Pardon us as we lose our minds for just one moment and go on a bit of a rant…
Are the pictures of your gorgeous granchildren not important? Is that Quickbooks file that contains all of your business’ financial information not critical to running your company? Is that book you’ve been writing for the better part of a decade not a labor of love worth saving? If none of this (and so much more) isn’t important to you in any way, you can stop reading now. However if this data is even remotely important to you then we must ask:
For the love of all that is good and holy, why are you not backing up your precious data? Why are you just assuming that your desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile phone will always work perfectly and will store your information until the end of days? Unless your devices are some type of super-secret, known-only-to-you gadgets that never fail, never get dropped or run over and never have an unrecoverable hard drive failure, you need to continue reading and start formulating a strategy for backing up your data.
Online (a.k.a. In The Cloud) Personal Backup Options. There are many options out there and this list is not meant to be all-inclusive. It is just a starting point for you to start evaluating the various services and find one that works for you. For personal use, we tend to recommend Google Drive. It’s simple, automatic and has save our Marketing Chick’s butt more than once.
Google Drive: Drive starts you with 15 GB of free Google storage, so you can keep pictures, stories, designs, drawings, recordings, videos – anything. Your files in Drive can be reached from any smartphone, tablet, or computer. So wherever you go, your files follow. If you run out of free storage or have more than 15 GB of data to upload, you can buy a storage plan. Once you’ve purchased a storage plan, you can change it to add even more storage or cancel it to return back to the 15 GB of free storage. The big beauty of Google Drive: You probably already have a GMail account which means that your Google Drive is already setup and ready to go. Check out Google’s help page for more information and pricing for Drive. As long as you’re connected to the internet, your files and pictures are backed up automatically and accessible from any device.
Microsoft OneDrive: OneDrive is free online storage that comes with your Microsoft account. It’s like an extra hard drive that’s available from any of the devices you use. You no longer need to email files to yourself or carry around (and possibly lose) a USB flash drive. Instead, whether you’re on your laptop and working on a presentation, viewing photos from your last family vacation on your new tablet, or on your phone reviewing your shopping list, you can get to your files in OneDrive. Getting started with OneDrive is easy. You can add files already on your PC to OneDrive by either copying them over or moving them from your PC. When you save new files, you can choose to save them to OneDrive so you can get to them from any device and share them with other people. And, if your PC has a built-in camera, you can automatically save copies of the photos in your camera roll to OneDrive, so you’ll always have a backup. Click here to get more information about OneDrive.
Box.com: Use Box to store, manage and share your files securely in the cloud. Access your content anywhere you might need it: web, tablet or phone. Plus, you can share large files with a simple link and work on projects with your friends, family or colleagues from anywhere. Click here to get more information and pricing for Box.com. As long as you’re connected to the internet, your files and pictures are backed up automatically and accessible from any device.
Carbonite: Carbonite Personal offers unlimited cloud storage as part of your subscription. You can back up all your files without worrying about running out of space. Encrypted copies of your files are transmitted to one of our state-of-the-art data centers, safe from computer glitches, hurricanes and everything in between. Your files are backed up automatically and continually, as long as you’re connected to the Internet. Click here to get more information and pricing.
MozyHome: Mozy’s “set it and forget it” system manages your backups so you don’t have to. Upon setup, Mozy begins automatically backing up your files, and continues to do so on a regular basis. You can even customize your automatic backup schedule to meet your needs. Twice a week, every day, multiple times a day—the choice is yours. Under the protection of military-grade security, your files are safe and sound in the Mozy cloud. Click here to get more information and pricing for Mozy’s personal cloud backup solution.
Offline Backup Options: External hard drives are the way to go.
According to PC Magazine: “External hard drives promise almost unlimited storage: For under $100, you can add a terabyte of data to your PC or Mac, laptop or desktop. That’s enough for over 750,000 MP3s or photos, or over 230 DVD-sized movies. Every computer out there, from mega-huge towers to budget-priced Windows tablets, can connect to at least one hard drive. If you’re lucky enough to have multiple input/output ports, you can hook up many more. Auxiliary storage allows you to back up your system files, in case your primary system goes kaput. Read about the various options out there for desktops, laptops and Macs in their February 2014 article.
Backup Options For Business
While most of the personal options (cloud and external hard drives) also have business applications, we’re actually going to recommend that you talk to your IT person about backup solutions for your business. If you don’t have an IT person – or you’re one of our incredibly bright business clients – give us a call at 508-947-1966. We are more than happy to talk to you about the various options you have – from cloud to hard drive to outsourcing your backups to us or someone else.
Go do your homework. Give us a call. Make a decision and implement your decision. Do it today before your critical data and adorable pictures are gone forever.