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5 Simple Backup Options
The information on your computer's hard disk is the most critical part of your computer - it is the only item that cannot be replaced. It may be inconvenient and expense to replace a computer monitor, or processor, but there is no replacing data once lost.
You are no longer simply at risk of a hard drive failure; the threat of internet viruses has become an increasing risk to data loss or corruption. Five common methods of backing up your data are summarised below:
- USB Flash Drives
although the storage capacity of flash drives has increased significantly over the last couple of years; sizes tend to be limited to 1GB to 2 GB. Full backups are obviously not an option, but they may be used to store important files to be saved elsewhere.
- CD and DVD Writers/Re-Writers
The falling prices of CD and DVD writers/re-writers have made them fairly standard in most new computers. The main limitation of using a CD/DVD writer for data backups is that the discs are generally limited to a capacity of about 700MB. Not nearly enough for a full backup, but adequate for archiving key files.
- External Hard Drives
As the name might imply, external hard drives are generally the same type of drive you might find inside your system, but housed in a smaller, external enclosure of its own. The capacity is only limited by the size of hard drives presently available and the user’s budget.
- Additional Hard Drives
By simply adding an additional hard drive to you system, you can protect yourself from data loss by copying it from your primary drive to your secondary drive. The two hard drives can even be setup to mirror one another real time. If one hard drive should ever fail, the system won’t miss a beat by continuing to run on the remaining good drive, and alert the user that the other drive needs to be replaced.
- Online Backup Services
Online backup services, allow users to upload their files to a server for safe keeping. Although it may be convenient to have the data available wherever an internet connection is available, there are a few limitations. The services generally charge a monthly fee relative to the amount of storage space required which can be quite costly. Security is supposed to be very tight on these services, but no matter how secure it may seem, it is still just a password keeping prying eyes from your potentially sensitive documents. The speed of your internet connection will also weigh heavily on the convenience of your backup, and no matter what type of connection you have; it can’t compete with local data transfer rates.
Although this is not an exhaustive list of options available for backing up your data, the five items listed provide some simple and relatively affordable means to ensure that your data is not lost. Data loss is an extremely frustrating and potentially costly situation, but one that can be avoided.
Dr Daves Mobile Computer Services can provide additional information on any of the backup options discussed above.