Nothing can strike fear into your heart like losing all of your data. Critical documents, manuscripts, photos of your babies that are now teenagers… Data loss can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. Thankfully it is easily preventable.

March 31, 2016 is World Backup Day

In honour of that, let’s review some ways to back up your data and then get a backup ran. You’ll sleep better tonight because of it.

There are several different options for backing up your data, and what you choose depends on cost, convenience, amount of data, and personal preference. Whatever you choose, the most important thing to remember is everything can fail so never trust just one solution.

Types of Backups

External Hard Drive / USB Key

The biggest difference between them is how many files they can hold and their physical size, but all around both are a great choice for quick and simple backups. Keep in mind though, that they don’t last forever and both can fail at any time.

Probably the most popular and convenient way to back up data is by using either an external hard drive or a USB key. Both work in similar ways, they are devices separate from your computer that you can copy files to and store for later access. These are great options if you need to access files quickly, update your backups often or if you don’t have tons of files to store. Depending on size, an external hard drive ranges from about $100 – $200 while a USB key can start as low as $10.

Online Backups

The great thing about online backups is that they are offsite, so if your computer is lost or stolen, or everything is damaged in say, a flood etc. you still did not lose your files. There are multiple online backup services, some free and some paid. The most important thing to remember when selecting an online backup service is to find one you trust and that will suit your needs. Some services (especially free ones) limit the amount of data you can store. Two great options are Dropbox (free) and Carbonite ($60/yr).

Personal Cloud Solutions

You’ve probably heard of backing your files up to the “cloud”, which is similar to using an online backup. However, you don’t have to rely on another company’s services, especially if you have large amounts of data to store (like a business probably does). In that case, you can always get your own personal cloud. While they come in different forms, we are particularly fond of QNAP due to it’s plentiful features and reliability. A personal cloud is the best of both worlds, it is basically several external hard drives that then back up to an online service. For more information on this, visit our Cloud Computing page.

I can’t tell you how many times we have heard people lost their all important data. Remember, if you can put data onto it, we’ve recovered data off of it. Always keep 3 copies of your files, one original on your PC, a backup, and a backup of your backup. If you need assistance backing up your files, or are looking for more information on the right service for you, give us a call today!

Backups are extremely important if you can’t afford to lose your information. They are only good if they get done though, so help us celebrate World Backup Day and do it right now!

Need help setting up a backup solution for your home or office? Contact us today!