Did the recent Gmail outage shake your trust in this e-mail platform? Around 40,000 Gmail users lost access to their e-mail accounts, and perhaps also lost their messages forever (although Google has been working hard at retrieving the messages). This is not just a Gmail-specific problem. If you are using a web interface to manage your e-mails, it means all your messages always remain on a remote server and this means if something happens to that server, all your existing messages are in jeopardy.
This is a problem that cannot be avoided. Even if you don’t choose the web interface and instead use some desktop e-mail client like Outlook or Thunderbird, you may again lose your old emails when something goes wrong with your hard disk. The key is, you should take a regular backups of your Gmail messages. Here are a few things you can do:
Forward your Gmail messages to other e-mail accounts
Preferably not Gmail accounts. You can create some e-mail accounts on various services like Hotmail and Yahoo mail and then forward your Gmail messages to these e-mail accounts. This way, if Gmail ever goes down and you lose your messages on Google servers, you will always have access to them over other e-mail accounts. You can easily set up Gmail to forward all the incoming messages to other e-mail ids. You can also set up filters in order to forward only particular messages.
Use some desktop client
Although the Gmail web interface is great especially when it comes to displaying messages according to subject threads, you can use some desktop client simply to download existing messages. You can routinely download and back up your Gmail messages using applications like Outlook and Thunderbird.
Use third-party software
You can use something like Gmail Backup or Backupify (The service not just takes Gmail backups it can also backup your data on various cloud-based applications such as Facebook and Flickr). These services let you regularly take backups of your existing Gmail messages although it may be difficult to sift through backed up messages, but at least you will always have your cherished messages with you even if something drastic happens to Gmail.
These are some basic methods you can use in order to take backups of your Gmail messages. Are you aware of other techniques? Please share them in the comments section.