The Importance of Backup

While backup used to be a thing that only datacenters and business environments needed, the concept has become a popular topic in the household. In today’s environment, most jobs, school, and hobbies require that a person use a computer for research, conducting business, or overall saving photos of family events. In any case, it is important that an end user is familiar with the proper techniques of backup and the shortcomings of each solution.

Portable, External Backup devices

The most essential and cost-effective solution for a backup on your machine is a portable, external backup device. This type of device allows an end user to plug an external hard drive via USB into their machine and to copy documents, images, music, and videos onto the device. Furthermore, if set up properly, a user can take a full system image backup, and can return their system to a previous point in time in the event their machine suffers damage from hardware failure, virus, or operating system corruption.

flash drive portable

Cloud Based Backup

While the traditional, external backup drive is simple to use and cost effective, cloud-based backup has become a popular alternative to the previous solution. This form of backup typically requires you pay for a monthly service (or billed annually) and provides complete 365 backup coverage. This service requires that you run a program on your machine that will act as the medium as it uploads your data to a secure server and verifies that all data uploaded has synced.

Which backup is right for me?

While any back up is better than no backup, everyone has their own individual needs and it helps to identify which backup may be best for you. A portable, external backup drive allows you the convenience of watching your backup complete in front of you and the safety that the data is now in your hands. This form of backup has an upfront one-time fee (purchase of the device), and the end user is ready to start backing up. Some common misconceptions about this type of backup is that the device is safe and will not fail. The simple fact is, portable devices are exposed to the same risks as a regular hard drive. Vertical shock (dropping the drive), viruses, mechanical failure, and corruption are all common issues with hard drives, and as such, an external backup drive will be exposed to the same issues. This shouldn’t deter you from using an external backup, it should however bring a sense of caution to thinking these devices are invincible.

Memory Backups

On the other hand, a cloud based online backup provides full redundancy and doesn’t need to be periodically updated (such as a portable device). This style of backup does come with an added cost (typically subscription based) and will continually bill you for the duration of use. One benefit of going the route of a cloud-based backup is in the event of damage to the location where the portable, external device is held, these damages will not happen if the storage is being housed in a data center thousands of miles away.

Regardless of which route you choose, ask the professionals at RSM Computers on which option would better fit you and allow us to show you how to completely back up your machine.

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