So any further suggestions on automating backups of personal data? I'm familiar with commercial grade products or at least I used to be years ago, but most 'low cost' stuff I'm finding seems centered on CD/DVD backup or incremental.
Sorry I'm hijacking here but it is more or less related for his future options.
, the easiest and most cost effective way to backup your personal data is by using external USB hard drives. Standard USB drives. No mirroring or RAID arrays. KISS
. You can get 500GB ones for $80. Nicer versions even come with automated backup software. Some even have a single-button you press to perform the backup automatically. If you have to evacuate your home you can easily grab the drive and take it with you.
The other nice thing about them is that you can do what the 'big boys' do and do off-site backups. You could easily keep an extra drive at a trusted friend's house, in a fireproof safe, or even in a safe deposit box at a bank. If something catastrophic happens to your home, your priceless photos, videos, and documents will be safe elsewhere.
I do not trust CD's or DVD's to archive important data. The media simply does not last. Not enough that I'd trust them, anyway. I've seen DVD's +/-R disks become unreadable in as little as 2 years.