Free Online Backup Storage Available to All
I have a lot of data on my local computer that I realize, if lost, would make my daily routine very difficult. Because of this, I have been looking into the various online backup storage services that are available.
My requirements for an remote backup service is straight forward;
I need a service that will allow me to store as much data as possible,
It has to be accessible from anywhere (I am on a lot of different computers),
I have to be in control of the backup data file created,
I have to have complete access to the program required to restore the data from the backup file created, and
Although cost is not a factor, the cheaper the better (controlling cost is always important).
One of the main disadvantages of using any type of remote backup storage services is the Internet connection. If the backup data files is large (say around 1 gigabyte), it will take some time to upload the file to any destination on the Internet. That is just the nature of the physical connection from the computer to the Internet service provider. The faster the better, but for me, this is more for home use. And the Internet connection will be for normal home Internet access (not to fast). Also, upload speeds are usually less than half the speed it takes to download a file from the Internet to my local computer.
Typically, once you get all of your data archived, that amount of data you will archive during any given day (or week) should be small. But that will depend on what you create and how creative you are. While on some days, you may only have 10MB to 50MB to archive, on other days, the amount of data you want to archive can easily jump to 1GB or more. Especially if you are taking high resolution photographs (or just a ton of regular size photographs), create videos, animations, music and other sound files, or any other type of data files you collect for your later use.
Remember, by knowing what your computer's upload speed is, you will know the maximum file size that you want to upload. After all, you do not want to start an upload, then go to bed, only to wake up in the morning to find that the upload is still in progress.
If you run a small business, or have a SOHO, then maybe you should consider using one of the services listed in, the List of Online Backup Storage Companies BBB Report. Just make sure you read the policy and user agreement documents associated with the business you choose, so that you know what you are getting into.
Now, allow me to point out some simple backup facilities you already have available on the Windows PC.
If you are running Windows XP (or higher), go to the control panel. There, you will find an icon for the “Backup and Restore Center”. The Backup and Restore Center gives you the ability to backup specific groups of files on your local hard-drive. You must be logged in as administrator, or provide administrator credentials to continue with the backup. You do not have the option of selecting which files you want to backup. But instead, you can select the file types that you want to backup. For example, you can create a backup of all the pictures files (.bmp, .jpg, .png, etc) that are on your local hard drive. The Backup and Restore Center will not backup any System files, program files, nor temporary files.
If you want something with a little more control over the backup and restore process, consider giving Toucan a try.
Toucan is a Backup & Restore program that allows you to select individual files and folders that you want to backup. The program is free and comes with documentation explaining how to use it. Combine the Toucan program with any online service that gives you data space to store files, like the data area of Hotmail/MSN account, and you have a simple remote backup and storage method that cost you nothing. Just make sure you know how much data you can store in the online account, and remember to leave enough room for things like your email messages.
Now you can create backups of your data and store that data off site; making for a simple way to preserve your computer data.