Thursday, May 21, 2009

What Do You Hate About Backing Up Your Data?

Backup is one of those things that we rarely think about until it is far too late. It’s usually a task that’s somewhere buried on your to-do list. It may even be a high priority task on your list, but somehow weeks and months pass and still, no backup. Could it be because too much pain is associated with the process? Or maybe it’s just being a bit lazy? Or more likely, we are all too busy and just don’t make the time.

Here, we take a look at some of the painful aspects of backing up our PCs and laptops and how we can easily overcome that pain to make sure we don’t end up losing our valuable data.


The first issue is determining how you will back up your data. Online? Off site? Off line? All of the above? And within each of those options are again many other options! First, here’s the bad news; you really should be doing all of the above. Three times the work you say! Not quite. Fortunately, with a little initial investment in time and money, you can setup these solutions relatively painlessly with the result being safe, secure data.

You can back up off site two ways: 1) Use a web-based service provider or 2) use a portable backup drive and physically move it off site. We recommend option 1, because it will save more of your time; however, if you prefer more control of your data and don’t mind the extra time involved, option 2 works just fine.

Since external drives are inexpensive, it’s also a good idea to maintain an on-site backup, giving you the advantage of speedy recovery when data is lost. While you can back up to a USB or FireWire hard drive attached to one of your PCs, a much more convenient solution is a network storage device, often referred to as Network Attached Storage (NAS).

A NAS, like Western Digital’s My Book World Edition, connects directly to your home network and allows for easy backup of any computer connected to the network.

Now that you have your backup method ready to go, how to remember to back up? You have two options: 1) Setup an annoying reminder to tell you to back up every few hours or 2) automate it and forget it. You can guess that we prefer option 2.

Most on-line services will have this feature available, but you have to be connected to the Internet for it to work, and it can be slow. That is why we like the NAS solution so much. Devices like WD’s My Book World Edition backs up your systems as soon as you connect to your home network, even if you have no Internet access. With this particular product, you don’t have to remember anything – it backs up automatically every time you save a file.
What Do You Hate About Backing Up Your Data?

Now that you have automated the procedure, time no longer becomes an issue. That said, it’s a good idea to periodically check your back ups to make sure your data is indeed being backed up.

What do you hate about the process of backing up your data? How did you solve your problem?

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