Need to back up your computer? Everybody should do this, even if you do use your computer for personal use. You never know when there is a problem. Your child may spill juice over the keyboard of a laptop, a thieve may steal your computer or a flood may damage the whole system. Here are three options available to back up your computer storage.
Do It Yourself with Disks
If you want a low cost option and something that is very easy to access, backing up using disks and flash drives could be something that works for you. The benefit of backing up this way, such as using an external hard drive is that you have full control. There is no third party with any access to your files or dictating the amount you can store and when you can retrieve it. This is a major drawback with offsite and cloud storage.
However, disks are not always reliable. They become scratched, damaged and eventually failed. Flash drives and external hard drives can break. You will likely have to spend more, too, as you can only store a small amount of these options. You will also have to take up your own time to store everything onto the disks. They will not be free from thieves if you are broken into or natural disasters. However, they are more secure than storing online and you can transport them easily to store offsite.
Offsite Data Storage Companies
Another option is to hire someone to store your data. These companies usually send you boxes to store your paperwork in or disks to store your work on and then they pick them up and store them at their warehouse. This means that everything is offsite so you are protected from natural disasters and thieves. The information will not become corrupted if your computer does.
[Read also: The Importance of a Disaster Recovery Plan]
However, the access to these files is more difficult. You will have to contact the company and wait for that company to respond to you. If something happens during the working day or you have to contact them first thing in the morning, you may find that you lose a whole business day. You may find that you have to wait for the company to get to you instead of being able to get on with everything that you want to do. There are also the high costs associated with these companies.
Cloud Storage Options
There are a number of cloud storage options available. Many of these are free, which is perfect for home users. Those who need more space will have to pay for the fees are much lower than offsite data storage companies. You have full access to your files when you need then and can access them anywhere since everything is stored online. You can back up your information when you want and set automatic backup to help stay on top of everything.
However, there is a risk that your files will be hacked into. The files are protected by passwords and usernames but these can be guessed by hackers, especially if you opt for something easy. You also run the risk of your employees looking into confidential files that you did not want to share. Another downside is the fact that these companies are run by third-parties. If they close down, you lose the backed up information.
[Recommended read: Tips for Safely Using The Cloud]
Take your time to find the best storage system for you. If you only have a small amount of work, disks and flash drives may be perfect. You can carry them with you and there is no need for an internet connection. However, cloud storage offers regular backups for a lower price.
About the Author: Linda Aksomitis has worked in the IT industry for 30 years. She now offers advice to those looking into buying new computers, hybrid cloud systems and ways to backup information.