If you buy two SATA IDE drives 300GB etc, an external enclosure for one of the drives, a PCI bus card with an external SATA port to plug the external drive to, and disk cloning software like ACRONIS, you can do a clone of your hard drive during lunch and at the end of the day, and it takes about 20 minutes. I`ve done this for myself and several vendors and they love it. If your main hard drive crashes, you can swap the backup drive in, and be up in 5 minutes, or restore the backup to a new drive in 20 minutes. It`s amazing.
I currently use Iron Mountain Connected Online Data Backup which runs a backup to online storage over the Internet, encrypts and compresses it before transmitting, etc, and costs me about $14.95 a month, which is nothing to pay for piece of mind. I`ve been using this since 2003, and it was the best thing I found out there at the time. Their tech support sucks, but I am entrenched and don`t feel like switching (barrier to competition - I`m too busy to research and find another, and then uninstall, install something new, test it, verify it, use it, etc...)
There is a difference between backups, which are temporary copies of current files in use, and archives, which are permanent copies of old projects that you want to move off everyday storage to a long-term backup medium, such as DVDs.