Storing at least one backup online is a good idea because it ensures your files are kept in a location far away from your computer, so if your house is destroyed by a meteorite (and assuming you survive the blast) you can still get access to all your files.

The problem is, online backup storage is expensive – the annual cost is roughly the same as a cheap external backup drive, and while some companies offer a limited amount of space for free (typically 2GB) it’s nearly always never enough.

This is where BuddyBackup comes in: this free tool offers a neat alternative if you have other friends or family members in the same situation.

Install the program on each computer, set up your own account and then search for your “buddies”. By allowing everyone to access each other’s unused storage space, you can set up your own little backup network, so everybody gets to store a copy of their files in a remote location. Everyone’s files are encrypted for greater security, and multiple versions of the same files are stored too.

Data is transferred using P2P technology, and the only drawback is that your buddies must have their PCs switched on and connected to the internet for the backups to take place; with this in mind, the latest version of the program now allows you to also back up to a local USB-attached drive as an additional form of security for your files.

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A novel way of protecting your files by storing them off-site on another person’s computer.