Computer Backup Solutions — All Systems Go
By Matthew Padulchick on Thursday, June 5th, 2014
The subject of computer backups has always been a topic of importance. Even though there are many options available it does not have to be a complicated or time consuming process, so there is no good reason not to tackle backing up your computer.
We all know that backing up data can preserve the information that is stored on your computer, but how far do you take your backup philosophy? It depends on what you can afford to lose.
For a single user, periodic backups are enough. Those who depend on their data and computer for more than just casual personal computing understand that if a hard drive fails, their business is down until they can get it back up and running again. For this level of user a more comprehensive backup plan is recommended.
There are several ways to tackle backups of your important data:
Built-in operating system options – Microsoft Windows operating systems provide built-in capabilities – like the Automated System Recovery – that allow you to back up your documents or files onto external media and recover your entire hard drive if necessary. These backup solutions are reliable and provide a built-in way for you to back up your data without having to buy an additional program to do so.
Manual copying onto external devices – The old stand-by method of manually copying data onto an external hard drive, USB memory stick or other external device such as a recordable CD, DVD is always an option. This is cumbersome, but if you do not have a lot of files, it may be an acceptable solution for you. If you choose this method be sure to track all of your files and make sure you enough room to save all of your files to.
Online options/ Internet backups – The newest option for data backup is provided by online companies that use a secure Internet connection to backup and restore your documents and files to or from a remote datacenter. This solution works best for protecting individual files and documents on a PC or a Mac, and is generally offered as a fee-based subscription-based service.
Making an image of your hard drive – This is a more comprehensive backup and disaster recovery solution generally performed by tech savvy computer users. A 3rd-party program creates an image of your entire hard drive, which in case of disaster can be “re-imaged” to a new hard drive. In a short period of time, you can be back up and running with ALL of your documents, settings, programs and EVERYTHING intact, as if the disaster never occurred.
The way to determine the best solution to fit your needs is to ask yourself how soon you need to be back up and running after encountering a disaster, and how much you are willing to pay. If you can wait several days, then a computer back up program might be right for you. If you need your data files immediately, and you have a second computer that you can copy them to, then an online solution might be the best way to go. Or finally, if your business depends upon your computer and its applications and data, then you must have a more comprehensive solution.