We are going to go through the “Why, Where and How” of Backups.
Why we backup is as simple at the reason we don’t we put all our eggs in one basket? If we trip and fall, we might break all our eggs.
Tripping and falling with our laptop could destroy all of our pictures, documents and other valuable digital media.
Laptops, Desktops and Phones may not be as fragile as eggs, but they are still susceptible to damage from liquid spills, drops, electrical surges, flood, fire and even age. The average life expectancy of a harddrive is 3-5 years.
In addition to physical damage to a drive, there is loss and theft of our devices.
Where should you save your “eggs”? Your data (photos, documents, media…) should exist in 3 locations:
- The device itself whether your computer or phone.
- Local refers to some physical device right there at your desk. This can be a simple in expensive thumb drives to an external harddrive to a local NAS (Network Attached Storage Device). Your choice of devices will depend on a bunch of factors such as price, size and business or pleasure.
- A flash drive also known as a thumb drive because of its size and shape is certainly the cheapest. It is great for simple short term storage or transferring a file. It is, however, NOT meant for long term backup.
- An external harddrive is a small device about the size of a man’s wallet. It is great for most home and business users. The drawback is that it isn’t able to be accessed by multiple users or used as a share.
- A NAS is great for businesses and families to have multiple users backing up at once and sharing files.
- Each of these local, physical choices have the ability to have a backup of your data apart from the original location, BUT they still be damaged by drops, theft, fire, and floods.
3. This brings us to “The Cloud”. There is a lot of controversy and fear among those who don’t understand what the cloud is. Put simply, it is somebody else’s computer or a data center. The cloud allows your data to be stored offsite where things like theft, fire and flood of your home or business cannot damage it. Depending on the amount of storage you need, your budget and any compliance issues, there are many safe and affordable solutions.