Preparing for the Worst: Computer Backups

Backups are the sort of thing you know you should have, but few people actually make. After all, most people haven’t experienced catastrophic hardware failure – but that’s changing.

Computers are commonplace, and more and more people are working off their desktops or laptops. A catastrophic hardware failure can result in hours of lost work – or worse.

It’s baffling that people lose work to hardware failure, because computer backups are a dime-a-dozen. Here are a few ways you can make sure that you can recover from disaster.

Computer Synchronization:

This is effective for houses that have more than one computer, or for a small business. As the name suggests, it involves having two computers in synch so if one goes down, a person can continue work on the synchronized computer. It also allows computers to be physically safe and secure. Someone hoping to ruin your day by taking a crowbar to your computer will be stymied by the fact that a second computer holds the exact same data.

Dropbox, Goodsync, and Syncback are some of the best ways to create one form or another of computer synchronization.

Network-Attached Storage:

This one doesn’t even need you to attach anything to your computer directly. All you need to do is to attach a network-attached storage system to the router you’re using and the software will automatically back-up your data to that storage unit every so often. Sure it might eat up your network traffic occasionally, but it’s a small price to pay for automated backups that will make sure that a virus doesn’t ruin your business.

Local USB Backup:

The simplest option isn’t always the best, but it is still effective, especially for people who’re only using one computer. Get a USB drive with a lot of space and use a backup program. The good news is that Windows 7 has one built-in. All you need to do is to type in “backup” in your start search bar and click on “backup and restore.” It even allows you to backup your data periodically, so you can focus on other things.

The Online Option:

If you’ve got bandwidth to spare, your backup option might just lie on the Internet. Not only does this option allow you to backup in case of a virus or similar malady, it also allows your data to survive in case you are robbed, or if your house burns down, or if your computer decides to spontaneously com-bust. Of course, it won’t get you your house back, but at least your data is safe.

Online services such as Carbonite, CrashPlan, and Mozy all offer a large amount of space to make sure that you’ve got your data covered. Of course, you should also consider that online services can be hacked, so extremely sensitive information might be best served with a physical backup.

Backup your data, backup your life. Whether you’re a college student or a writer, a backup will make sure that you’ve got all your bases covered. It’s the sort of thing that you’ll want to have and never need, than need and not have.


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