Do You Have A Backup Plan?

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September 11, 2012

Chances are, over the years, you’ve experienced at least one major loss involving one of your computers. If you haven’t, you should be thankful, but mindful that everyone’s luck runs out sometime. What’s your backup plan if you do find yourself with this dreadful dilemma? Do you have one? If not, we’ll make it easy for you – your backup plan is to backup to prevent it from happening in the first place.

As a freelance writer my computer is my lifeline, without it I can’t work. Once, when my computer was fried, my mom asked me why I was so upset, she really just didn’t understand. Which is funny because I don’t understand how she doesn’t understand? But it’s the same thing as the average person needing a vehicle to get them to work. Makes sense, right?

Over the years I’ve had many desktop computers and Lenovo laptops. In that time I’ve suffered three catastrophic losses. From spilling soda on my keyboard which damaged far more than just the keyboard, to a virus killing wiping out the computer to the hard drive completely dying. In each instance I lost everything from work assignments to family photos. It’s never fun and may sound dramatic but losing all your files and documents really can wreak havoc on your business.

Below are some options to consider when creating your doomsday scenario – backup plan. Surely you don’t think it will happen to you, no one ever does until it IS happening to them.

Computer Backup Options

External Drive Backup

External hard drives are relatively inexpensive and easy to set up. I use this method with my desktop which runs off my USB port. Honestly, I tend to use my laptop far more than my desktop these days simply due to convenience. But I can easily use the same external drive on my laptop as well.

Along with an external drive, I also have several thumb drives (known also as flash drives) and I store important files on them but most importantly I can access the files on my laptop, netbook or desktop. With a flash drive, for me anyway, my biggest concern is not losing or misplacing it!

Online Computer Backup Options

As mentioned above, I tend to use my laptop more frequently than my other computers so I use an online backup service. While there is many sites to consider, two of the most popular are were Carbonite and Mozy. After some research, I went with Mozy for $5.99 for 50 GB. But below are a few things I considered when making my decision.

Storage and Price – Both Mozy and Carbonite have a free trial period. How much storage is needed, will dictate the price.

Security and Accessibility – Ease of access and encryption are two important options.

How many computers – Does the backup service cover more than one computer? This is a big consideration if you are like me and have a few computers.

Customer Service – Ease of use during and after set up.

Consumers Report has a helpful article titled, “Computer backup systems,” which is also filled with helpful information about picking the right backup system for you.

Now, remember, for backups to be successful, you have to remember to back up your information.

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