Thursday, March 31, 2011

Monthly Genealogy File BackUp Day - Using BackupMy Tree

The first of the month is the time I set aside to do monthly genealogy files backup.  Protecting genealogy research that has taken years to gather is a must because, sadly, computers are vulnerable to hard drive crashes, viruses, theft and natural disasters.

This month, I am adding a free "in the cloud" backup in addition to my usual backup plan.  BackupMyTree finds and creates a remote, off-site copy of your family-tree files.  It monitors your family trees and backs them up for you automatically when they change.  And actually since it backs up automatically, there is nothing to do each month except check that I am still logged in.

Although I back up my files automatically to an external hard drive, I know from experience that external hard drives can also fail, and in case of a disaster also be destroyed along with my computer.  That's why off-site backup is so important.

BackUpMyTree  FREE backup service provides:
  • Support for a wide array of family tree file formats created by popular family tree software packages - Family Tree Maker, Family Tree Builder, PAF, Legacy Family Tree, RootsMagic (version 4 or later), and Family Tree Legends. Industry standard GEDCOM files are supported too. 
  • Anywhere access of family tree files – users can access their family tree files securely from anywhere using a web browser. 
  • Monitoring of all family trees for changes and automatic backup of the updated files.
  • Storage of previous versions of family tree files should anything become corrupted. This feature also protects against accidental deletion of information inside a family tree – enabling users to retrieve any previous version of their data.
  • Instant retrieval in case of data loss - by simply re-downloading the latest family tree backups.
  • Complete protection of all family tree files using strong SSL security during transfer from computers to the BackupMyTree servers.

To backup your genealogy files onto BackupMyTree, go to BackupMyTree
  • Download and run the BackupMyTree installer. BackupMyTree should start automatically after installation, and will appear in the Windows notification / system tray area.  
  • After a few minutes, your web browser should pop up, asking you to log in to your BackupMyTree account. 
  • Next, BackupMyTree will scan your hard drive for family trees and immediately start backing them up.

When I first used BackupMyTree, it took quite a while (days) to sync all the files and gedcoms I had on my computer, even though it says on the website it only takes minutes.   It  uses minimal resources always working in the background to update the latest version of your genealogy program file, and I haven't noticed any slowdown when it is running.  There is no limit to the files it will backup and I was quite surprised to see how many files it found on my computer.  However, each file backed up is limited to 1 gigabyte in size.

When I go to BackupMyTree, the website always opens up in Google Chrome, which is not my default browser, but I do have it installed on my computer.  I'm not sure, but the program might require a Google Chrome download.

Hint:  If you use FamilyTreeMaker, do a monthly backup (file - backup) within the program and be sure to tick the box called "include media files" .  This will save your data plus all photos and images to a .ftmb backup file which BackupmyTree will backup for you as long as your file is not larger than 1 gigabyte.   Great way to get photos and record images backed up along with your genealogy database file.

BackupMyTree is from Cliff Shaw who also founded GenForum, GenCircles, and Family Tree Legends.

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