There’s no doubt that backup is important. Without backups, your business is in constant danger. In the ’80s floppy disks ruled as backup medium. CDs became the backup choice in the ’90s. As we entered the new century, DVD discs came into use, and soon after the external hard drive increasingly became the preferred backup method. Now backup into the cloud – any backup service on the internet – is heavily touted.
Because data storage is burgeoning, CDs and DVDs are poor choices for backup since their capacity is limited and burning to an optical disc is slow. That leaves us with external hard drives and internet backup services.
At Bergen IT, we believe that businesses are best serviced by a “belt and suspenders” methodology: use both an external hard drive and backup into the cloud to protect data. If the external hard drive fails or burns to the ground with the computer it’s attached to, then the data in the cloud is still available. Conversely, if the data storage company mismanages your data (losing it or it corrupts) or if that company goes out of business, your data also resides on the external hard drive.
Choosing an External Hard Drive
If you are a single practitioner with only one computer to backup, you need an external hard drive of at least 500 GB with an USB connection to your computer. Getting one with a backup program included is a good idea. But you can also get a free backup program such as SyncBack (http://www.2brightsparks.com/freeware/index.html).
For two or more computers, a Network Attached Storage (NAS) hard drive is a great option. It connects to your network and usually includes backup software. Buffalo, Netgear, and Qnap all offer different levels of NAS devices. At Bergen IT, we prefer models that have two or more hard drives in RAID configuration; if one drive fails, the other still contains your full backup.
Selecting an Internet Based Backup Service
Keep in mind that backing up to and restoring from the cloud is much slower than accessing a local hard drive. At it’s best, the fastest broadband service is 5 to 50 times slower than a local network connection. The first time a backup is made could take a few days or over a week, depending on the amount of data. This is one reason backup services should not be your primary backup medium. In addition, these services work only as long as you have an internet connection, which can fail in a storm or if a backhoe accidentally hits a fiber optic cable.
For the individual, Carbonite (www.carbonite.com) and Mozy (www.mozy.com) work well. For businesses with multiple computers, we find that MozyPro (www.mozypro.com) and SOS Backup Online (www.sosbackuponline.com) have excellent management for multiple computers. However, SOS Backup Online has an easier to understand interface and the best restore options that we’ve seen.
Need help selecting the best backup options for your business? You know who to call….
Call us for an appointment at 201-689-1823 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.