So…how often should you really back up your computer? I did originally have a brilliant and very in-depth article written out to explain this, but unfortunately my computer crashed before I saved it!
…Only kidding, but imagine how annoying that would have been. I’m sure there are lots of you out there who have been in a similar situation and it is never fun.
Backing up your machine personally on an external storage device is a great place to start, to help ensure that you avoid losing data in the event of a computer failure. External storage devices have improved in data transfer speeds over recent years and are becoming more affordable with the introductions of technologies such as solid state drives. Encrypted drives can also help to make your information more secure than previous incarnations of USB drives did.
Backing up often and in small chunks is the key here, as you want to make sure that all your data is up to date and that you don’t have to spend long periods of time doing very large backups.
Doing a backup of your machine once a day is our recommendation here at SpiderGroup. If you are doing this manually, you may want to restrict this to specific important files to make it a manageable task each day, and then make the larger scale backups a weekly task.
If you'd rather take out the human error factor, there is also software available (much of it free) which will backup your data on a drive automatically after set periods of time. This even comes as an integrated feature with Windows 10.
On-site backups with physical media storage is not completely safe from harm though. Just like a laptop or a mobile phone, an external hard drive or a flash drive could be stolen, damaged or misplaced! This is why it is a good idea to keep backups of your data in multiple locations, like the Cloud for example!
Cloud storage holds your data on dedicated servers away from your home or place of work. These servers are designed to handle large amounts of data, and can be called upon any time, so long as you have an internet connection. Other advantages of Cloud backups are the ability to access data across multiple devices, improved security for your data with monitored servers, and automated backups - depending on the system you're using and what settings you deploy.
A Cloud server really does a lot of the work for you. Many even synch with your files automatically so you don’t have to take the time out of your busy schedule to make sure you have backed up your computer that day, week, or even month if you’re feeling brave!
If your business relies on you keeping your data secure, it's vital to have a disaster plan in place. According to DRaas, 93% of companies without a Disaster Recovery strategy are out of business within a year of a major disaster, whereas 96% of companies with a plan were able to survive.
At SpiderGroup, we have a partnership with iLand to provide robust, offsite backup for our clients. For clients who prefer cloud storage, we also use Azure to produce backup and disaster recovery solutions.