How would you feel if you lost all the pictures of your kids or grandkids saved to your computer? What would happen if the essay you spent weeks on got deleted? Or if you could no longer access your business’s client database? You need to know that any hardware you have is prone to failure and with all the viruses and hacks out there, most people have dealt with some sort of data loss.
Whether you’re a business who uses computers to store company data and customer files, an older adult saving important documents or photos of your grandkids , or a teenager who saves photos and homework on your computer, everyone is susceptible to data loss or corruption through their computer. It is important to be proactive and have methods in place to back up your files so that when your hardware or files do become compromised, you can simply restore them.
10 years ago I remember paying $300 for 500 GB of storage. Now for $300, you could get 8 TB which is 8000 GB! That means that storage costs 16x less than it did 10 years ago! And most new hard drives come with some sort of backup or syncing software and can even back up your files to the cloud. Storage space is so inexpensive nowadays & backing up is so simple that it is definitely worth it to back up your files.
However, there are different options for backing up your files. You should understand them so you can make an educated choice when choosing the best method for you or your business.
Tech Tutors Onsite’s Guide to Basic Backup
External Drive Backup
This method is very simple to use. You simply purchase an external hard drive or USB memory stick and save your important files there at regular intervals.
-Quick, easy & cheap
-You are saving to a physical device that will probably be stored in your home. If it gets damaged, lost in a fire or even malfunctions, your backup will be lost.
-You are responsible for what you backup-if you forget something, it will not automatically be backed up.
Cloud Storage (Example: Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive)
-Free or very inexpensive
-Storage is offsite, so don’t have to worry about theft or fire.
–You can still lose files! Using cloud storage, you can still overwrite or delete a file.
-Require drag and drop saving-You decide what you want stored on the cloud. If you forget a
file, it doesn’t get stored there.
Cloud Backup (Example: Carbonite)
-Does not rely on user manually backing up files. Works in the background to back everything
up and scan for changes in files.
-If you overwrite a file, it should contain older versions of the file so you don’t lose it completely.
-If backing up confidential files (mainly for businesses), you can often choose to have files
encrypted before making their way across the internet.
-If your computer crashes and you lose all your files, it is simple to restore your computer (or
new computer ) with all your files that were backed up.
-More expensive than other options
One could say that backing up your files is more important than having antivirus protection. Because even if your computer gets infected with a virus and damages your files, you can still restore your files from your backup.
If you are a home user, a cloud storage solution should be sufficient as long as you are diligent in how often you store your files to the cloud and be careful not to overwrite or delete what you have in the cloud.
However, if you are a business owner, we suggest a more comprehensive, robust and reliable method such as true cloud backup. Although this will cost you, it is worth it not to jeopardize all your extremely important, possibly confidential files and data which is crucial for your business operation.
Stay Safe Out There.