Importance of back ups

 

I spend a lot of my time removing computer viruses and replacing defective hard drives.  Of course, these two repairs are entirely different, but they sometimes do have a similar impact:  data loss.

Data loss is, unfortunately, a reality in the digital age we all enjoy today.  Most people don’t realize that the traditional hard drives in their computers usually only last five to seven years before mechanical failure occurs.  Five to seven years seems like a long time, however, a lot of hard drives fail prematurely (this is especially true in laptops, at least in my experience). Viruses can be removed without loss of data, but sometimes data loss does occur.

No matter the cause of data loss, the effects are devastating for customers.  Years of pictures, videos, music, and documents are lost.  There are some instances where files can be recovered, but the price is astonishingly high and not affordable for most people.

Data loss can occur at any time and that is why it is important to always have your files backed up somewhere.  There are several ways to back up your data, and I will briefly discuss a few of them here.

1.  Burn files to DVD/Blu-ray
2.  Copy important files to external hard drive
3.  Copy important files to thumb drive
4.  Online backup service

1.  Burn files to DVD/Blu-ray

Burning files to DVD/Blu-ray is very simple to do but I don’t recommend it for a couple of reasons.  First, it is very easy for the discs to get lost or damaged.  Second, its not possible to maintain a continuous backup of new files – everything is done manually.  You could potentially have dozens and dozens of discs laying around your home or office.  No thanks!

2.  Copy important files to external hard drive

There are many programs to choose from, both Mac and PC, that can automatically copy your files to an external hard drive.  External hard drives come in a variety of capacities, which is always a good thing!  However, people often forget that these hard drives will fail too.  While it would almost be unheard of for your computer’s hard drive and your external hard drive to fail simultaneously, it could happen (power surge, flood, etc).  Most people don’t use programs to automate their backup to an external hard dive.  Instead, I find that a lot of people simply move their important pictures and files to an external hard drive for safekeeping.  This method is fine until the external hard drive fails and you’ve lost your files.

3.  Copy important files to thumb drive

There are three major drawbacks for backing files up to a thumb drive.  First, thumb drives can be expensive.  Second, thumb drives have a limited capacity.  Finally, thumb drives can easily be lost or overwritten.  This obviously isn’t an acceptable approach for backing up your files.

4.  Online backup service

My recommendation for people wanting to back their files up is an online backup service.  There are many choices available – but I am going to discuss the service that I use and enjoy.

I recommend Backblaze online backup service for a variety of reasons:

  • Data redundancyBackblaze stores multiple copies of my files in case of drive failure.
  • ConviencenceBackblaze runs quietly in the background of my computer and continously backs up my files.
  • Everything – I don’t have to pick and choose what to back up – Backblaze backs up just about everything on my computer.  It also backs up files on my external hard drives.
  • Unlimited – With Backblaze, I don’t have to worry about running out of space.  There are no limits!
  • AffordableBackblaze is only $5.00 a month and I no longer have to worry about data loss!

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