Walter Mossberg has a stellar article in the Wall Street Journal (subscription may be required) comparing two remote hard drive back up services. For $50 a year, either Carbonite or Mozy will load a small program on your computer and regularly back up files from your hard disk, allowing you to restore them if your computer ever crashes. This is an answer to my prayers.
I've been considering getting a network hard drive for my home to use as a back up, but I just can't swing it right now financially. Furthermore, I've always been concerned about what would happen in a house fire. Back ups are no good if they burn down, too. With so much of my personal data being stored on the PC, the thought that the files would be safe in another location and regularly stored without me having to take action every so often is very reassuring. I'll be trying one of these services out real soon and reporting back what I find.
Update: I just signed up with Mozy. I downloaded the software and it's running in the background. Way cool. They say you can access your files from the Internet. I'll be trying that in a few days once the backup is complete. It told me that it would take a week to do the complete backup. Not surprising, since I store TiVo files on my PC.