The answer to that question all depends on how you use your computer. But generally speaking, On-Site Techs recommends you have three backups.
1. Local Backup. Back up your computer’s important files to a USB drive.
2. Online Backup. Back up your data to a secure off-site location.
3. Archive Backup. Back up your data to CD/DVD/BluRay,Tape or other backup media.
Let’s discuss these in more detail. . .
You can back up your data to a USB thumb drive or USB hard drive. This can be done manually, but it’s a lot easier if you have program do it for you. Windows 7 provides just the thing – “Backup and Restore.” Mac OS X provides “Time Machine.” Both of these programs can be set up to automatically back up your data to an external USB storage device. Then in an emergency you can grab that USB thumb drive or USB hard drive and run.
There are several Online Backup services but we like Spideroak.com and Carbonite.com the best. For about $5 a month, Carbonite.com will back up all your files. It works just fine for single Windows or Mac computers, but if you need to back up more than one computer, we recommend Spideroak. Spideroak starts around $10 a month and will back up as many computers as you want. It also works on Windows, Linux and Mac. So if you have a server to back up, it will be no problem. In a price comparison, Spideroak is cheaper than Amazon’s S3 storage, too. With Online Backup, you can rest easy that your files are backed up. If there’s an emergency and you aren’t there, you will not have to worry.
In addition to backing up locally and Online, we recommend you make a physical media backup of all your important files. This “Archive Backup” should be done every six months to a year depending on how important your data is. For example, every six months, you would back up all your data to CD/DVD/Blu-ray. These disks can then be stored away, on or off-site, for safe keeping in case anything happens to your other backups. Our philosophy is, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Usually the above backup scheme works for most homes and small businesses. There are other backup schemes for larger computer networks but we’ll have to leave that discussion for another time.
No matter what your backup needs are, On-Site Techs can help with the setup and execution. We not only set up Local, Online and Archive backups; we also check up and maintain them. If your data is too large to manage, we can come out on-site and do your Local or Archive Backup for you.
Feel free to contact with any backup or computer related questions you may have.
UPCOMING TOPICS WILL ADDRESS:
How often should my computer get maintenance?
Software and Utilities – I never knew my computer could do that!
Should I buy a Mac or a PC?
Cool things browsers and their add-ons can do – Part I
Which Anti-Virus is the best?
Social Networking and Marketing Your Website
Disaster Preparedness with Technology
Would you like to see a topic discussed in our newsletter? Email us!
Thank you, and as always we welcome your feedback.