It is statistically probable that you know someone or that you, yourself, have lost data because of poor back up strategies. Our photographs and videos are our passion and for some their entire livelihood. The thought of only having one copy of all of your photos, videos and other media on one drive sends a chill down my spine harder than any movie by James Wan could, yet there are still photographers who live this horror waiting to happen.

[REWIND: Data Backup | The 3-2-1 RULE & Why You Need To Implement It Now]

A favorite backup amongst photographers is the 3-2-1 method – or 3 copies, 2 formats, 1 off-site. The mix of external drives, RAID solutions, and cloud backup are based on the needs of the content creator and vary in about as many different ways as an Old Fashioned recipe, but at the end of the day, it is all meant to do the same job, to keep your data safe.

After spending time inventing a bullet-proof backup plan, what most photographers do is apply a “set it and forget it” implementation and use their OS’s simple drag-and-drop to copy client’s files over to the backup in hopes that everything would be alright. Hope isn’t enough.

Data management software, like Hedge, verifies file integrity making sure that file and file structure is copied exactly to wherever you’re backing it up. Hedge is a delusively simple tool that will automatically detect any drives you have mounted to your computer With a simple drag-and-drop choose your sources destinations and then hit start transfer. It allows the user to make multiple backup copies of their camera media while verifying them at the same time. This once previously Mac-only application is now available for Windows users.

Since writing about it earlier this year, I have added Hedge to my backup workflow. Hedge uses the non-cryptographic hash algorithm, xxHash64, to fast and accurately verify my client’s photos when transferring them to my computer and uploading them to my server. In other words, it adds a few extra steps, but also adds peace of mind.

Hedge for Windows has the same easy drag-and-drop as its Mac counterpart.  A free 10-day trial is available, after the trial, you have the option of purchasing a project license for $25 extending the use up to 30 Days, or $99 to get a full upgrade.

If you buy 4 project licenses over the course of a year Hedge will give you a full license for free. Existing macOS users can add Windows compatibility to their license for just $49. You can learn more about Hedge on their website here.