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Data Backup Options to Protect Your Data

Updated on August 28, 2014

The PC is an extension of who we are these days and we have lots and lots of data residing on it. We depend on the PC to do our reports, come up with business plans, to generate presentations, and so much more. Obviously, we put in a lot of effort in doing all of the above. But, what if our PC crashes and we lose all of the data residing on it. We never think of that scenario, and in the normal course of things, we carry on with a day-to-day plan without preparing for a situation where all your hard work could go down the drain. This apparent oversight could cost you dear.

Imagine having to do your reports and presentations all over again. How stressful could that be? I know from personal experience that it's pure hell to go through, especially if it wasn't just a couple of files but a whole set of reports and documents that you'd relied on, that would have been lost. Because PC's can go bust and your data can be lost, it is prudent to keep a backup of your files. There are many ways of backing up data. Here are some of the ways to backup your data and save on the mental agony of having to deal with data loss.

Data Backup Options To Consider

Backing up data to CDs or DVDs used to be the common practice before, but they are no longer considered an ideal medium to backup your data. They degrade over time quicker and can take up a lot of physical space to store in the long run, as you'd have to use multiple CDs/DVDs to backup your data over time; the storage capacity not being that great.

One of the easiest ways to backup your data is to transfer the files onto a USB flash drive. It is fast and you can carry around your files conveniently, the size factor being a huge positive in this case (they can fit in your pocket easily). The moment you have saved a file, all it takes is a few seconds to transfer it onto the flash drive. While this is an easy option, generally you'd be faced with data storage issues, especially if you want to backup your whole PC data.

If you have a large amount of data on your PC that you need backed up, then you'd need much more data storage capacity. Flash drives should do the job for most of your needs, but ideally you'd want to backup using another storage medium - just to be on the safe side. Flash drives can be misplaced and lost accidentally too, so it would be a good idea to store your files on another medium as well. Having a couple of backups is in fact the way to go.

One of the storage mediums I use is an external hard disk, and I think this is the best option of all. They are wonderful in that they allow you to store large amounts of data (1 TB or 1000 GBs). You wouldn't need more storage capacity than this. In fact, you can practically backup your whole PC data onto an external hard disk. It allows you to sleep peacefully, knowing full well that you can recover all of your data in case your PC were to crash. They are also available in much smaller sizes now, so they don’t take too much space to store too and are very portable.

There are also online backup options called cloud-based backup services. Online backup does ensure that your data is safe in case of natural disasters, wherein your external hard disks and other hardware could potentially be destroyed. Online backup services also are convenient in terms of having features of automatically backing up data.

On the down side, the initial backup of data can be tedious if the amount of data you want to backup is huge and if the net speeds you have access to isn't up to scratch. There may of course be costs involved in case of paid services. Another concern is privacy, in that you are passing your data to a third party and you can never really be sure how secure your data is going to be from prying eyes, irrespective of claims of security that the service providers would invariably attest to.

However, one of the big pluses of cloud backup is the convenience of being able to access your information from anywhere and not being required to physically carry your data with you on a pen drive or hard drive.

In conclusion, backing up data on a portable external hard disk is perhaps the best method of backing up your data and keeping it protected. However, it is best to to backup your most important data on multiple mediums, including pen drives, cloud based services - just so that you can go to one of them and recover in case the others fail you.

© 2009 Shil1978


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