We hear it all the time, “My computer won’t start, saying disk not found”, “I opened an email and now I can’t open my files”, “My external hard drive where I keep all my photos isn’t detecting”.
And our first question to any of these is “Do you have any backups?”
There are so many ways that you can lose your data that it’s quite alarming how many of us don’t backup our files.
Situations Where Backups Can Help
If your computer dies from a hardware fault, it’s quite easy to get back up either with a repair or a replacement. But if you lose all your data including your photos, they are potentially gone forever. The simplest way to protect your data is to have at least one copy of it on an external hard drive. The more copies you have, the less chance there is of losing all your data.
It is also important to do backups properly. Like everything else in the technological world, backups will fail sooner or later. Investing in a professional to setup your backup, make sure it works and provide some training will ensure you backups will run smoothly for a long time.
We recommend and use Storage Craft Shadow Protect as it is a full featured backup software solution. It has software for you desktop PC up to your file server at your office. The backups from Storage Craft are an image based backup solution, allowing us to restore the system to a previous point in time with all software and files back how they were at that particular time. You know the saying, “don’t put all your eggs in the same basket”, So we like to configure Storage Craft with a set of at least 3 external drives, 1 that’s currently being backed up, 1 in transit and 1 that’s offsite at a secure location.
Cloud based backups
Another option for saving your files is using a cloud service like Dropbox or One Drive. Both offer a free amount of storage before you need to buy a plan to get more storage. Cloud storage has become a lot more robust and secure over the years, now offering options like file history allowing you to go back to a previous version of a file. It also allows you to access your files from the cloud anywhere in the world with an active internet connection.
Set & Forget?
We would love to just be able to set up a backup and never have to worry about it, but sadly that’s not the case. Ideally it is a good idea to check your backups periodically to ensure they are working efficiently and effectively. You don’t want to go to your backups in a time of need and find they haven’t been working for the last month.
Should I Backup Up My Smart Phone?
Another thing to consider is your smart phone. When’s the last time you backed it up? How many photos have you taken since the last time you backed it up. We rely on our smart phones more and more, however problems arise when they fail, are dropped or end up in the toilet. Making sure you have a regular schedule to back up your smart phone can ease the anguish when your device may inevitably fail.