You likely have photographs and videos, important emails, digital products you’ve purchased, and perhaps even reports or products you’ve written that are all saved on your computer.
What if your computer was stolen, a casualty of flooding or fire, or just stopped working. I know firsthand that feeling of dread when you hear the grating sound that signals the impending death of your hard drive. A feeling that is amplified if you haven’t backed up your files!
A survey conducted by Harris Interactive found that only 10%* of computer users backup their files daily.
Do you backup? If so, do you backup often enough? How often is enough? Would your files be protected in all circumstances?
Only you can answer the first question. As for the rest…
How often should you backup your files?
Common sense dictates that you back up your computer when new files are added – so likely daily. As you’ll see, some backup systems make this easy.
As for the last question – would your files be protected in all circumstances? That answer is revealed in the pros and cons below.
Two Types of Backup Systems
There are two types of backup systems:
1. online backup services
2. physical devices
1. Online Backup Systems
An online backup service has saved me twice in the last six years: once when my hard drive died and again when the screen conked out. Both times I was able to restore the files from the backup service and save them on another computer. What a relief!
- If there is a fire or flood in your home or your computer is stolen, you can retrieve your data as it’s off-site.
- Easy to restore a single file or all your files.
- Automatically saves any changes to your files at the frequency and time(s) you prefer.
- May not backup software or networks.
- Can take a while for the initial backup of your computer to be saved to the servers.
- If your computer is stolen, it can not stop thieves from accessing the data on your computer.
- You’ll have to pay more if you use more backup space than is in your plan.
Online Backup Systems To Check Out
This is the system I use and recommend. It:
- has military level encryption
- is affordable, with home packages starting at $5.99/mth (as of November 2012)
- is Windows and Mac compatible
- syncs files between multiple computers and devices (Stash from Mozy)
Carbonite is another affordable alternative that I have not tried. Home package with unlimited GB start at $59/year (as of Nov 2012) for 1 computer.
c. Anti-Virus Programs
Some anti-virus programs include a back-up feature along with a set amount of storage. If you have the feature, check it out!
2. Physical Storage Devices
These are storage devices that are kept in your office on or near your desk.
- You buy the device and no further payments are required.
- Your backup unit can be stolen.
- It can be damaged by fire or flooding.
- It can run out of space.
- Depending on the system, you may have to remember to back-up your files.
Physical Backup Devices Options
Protects your Windows Operating system, software programs and all your files. They now have ClickFree Mobile available for Android tablets and smartphones. It’s compatible with Windows systems.
At the very least, burn your important documents and files to a DVD on a scheduled basis.
Determine how much storage you need and how many computers and devices need to be backed up. That makes it easier to determine which back-up system will satisfy your needs.
Then make a choice and get those files backed up!
Sources: Harris Interactive Survey at: