Backup Advice

Like most people that work with computers and the Internet regularly I am often asked for advice on computers. I try to help people when I can, but there is only so much you can do without physically going over to the persons house and fixing the problem for them. Many of the problems people will ask me about are often malware related but occasionally I do get asked about what I would recommend to backup their computer.

I often go on and on about what people can do to backup their computer. I am always amazed at how trusting people are that their hard drives will not fail. I guess I have seen enough hard drive failures to know that sooner or later the drives will fail. I have a collection of dead hard drives that I keep wanting to make hard drive clocks out of or some other crafty item. Being a Dad and taking tons of photos of my family and kids I have tons of photos that I never want to lose. With that in mind I here is what I tell most people that ask about backing up their computers.

  1. Get another hard drive – People think one hard drive is enough. I don’t understand that. If you want to backup your data the fastest and easiest way is to get a second drive and copy the files you want to backup to it. Either install a second hard drive in your computer, use a hard drive in another computer, get an external hard drive. I don’t care which you choose, just get another drive and copy your files over. Two copies of your important files are better than just one.
  2. Use an online backup service – I am amazed at the number of people that have never heard of online backup. It is one of the best things about having a broadband Internet connection. People often say they don’t trust it and don’t like the idea of their files being out on the Internet. These are often the same people that will post ridiculous amounts of personal information to their Facebook profiles. Their personal information is safer using online backup than it is on Facebook, but I digress.

     
    Personally I have Mozy Home installed on the family computer that runs Windows to backup all of the family photos and other personal documents. When I was investigating online backup services I checked out several and almost went with IDrive, but in the end Mozy won because of a 10% promotional code that I found to save me some money on my subscription. If you are looking for a discount on Mozy I usually post the latest Mozy promotional code on my company blog.

I have been pleased with the backup system I use. Keeping a local copy of our photos and files on an extra hard drive makes it easy to restore when one of the drives die and Mozy has worked well to back everything up. If you don’t like Mozy try another online backup service. Don’t want to buy another hard drive to install then buy an external hard drive. If you don’t like my advice that is your choice but you really should backup your files before it is to late.

I regularly look through our photos and the small price I pay to back them up is worth every cent. I can’t replace the photos of my kids and knowing that there is another copy securely encrypted and stored makes me feel good. I won’t bore you with anymore talk of backing up here anymore, but I will not promise that I will not talk about the other advice I give to people to fix their computers.

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