PC Tip of the Month

Back Up Your Data Online

January 2015 – by Per Christensson

It's another new year and another good time to remind everybody to backup your data. If you haven't backed your data, please stop reading this monthly tip and go buy an external hard drive or flash drive and back up your data right now.

Now that you have backed up your data, I suggest backing it up again. Why? Because if you lose your original data and your backup, you are left with nothing. While it's uncommon to lose both your original data and backup at the same time, it's not as improbable as you think. For example, if you have an external hard drive and someone breaks into your house and steals both your computer and the backup drive, all your data is gone. If you haven't checked your backup for awhile and the data has become corrupted or the backup isn't working, you might not find out until it's too late.

I use Apple's Time Machine for my primary backup, which incrementally backs up my data every hour. My main backup is on my Time Capsule hard drive, but I also have several backup drives that I use for manual backups, some of which I store off-site. While this redundancy is helpful, many of these backups are months or years old, so I would not be able to restore any recent data from them. That's why I also use an online backup service for my auxiliary backup.

I have reviewed a few online backup services, including Carbonite and BackBlaze and have chosen to use BackBlaze because of it's fast upload speed. There are several other services available, such as CrashPlan, Mozy, and Drive, which I haven't tried, but may be worth looking into. My goal isn't to convince you which backup service to use, but simply to encourage you to back up your data off-site. It's the best way to protect your data against a worst-case data loss scenario.

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