As some of you might already know, computers have a life expectancy. Sometimes you can get a computer and it will last 5-10 years with no trouble at all and other times it's a paperweight in less than a year. Of course there are warranty's and whatnot, but what about your lost data?
Files like resume's, letters, pictures and tax documents can be difficult, if not impossible to retrieve from a computer with a fried hard drive. I think most people have caught on to the idea that backing up your important files is critical. You can spend a lot of time and money ghosting your hard drive, burning discs or using USB drives. What you should consider is a form of online storage.
Backing up your files online will allow you upload your data to a file host and retrieve them at any time. Since your files would be stored on the web host, you wouldn't need to worry about your computer crashing and the files disappearing. Not to mention, that you can download your files from any computer with an internet connection (even your Aunt Wilma's dial up connection!). Most of these sites allow for special privacy settings so your files are secure, probably more secure than just resting in your documents folder on your computer. Don't get me wrong though, if your documents are super sensitive, you might want to upload them and have a physical backup stashed away.
Now I'm not going to get into how to backup your files with all these methods. However I was looking at all the popular file hosts today and quickly realized that they are all pretty crappy unless you pay for their premium packages. Mediafire, Rapidshare and File Factory are all very popular but suffer from advertistments, slow downloads, wait times and low storage space. File Dropper is good but they put time limits on your files, if you don't access them once every 30 days they are discarded!
So are there any decent free file hosting sites? Today I found Google Documents. Google Docs is designed as a document storage space but now allows you to upload, store and share ALL file types. Google gives you 1024MB (more than enough for the average person) and it's all tied into a common Google Account (Gmail, Blogger, Adsense, iGoogle etc). If you already have a Gmail account, you can start using it without having to sign up! Google has provided a simple site with a great interface that has no advertisements. I highly recommend uploading your important files to Google Documents before your computer is hit with a virus or your hardware imploads.