IN SYNC

If you have more than one computer and a phone or two, it’s a good idea to synchronize them. How to do it? Our favorite method is free up to two gigabytes of stuff. Start by installing Dropbox from Dropbox.com to your phones and computers. From then on, everything you drag into your Dropbox folder is synced with your private Dropbox account on the Internet. If you need a file, it’s downloadable from any device. That’s handy. Just now, Joy tried signing into Bob’s Dropbox account on her computer and voila, there were his files. If something should happen to Bob’s computer, she knows she can recover his files on her machine, or even on her phone. The computer doesn’t […]

Read more

FINDING DUPLICATE FILES

“Dupeless 3” is the new version of a small program for getting rid of duplicate files. It’s $8 from PC Magazine’s Utility Library or free for members who pay $20 for a year’s worth of programs. We paid.

Dupeless 3 removes the duplicates and you have some control over the situation. You can search by file name, content, or both. You can limit the types of files, such as photos or documents. Restricting the search is a good idea, otherwise the program shows you too many files that are part of the operating system.

Read more

NO BRAINER BACK-UP

You’d think, being tech columnists and all, that we’ve never had one of those computer disasters where we lose everything. Guess again. One of us has done it several times. (Joy looking sheepish.)

Read more

FLASH DRIVE DUPLICATOR

Flash drives are cheap these days — around $15 for16 gigabytes — which is a lot of storage. We tend to back up everything on them. But what if something goes wrong with that drive and it just doesn’t “flash” anymore, so to speak? We better have it backed up somewhere else. The obvious way to go is to drag and drop files from one drive to another using Windows Explorer, (“File Explorer” in Windows 8). Or you can upload the files to your private storage space on the Internet usingGoogle Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, and any of several other services. But this is slow going if you have a lot of files to copy. A $212 hardware alternative is Startech’s […]

Read more

THE NUMBERS REPORT

Seventy percent of small businesses that have a major data loss go out of business within a year, according to a report by the accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Read more

GETTING STUFF OFF YOUR PHONE

A friend told us she couldn’t get her photos off her phone and onto her Acer computer, though the transfer worked fine with her other computers. So we told her about the Bump app, but now there’s something new out there that’s even better.

Read more

A THOUSAND PHOTOS STORED FREE

ThisLife.com offers free photo storage for 1000 photos or 100 gigabytes of files for $3 a month. It can import photos from any other site or folder, and use keyword searches to find particular shots — if you have previously labeled those shots with an identifying word (It’s not magic, you know).

Read more

RECOVERING FILES ON THE MAC

Joy’s sister considered buying a new Mac just because she lost all her photos on the old one. “Disk Drill Pro” from CleverFiles.com is an $89 program for recovering stuff.

Read more

CLONING THE DRIVE

There are dozens of backup programs and services, many of them free. But most of these, like Google Drive, Dropbox and Skydrive, just backup your files, not your programs. Well, people want to save their programs, so let’s go further To back up a whole computer drive, everything included, you need what’s called a cloning program. You’ll be glad you did it if the computer goes down in a really serious way and you want your programs back. Mac users have a utility program called “Time Machine” that does that. Windows 7 and Windows Vista users can use the operating system’s own “system image” routine to clone the drive. Click “start” on the home screen, then “help and support.” Type […]

Read more

A LONG DRIVE

The new $99 “Backup Plus” from Seagate holds a terabyte of storage in a drive that can fit in a shirt pocket. It works with both Windows and Mac and you can go back and forth between them. It automatically backs up all your files and the photos and videos you share on Facebook and Flickr.

Read more