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Simple Backup Strategies for 2015

Ensuring you have a solid backup strategy for your personal files and business documents is absolutely critical in our modern computing world.

Our computers hold our digital lives, whether that be your family photo library, your email correspondence, your tax files, or your business’s company books. All of this data resides on your hard drive, and beyond a doubt, that hard drive is the weakest link in your digital life.

To safeguard this data from loss (which could be emotionally devastating or financially ruinous), you need to backup your data.

The general rule of thumb is to follow the 3-2-1 principle.

You should have:

  • 3 copies of your data (or more)
  • 2 copies on different media
  • 1 copy off-site

With this strategy, you have introduced redundancy into your backup routine. Three copies allows you to restore your files from a wider range of choices. Two different media allows for failure of at least one of those media (think external hard drive, a network drive, flash drives, or cloud drives). One copy off-site allows you recover from a major catastrophe such as fire, flood, and theft.

 

Backup Concepts

There are three primary concepts that we need to establish before we can continue.

  1. File Backups
  2. Image Backups
  3. Cloud Services

File Backups are backups that are strictly focused on backing up your files. These types of backups do NOT backup programs, program files and settings, or your operating system. With a file backup, you can restore copies of your files but you cannot restore your system to operational condition. Typically, file backups are fast to perform and require the least amount of backup space.

Image Backups are backups that take snapshots of your entire computer including files, programs, program files and settings, and your operating system. They are the preferred choice for returning your system to an earlier, operational state (prior to hard drive failure or virus infection). Image backups take longer to perform and require the most amount of backup space (but with sophisticated backup programs that support incremental backups this can be minimized).

Cloud Services like Google Drive, OneDrive, DropBox, or iCloud Drive are cloud-based file synchronization services and are just another way for you to store data.  Data stored in special folders are synchronized with your online account.  Cloud services are not immune from data loss or disasters, so they should be considered as just another destination / media for your backups.

 

Backup Options with Examples

We’ve written about backup solutions in the past: Top 4 Methods To Backup Your Data and Free Backup for Those on a Budget, so I won’t try to cover ground that has already been covered.

Instead, I thought I’d give direct, easily digested solutions that SHOULD cover 90% of most home and small business setups.

 

Scenario: Windows Computer

Computer: Windows PC
3-2-1: Files stored on internal hard drive + external hard drive + offsite backup service.
How?: Use Macrium Reflect to create incremental images of your system to an external hard drive. Use BackBlaze or Data Deposit Box for offsite backups.
Additional: You can still use DropBox or other Cloud services to give additional recovery options, should disaster occur; with this approach you can backup your files stored in your cloud service as well.

 

Scenario: Mac Computer

Computer: Apple Mac
3-2-1: Files stored on internal hard drive + external hard drive + offsite backup service.
How?: Use Apple Time Machine to create incremental images of your system to an external hard drive. Use BackBlaze or Data Deposit Box for offsite backups.
Additional: You can still use DropBox or other Cloud services to give an additional recovery options, should disaster occur, and with this approach you can backup your files stored in your cloud service as well.

 

Scenario: NAS Computer

Computer: Network Attached Storage (NAS) (QNAP or Synology or … )
3-2-1: NAS (with RAID array) + external hard drive + offsite backup service.
How?: Use the NAS’s built in backup utility to backup the NAS to an external hard drive.  Use Elephant Drive or iDrive or a second NAS located in another location to replicate your files offsite.
Additional: Many NAS units support backing up to a shared folder on your network so you could have your NAS backup to a large internal drive on your computer and then perform an offsite backup with services such as BackBlaze or Data Deposit Box.

 

Senior’s Maintenance Package

Senior’s Maintenance Package

Introducing our Senior’s Maintenance Package.

This exciting 15 point maintenance package, exclusive to Sunshine Coast Seniors, ensures your computer is running properly and you have Peace of Mind.

Save 30% on professional computer maintenance and know that your system is secure and your files are protected.

A $215 value, yours for only $150 / computer / year.


The package includes:

  1. Malware SweepComputer Security
  2. Antivirus Check
  3. Java Update
  4. Flash Update
  5. Windows Update Check
  6. Disk Check
  7. Backup Check
  8. Cleanup Temporary Files
  9. Start-up Optimization
  10. Browser Security Check
  11. System Security Check
  12. WiFi Security Check
  13. Free Professional Antivirus Package
  14. Free Virus Outbreak Monitoring
  15. Free Remote License

Call us for more details and to lock in your savings: 604 885 2410