Are You Backing Up Your Important Data? Part 2
The best backup plan involves three key parts. The first is regularly backing up your data. You’re the only one who can determine how often you backup. A business is best backing up daily to avoid lengthy time re-entering data. A home user may be sufficient backing up once a week or once a month. We recommend making a list of what you want to backup. This will jog your memory and make sure you don’t miss anything important.
Here are some different formats used to backup; flash drive, media (CDs, DVDs, Blu-Rays), tape drives, external hard drives and the Cloud. All of these forms of backups have their pluses and minuses. The bad news is we’ve seen bad flash drives, media, tape drives and hard drives….they can all fail.
This leads to the second key; periodically check your backups. Being in the computer industry for over 26, years you see a lot of things. One of them is people who think they are backing up their data, only to find out they are not. You need to check and make sure your backup software is doing what it is supposed to. Cloud backup utilizes software that usually runs in the background. Sometimes that software will stop running due to a conflict with another problem. People also accidentally overwrite data, not realizing it until it is too late.
The last key is redundancy. We mentioned it earlier, but it bears repeating; we’ve seen every form of backup fail. This includes flash drives, hard drives, cloud backup, tapes and cartridges. We often see people backing up their data to the same drive the data is on, just in a different spot. With the price of hard drives, flash drives and media so cheap, there is no reason to not have more than one backup. Not only is it a good idea to have more than one backup, but have one offsite. In other words, have a backup away from your home or business. While it doesn’t happen often, we see people lose data due to fires, theft, flooding and even tornadoes. Nobody expects lose their data. Backing up to the Cloud does cover this issue.
We want to take a minute to cover backing up to the Cloud since it is very new, relative to all the other backup types. The pluses to the cloud are;
- You can set it up to automatically backup what you want, usually when you want to.
- It is offsite and usually redundant.
- You can access your data from other computers via the Internet.
Like every other form of backup, there are some negatives to backing up to the Cloud. Here are the negatives;
- Backing up to the Cloud can be slow. When you backup to the Cloud you are using ‘upload’ from your Internet Service Provider. Your upload speed is always much slower than your download speed. As an example, Charter is offering 100MB down and 5MB up. If you have a lot of data, your first initial backup could take a long time.
- Restoring relative to other media is also slow. A business who needs to do payroll may not want to wait the required time for all their data to download.
- Cloud backup utilizes software to do its job. If this software stops running then you are not backing up. You need to check periodically to make sure data files are being backed up.
At Computer Pro Unltd., we sell and use LiveDrive backup. LiveDrive is an offsite Cloud backup solution that starts at $59 per year with no size limit. LiveDrive lets you access your data from any computer that has Internet access.