Four Ways to Back Up Your Data

Apple Bytes: Four Ways to Back Up Your Data


You know the old adage: it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Computers crash out of the blue sometimes, and they can suffer many other kinds of catastrophes that cause the loss of data. Even a small coffee spill on the keyboard can mean trouble. There is obviously never a good time for that to happen, and that’s why it’s vital to back up your data on a regular basis, no matter how new, fancy, or costly your computer is.

Many laptops now use the latest technology, SSD (solid state drives). They’re faster and cheaper and are rapidly replacing standard HDD (hard disk drives). SSDs are more resilient to damaging drops and falls, but when they need fixing, they’re much harder to deal with than hard drives. With an HDD, data that seems lost can often be retrieved, but this isn’t true for SSDs because of the way they store data. You simply can’t retrieve lost data from an SSD. Scary thought, isn’t it?

Even if your laptop or desktop still uses an HDD, losing data for any reason is inconvenient at best and can result in costly and time-consuming attempts to recover the lost data. Backing up your Mac (or any computer) is the only way make data recovery as painless as possible.

There are four basic types of backup: online, local, live, and archival. It’s a good idea to use at least two if not all four of these methods. Let’s look at each of them in turn.

An online backup, just like it sounds, utilizes storage on a server in a distant location to back up your data. This type of backup is relatively cheap, but the first-time backup can be pretty slow. It can also take a while to restore data when you need to. But online backup is easy to use and protects your data from local disasters such as floods and fires.

A local backup refers to a physical external hard drive that typically resides right next to your computer. If you can also boot from your external backup, you can actually be back up and running literally within minutes of a hard drive failure. This can be particularly important for businesses that can’t afford to be offline for any amount of time. A daily backup is a must.

You can also have an off-site external backup, which can be a nuisance in terms of carrying the drive back and forth to the computer, but this is the only way to have a local backup that won’t be destroyed in a natural disaster that affects your computer. And if your computer gets stolen, a bootable off-site backup will be the best and easiest option for you to recover as quickly as possible. It’s a good idea to back up an off-site drive at least once a week. Businesses for whom data is crucial should make this a daily practice.

Live backup refers to files that are backed up as soon as they’re saved. Dropbox is an example of this kind of backup, but there are others. Of course, this option isn’t very practical for a complete drive backup, but it’s a great option for important documents and photos.

The fourth type of backup is an archival backup. This type of backup isn’t so much about recovering after a disaster as it is about being able to retrieve old versions of documents, for example, or a file that is accidentally deleted. Mac’s built-in Time Machine serves this purpose, but there are other options. You can also archive to an external hard drive.

Backing up data is crucial these days, as so much of our lives and businesses reside and are dependent on our computers. Whichever way you decide to go, pick two (or more) methods of backing up your data and save yourself a lot of time, stress, and money when the inevitable happens.

Dr. Networking is expert at setting up backup systems. Our number one focus is to make sure your data is protected and secure, and after that, we want to ensure that your data can be easily recovered in the event of a disaster. Call us for a consultation to determine which options are best for your needs, then schedule an appointment for us to come out and get your backup systems in place. We’ve been around long enough to know you’ll be glad you’re protected with backups, should the worst happen.

Call Dr. Networking at 541.488.8765 to schedule a consultation or appointment.
~ Jessica Vineyard