Well, if you don't want to answer this question- Get Mozy! It's a small application that will back up unlimited data from your computer to an off site server in the USA. You schedule a backup time and it does it's thing. You don't have to think about it ...unless you want to. I've been using this service since Mozy launched several years ago. It's saved our butts more than once and provides peace of mind for $4.95/month. We use the MozyHome version for PC's (there is also a Mac version). There's a business version called MozyPro, but for most users, including business users, MozyHome is the better option based solely on the cost benefit. You pay more per backed up gigabyte with MozyPro and you don't get many extra bells and whistles.
An example of how Mozy saved our butts: A few years ago, one of our staff inadvertently deleted an entire client profile of data which we didn't realize until a couple weeks after it happened and we needed it...now! Thanks to Mozy we were able to download all the files back to the desktop into their original location with nothing more than a couple clicks. It takes some time to download a lot of data back to your computer, but at least you can recover it. (A few minutes for several files...maybe a couple hours if you have lost gigabytes.)
These were problems that we had before we found ourselves as expatriates. Now imagine, you're in a new country with an uneven power supply (Uruguay is pretty good btw). What if you have a power surge, flood, or the humidity finally says this is the end of the line for your computer? Well, Mozy is a small investment that even the most technologically challenged retiree or baby boomer will be able to manage with no trouble. If you have any issues with Mozy, shoot me an email or if you're here in Uruguay, lets meet!
Your backups through Mozy also include various versions of files. If you're old school, still use Word and wanted to go back to a saved version of a file from a month ago, you can pick any day to restore that file to. We've had to do this and it's really fast since the file is small.
OK. Major crisis mode. You hard drive completely crashes. You've never done that back up that you've been meaning to do for months...ahem...years. All of your photos and documents are gone! You could pay a service $1000 to try to recover your data and if you're lucky, you might see some of it again. Maybe. In the case that you ever lose your entire hard drive, like the article, Mozy will FedEx your data on DVDs so you can reload all of your data. That's not going to be cheap, but be happy that within a few days while abroad (next day in the States) you can be back up and running. You'll be without that precious music and photos for days...not forever. There are several other reasonable ways to back your data, but this has been the easiest for us. As I said, get Mozy.
Next up in the Expat Travel Technology Series: TV. There are cool things you can do to watch your favorites shows while on the road or living abroad, but some tricks to make it work.