Why Data Backup?

February 8, 2013

A cheap way to avoid an expensive disaster

            Backing up your files is a cheap way to avoid an expensive disaster. How much is it to buy a backup drive? About $75.00. Backup software? $30 or less. An hour of consultant’s time to install and show you how to use it? About $100. Not losing your data? Priceless.

Above quoted from: https://www.sans.org/tip_of_the_day.php

Think about everything on your computer. There is an operating system, which can be reinstalled. Then there are the programs you have installed. They also can be reinstalled. You may also have projects that you are working on,  graphics or word processing files that have involved hours of work and may even be part of how you make a living.

Next there are the pictures. Hundreds of pictures. No, thousands of pictures,  of family, friends, the trips you took. Pictures of your children as babies and as they grow up. Ask yourself, would it matter if I lost these pictures. Of course it would. That’s why you took them and saved them in the first place. Unfortunately those pictures and home videos can disappear. All it takes is a malfunctioning hard drive and poof,  they’re gone. The hard drive is an amazing technological device, but it is still a device that can fail. Given enough time and use it will fail. And it won’t make an appointment to fail. It will happen without warning. You will go to start up your computer and nothing happens, or perhaps a message telling you about a boot disk failure, or some other message. At this point, a time consuming process may retrieve your pictures and videos. Sometimes not all can be saved and you lose some of your memories.

So how do you back up? The first thing needed is a place to store your data. There is free online storage available from many sources.

If you have a Windows Live account, you can use Skydrive to get 7GB of free storage. This can be accessd with a hotmail account as well. Check it out here

Another free online storage solution is Adrive.com There is 50GB of storage available at no charge. In return for the free storage you will see advertising on the site. Low price options are also available.

You may also wish to check out Google Drive It will give you 5GB free and can be used with your gmail account.

The main advantages of online storage are that those servers seldom fail and are backed up regularly,  and you can log into your account from any computer and see or retrieve your files.

If you are not using online storage, you will need a backup device. Depending on how much data you need to backup, you will need either a flash drive or external hard drive. External hard drives can be purchased for as little as $50, and can be used to clone your drive. This means that an exact replica can be saved and transfered to a new drive should the original fail.

Some external drives will come with software to back up important files and documents. You can also find some free backup software, such as EaseUS Todo Backup

Allway Sync is free for limited use or can be purchased. It will check for files that have been changed and update your backup. It synchronizes your backup by only changing files that have been added or updated, so the backup process takes less time than a complete backup. I have used this program for a number of years and it works very well. You can set up a number of different backups to various devices.

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