Storing your entire digital life on a PC or laptop has never been easier. However, keeping you’re treasured Memories, digital entertainment, and crucial documents in one place also means you’re in constant danger of losing it all in the blink of an eye. That’s why protecting your data with regular backups is as important as ever
Without a reliable backup, data loss is painful, costly, and often permanent
Your data isn’t just a bunch of electronic bits, it’s your life! And you could lose it all in an instant. Hard drives crash, laptops disappear, people delete things they shouldn’t have it happens all the time. Sure, you can spend the time and money to download all your favorite MP3’s and TV shows again. But what about your digital photos, college term papers? Without a backup of your irreplaceable data and memories, once it’s gone, it’s gone for good.
Viruses, worms, and malware are a constant threat
As if hardware failure and theft weren’t enough to worry about, malicious code can also wreak havoc on your data. No virus scanner is 100% effect-compromise an entire machine. During a successful infection viruses and malware can corrupt files and render data inaccessible
Restoring data after a loss is a huge hassle
Without a solid backup and restore plan in place, getting back on your feet after losing a hard drive can take an eternity. Unless your idea of fun is spending countless hours re-installing your operating system and programs, restarting your latest school or office project form scratch or finding and download your favorite music and movies all over again taking the time to make a backup copy is well worth the investment.
In a pinch, professional data recovery services may be able to salvage data from a failed or corrupted hard disk using specialized software or by repairing the drive in a clean room environment. However, the cost of these services often run into the hundreds or even thousands of dollars and success is not guaranteed. When it comes to protecting your data, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.
Prepare for the worst and hope for the best
Flood, fire earthquake, tornado, tsunami disaster recovery isn’t the most pleasant thing to think about but it is important. Ensuring your data is safe, ideally with an offsite backup, is a good way to protect yourself and your loved ones when Mother Nature lets loose. When the dust clears it’ll be nice to have one less thing to worry about.
The backup drive isn’t just good for backups
External hard drives make great backup devices, but they have other benefits as well, for example, they can provide additional storage capacity when you run out space on your laptop or desktop PC, they are also a convenient way to share files with friends and family. Also compact mobile drives make easy to bring your digital life with you on the road now that you know why backup is so important, is time to find out how to make it happen. A simple way to double-up your data is by purchasing an external hard life. Direct-attached external hard drives connect to your PC or Mac over a USB.
fire wire or eSATA cable connection, these include ultra-compact mobile drives that can fit into your backpack, briefcase or purse to let you take your data on the road if you need a greater capacity, desktop drives are less portable but can store up to 1 TB of data or more.
Network-attached storage (NAS) drives are simply external hard drives that connect to your computer over your home network. That means a single drive can be used to back up and share data with multiple PCs on the network simultaneously.
Network-attached storage drives are also great for small businesses looking to share data over a LAN in a workgroup setting many direct-attached and network-attached drives include backup software to help you locate the important files on your PC that you should be backing up.
You can also use these programs to schedule automatically recurring backup sessions so you won’t have to remember to run them on your own.
Sometimes you need to replace more than just individual files and folders for example if you lose your computers primary hard drive you’ll also need to replace your operating system, applications, and bookmarked favorites. That can take forever, make sure you look for features that enable the entire hard drive to be recovered, also known as bare-metal restore capability. Also keep in mind that drive makers often brand their own versions of this technology under their own trade names.
It’s very important for external drives, especially mobile drives, to employ password-protection and strong encryption to keep your data from getting into the wrong hands in case your drive is lost or stolen.
Online backup is another way to keep a backup copy of your data in safe location in case your home or office is struck by natural disaster. But keep in mind that backing up and restoring your data from an online service usually takes much longer than a direct- or network-attached drive. Unlike drives connected over a USB or Ethernet interface, online backup transfer speeds are limited by the bandwidth of your internet service provider. For maximum data protection, it’s a good idea to use both.