There is nothing worse than the feeling of your system failing and the thought that you may have lost all your information. Having a Data Backup plan would save a lot of time and head ache. Unfortunately, we see this all too often, at least a few times a month. Most people don’t realize how important data backups are, until it’s too late. There are several options when it comes to keeping your data backed up:
- USB Thumb Drive
- External Hard Drive
- Mirrored Drive (Raid Array)
- Offsite Storage (Cloud based Backup) Data Backup Solutions
No matter which option you choose to back up your data, the main goal here is to have your data in two separate locations, the chances of both failing at the same time is slim to none.
A USB Thumb drive is a great option for saving small amounts of data that you need to keep with you on the go. USB Thumb Drives (Flash Drives) do have their disadvantages thou. There small size can make them easy to misplace, they are also susceptible to failure due to the limited read and write cycles before the drive fails. Another downside is if you happen to plug the USB Thumb drive (flash drive) into a faulty USB port and could possibly surge and kill the drive.
External hard drives are a good option they can provide more space than your traditional USB Thumb drives. You can simply copy and paste your data from your system onto the external drive or in some cases the external drives themselves contain their own backup software that will allow you to schedule the times you want your information backed up.
A Raid Array is a big step up from the USB Thumb drive and external drives. A Mirrored drive or Raid array consist of 2 or more hard drives that act as 1. So your files are instantly saved to multiple locations. If 1 drive was to fails, it’s not a big deal, your data is still on the other drive.
Offsite Storage or “cloud based backup” is where your files are automatically backed up to another location. Don’t let the term “cloud” make you think of all this fancy technology and magic. It’s nothing more than storage on a server at another location other than your physical computer. Offsite storage benefits outweigh the benefits of USB Thumb drives and external drives. Most offsite storage solutions are always backing up your information 24/7. This is pretty much a set and forget it solution. Once its setup, your data starts backing up. In a situation like a fire if your physical device is destroyed and you have an offsite storage solution you can salvage your data.