appliance – You’re Going to Want One!

Now consider that in addition to that, you can listen to your tunes on your iPod video.

And audio books.

Now consider that you can also store and watch videos on your iPod video.

And your contacts.

But perhaps, most importantly, because you can do all these cool things with an iPod video – because it serves as an “all in one” device that not only serves your backup needs, but also will provide entertainment as well, you are actually more likely to carry it and connect it to your laptop!

Plus, because you will be connecting it to sync your tunes, photos, and such, it will <b>already be connected</b> for you to make that regular backup! Let’s face it, you are more likely to remember to sync your music than to make a backup – now one gets you the other!

That is, in fact, what I set up for myself, following a catastrophic hard drive failure while I was on the road a couple of weeks ago. While I had backed up my drive to a large external hard drive back at the office, that hardly helped me when I was hundreds of miles away from the office. Similarly, the online backup I had made of my more critical data was not helpful as I didn’t have the ability to leave my laptop connected in one place for hours in order to restore from the online backup.

How I wished I’d had an external drive with my backed up data at that time!

Now I do.

And, it has my songs, videos, and photos on it as well.


And hey, it may even be a business expense!

This is the model I got here: 80 gigabyte iPod video.


By the way, because you will be taking your iPod everywhere and relying on it both to back up your data, and to recover your data in the vent of a hard drive crash, you will want to protect it with a good strong case. This case was recommended to me by some folks at the Apple store, and it is awesome: Contour Hard Case for 80 GB iPod Video

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The Surprising Portable Computer Backup Appliance &#8211; You&#8217;re Going to Want One!

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5 thoughts on “The Surprising Portable Computer Backup Appliance – You’re Going to Want One!

  1. I think finding an online computer backup provider can be the best thing to do. If you don’t trust the connection security or something else, just encrypt the data!

    Of course it’s also a good idea to hold a second copy of the data in your “archives” too but it won’t stop disasters from destroying everything.

  2. I’m starting to actually consider two methods of backup. Why, what happens in the event of something like a house fire, or a flood? Maybe an online backup and a portable drive together offer 100% security.

  3. I’m biased towards Archos PVRs myself — bigger display — so I’m intending to get an Archos 605 Wifi, with either 80GB or 160GB.

  4. No, unfortunately the iPod Touch (and the iPhone) will not work for this, as they do not have the option to enable disk use.

    But it’s a great reason to get that iPod Video 80Gig! :-)

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