I’m glad this post isn’t a “I wish I backed up my data before the fire, flood, pool incident…” Instead, it’s more of a best practice reminder because it’s something I frequently need to remind myself about so I don’t forget to do it. Back up data!
It’s probably enough to back up all computer data on a flash drive at least once a week, and that flash drive should be kept in a secure location. If you are so inclined, you might do it every night, especially if you are working on a major web development (or similar) project. In fact, if you are working on anything that would be difficult to start from scratch, it’s a good idea to back-up your drive as much as possible – just don’t keep your flash drive attached to your computer all the time.
Another best practice is to back it up at least once a month with a flash drive that is stored off site – like in a bank deposit box. If a fire or flood were to ever damage your computer, it’s possible that it will get your back up source if it’s not kept on site. You should take precautions, because at the very least, if you are audited, the IRS won’t be accepting of a data loss excuse for the reason you can’t produce your files.
Apple has a product called the “Time Capsule” which automatically backs up data while you are working, in a machine that is also your Wifi base. The Time Capsule, which can store one terabyte of data, is very expensive, but it does automate the process. The downside is that the Time Capsule is kept on site, so a fire or flood would also probably render the data useless.
However you back up your data, please choose to do it often and keep a back-up copy somewhere. Having a good backing up strategy will help prevent you from having to come up with an emergency data recovery strategy!
I use Mozy which is an automated, remote back up. You choose what files you want backed up and when you want them backed up. Something like $150 a year.
There is also Carbonite. Get one of those and forget about back ups.
You can move to another country with nothing, buy a computer, log into your Mozy account, dump everything down to the new computer and you are back to work.
***UPDATED BY ELLIOT***
Unless you move to a country without Internet access of course … hehe 🙂
I will check them out.
I use Intuit Online Backup. I have it set to run automatically during the evening, and my selcted files are backed up to a secure, off-site location. I would definately recommend using an automated off-site backup service.
I backup my Thunderbird e-mail data folder every night. One backup goes to a 2nd hard drive. One backup goes to a flash drive that I keep with me in a secure pouch.
I also make backups of my domain portfolio file, my bookmarks file and my master data file which has my most vital and critical business data including passwords, links, client records, etc. The truly irreplaceable vital information.
I have a 2nd PC that also backups this data as well as a 2nd flash drive.
It’s about 2Gigs of data that has 4 backups.
It’s also critical to backup all your hard drives which I also do on a regular basis. The very best program for this is Acronis True Image. It makes a perfect duplicate image of your entire drive. I backup all my drives onto portable hard drives and keep 2nd backups of those. So there is triple redundancy.
The average hard drive will last between 3 to 5 years if you are a heavy user. And they all will eventually FAIL. So if you aren’t doing backups you will eventually one day lose all your data.
Now that images are all digital and film is gone, its’ also important to make backups of your family photos. With these its a good idea to make DVD’s and keep some online so you have remote backups.
Very important to use fireproof safes or remote secure storage locations too, such as a bank safe deposit box for vital data backups.
Here is the link for Acronis True Image for full hard drive backups:
GET THIS SOFTWARE! You’ll be able to sleep well knowing everything is backed up safely.
I, too, use Mozy.com. I understand Carbonite works well, too. However, you may think twice before trying the ‘free trial’. I found it difficult to uninstall. I never contacted support though.
anyone tried this one yet : http://www.sugarsync.com/
I’m fairly new to this concept, as I’m not a big techy. My wife is trying to talk me into going with Mozy (I think) for about 60 bucks a year. Has there ever been any incidences of these online backup companies ever losing customers’ data? Just curious.