Google recently announced that any file type can now be uploaded to Google Docs storage. Google gives 1 GB of storage for free and more storage if you pay. A single file upload is limited to 250 MB. Google says “This makes it easy to backup more of your key files online, from large graphics and raw photos to unedited home videos taken on your smartphone.” Look for a “bubble notification” when signing in to know when this feature becomes available to you.
I created a folder in Google Docs called Genealogy Backup and began uploading to see if I found Google Docs a viable backup storage solution for my genealogy files.
I uploaded my genealogy files .ftm, ftmb, and .ged files to my Genealogy Backup folder. All uploaded successfully and once uploaded I then had the options to download these files or to share them.
I next uploaded multiple pdf files - all the reports that I had saved which were produced by my genealogy program. These also uploaded successfully and not only can I download and share these pdf reports, I can also read them online and print them.
I then tried my media file which includes all my downloaded census and other record images. I wish I could have uploaded the folder as a whole, but Google Docs made me upload them by record by record. I could select multiple records to upload at a time, but when I tried to select all, Google Docs gave me an error message and told me to select less records to upload. Uploading all these record images took quite a bit of time and used up a lot of my free storage space - not very practical. I hope Google will soon allow uploading a whole folder at one time.
Overall, I am pleased to have another free place to backup my genealogy files, but I'll just be uploading my ftm genealogy files and not the individual record images. The upload is manual and not automatic like the backup service Mozy (Mozy not only gives 2 GB storage for free, but does the back up automatically).
Here is my Genealogy Files Backup Plan. I used to copy my files to CD's, but now copy to a flash drive. With Google Docs, I like the idea of also having my files saved somewhere away from my house in case of a real disaster where both the computer AND flash drive were both destroyed. I think saving to the Google Docs cloud makes a lot of sense.
The best discovery with uploading genealogy files to Google Docs is that I can now easily share my genealogy with family members by uploading and sharing my reports. All free.
My genealogy files are small and Google Docs suits my needs for a secondary genealogy backup storage. If Google Docs doesn't have enough online storage for your needs, Mozy offers 2 GB storage for free and has automatic backup. Microsoft SkyDrive offers 25 GB of free storage with a manual backup and ADrive offers 50 GB of free storage with manual backup. Or you can always email yourself genealogy files using your gmail account. Gmail offers more storage than Google Docs and the amount is constantly being increased. I suspect at some point in the future Google Docs will follow suit.