Protecting Memories for Generations: Understanding Backup and Sync

Let’s dive into what it means to back up and sync your family memories so they are safe for generations to come. Understanding backup is an important part of organizing your memories. Let’s break down some common tech terms and demystify the differences between backup and sync.

Defining a few terms:


Imagine a hub as a place where all your photos gather. This is one location where you can find every single one of your photos and videos. It’s your go-to place for organizing and safeguarding your precious memories. We like to use the term Memories Hub, for more information read about it here. 


Your primary computer for accessing your hub. If saving your memories is truly important to you, I think it is imperative that a computer of some type if part of the mix for true backup.

External Hard Drive (EHD)

An EHD is a portable storage device that serves as an additional layer of protection for your memories. This device typically connects through a USB. As of recent, we have been using more Solid State Drives as they typically work faster,

Cloud Auto Backup

With cloud auto backup, your computer or EHD is automatically backed up to an internet cloud service, ensuring your memories are safe and sound.

Cloud Photo Service

A cloud photo service is a dedicated platform/website designed for viewing and preserving your photos, making it easy to access and share your cherished moments.

Cloud File Service

This service is your go-to for saving and syncing all types of files. This includes photos but also videos (no limit on size), documents, and spreadsheets. 

Understanding Backup vs. Sync


Sync involves two-way communication between your device and a cloud storage platform, ensuring your photos are up-to-date across all your devices. Platforms like Google Photos and iCloud do this automatically for most devices. 

It is important to note that this is two-way communication. This means deleting a photo off of your smartphone, will also delete the photo from your iCloud/Google Photos. 


Backup is a one-way communication process that transfers photos from your device to another device or service and you would have to go into that service or device to delete. It acts as a safety net, ensuring your memories are protected even if disaster strikes.

Automatic Backup

Automatic backup happens in the background, saving you the hassle of manually backing up your photos. It’s the ideal solution for one of your backups.  All of your images will be copied onto your selected platform without even thinking about it. 

Manual Backup

With manual backup, you take the reins and make copies of your memories to ensure everything is properly stored. It’s a hands-on approach that lets you verify the safety of your memories. I think everyone should have one manual backup as it is typically the easiest and fastest way to retrieve the folder structure that you set up in case you need to. It’s important to have a process for this. (I add the previous month’s photos to my backup at the beginning of each month)

The 3-2-1 Method

3-2-1 Backup is the industry standard for proper backup.

3 copies of data: 

  • All of your images are saved in three different places

2 different mediums:

  • You’ve selected 2 different ways to save photos (like a computer and a cloud service)

1 offsite:

  • One of the backup methods is not in your home. This is ideally a cloud service but may also be saving things on an external hard drive and putting it in a safe deposit box or at someone else’s home but this is the hardest to maintain.

3-2-1 Examples

  • Computer, external hard drive, cloud auto backup (BackBlaze)
  • Computer, cloud photo service (, cloud file service (
  • Computer, external hard drive, external hard drive offsite
  • External hard drive, cloud photo service (, cloud auto backup (Backblaze)

Remember that backing up your memories is not just a task—it’s a way to preserve your family’s legacy for years to come. By understanding the differences between backup and sync, and implementing the 3-2-1 method, you’re taking steps to safeguard your cherished moments. 

Need help setting up your 3-2-1 system, set up a time to complimentary chat with Lisa!

a laptop computer with an external hard drive sitting on it


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