Whats’s a Backup?

Data Backup is a copy or archive of the important information on a device which can be used to restore the original information in the event of a data loss.

Data losses can occur in many forms, from hard drive failures to ransomware attacks and even human error or physical theft. No matter the misfortune, a data backup could be the respite you’re looking for to restore the data stored on your devices. It’s typically stored in a secure, separate location from an original device, such as a cloud.

DATA BACKUP SOLUTION

In choosing a data backup solution, individuals can take cues from how businesses develop their own data backup strategies and do this by considering the recovery point objectives (RPO) and recovery time objectives (RTO):

  • RPO is the amount of time between your data backups, whether that’s 24 hours or a month, and understanding that this is the span of time in which you’ll lose your data in the event of an incident. The shorter your RPO, the less data you lose and vice versa.
  • RTO is the time it takes to restore your data. Generally, the faster or more streamlined your storage solution, the faster your recovery time will be.

At the end of the day, the best data backup solution is one that suits your needs — and that’s different for everyone. For this reason, you also might want to consider:

  • Ease of set up
  • Cost
  • Storage space
  • The security of your data
  • How quickly your data can be backed up
  • Ease of access to your data backup

This article will list a plenty of options that are available for people looking to backup up their data, all with their own pros and cons. 

USB STICK

These are small portable devices mostly used to transfer files from device to device. USB sticks are everywhere, and their portability means that they’re easy to store and safely. Their size is an indication of their storage capacity, with some supporting as little as 128MB but others capable of storing up to 256 GB.

PROSCONS
Extremely PortableSmall in size
Very CheapEasy to lose
Easy transfer of dataQuestions over read/write
cycle longevity

EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE

External hard drives are portable, easy to use, and can provide a large amount of storage whenever you need it. You can store the actual device any place you like, and carry a large number of files with you wherever you go.

PROSCONS
Relatively CheapPotential power surge issues
Plenty of storageAttraction to malware

NETWORK ATTACHED STORAGE

Businesses tend to backup their files to network attached storage, but with more and more homes having multiple computers, the idea has a certain appeal, especially for those looking to save files from more than one source. With prices coming down, a dedicated wireless storage solution is a convenient option which requires less thought.

PROSCONS
Automatic backups mean you don’t risk forgettingCan be expensive
Wireless solutions also work with phones and tabletsCan be awkward to set up and maintain

CLOUD STORAGE

While network attached storage is essentially your own Cloud Server, there are plenty of third party cloud storage options around: free, paid, or free with paid extras. iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive are big names, but others are available.

PROSCONS
Can be done automaticallyRequires an internet connection to work
A certain amount of space is usually freeYou can’t account for their security breaches
Device agnosticCompanies aren’t obliged to keep these services
around forever

PRINTING

At a first glance, this might sound a facetious inclusion. But while considerably less technically advanced, printing offers you a hard copy of your most important documents that will survive power outages, and are easy to store and access even if your computer is out of action for a few days. Of course it’s hard to keep documents up to date this way, and it won’t work for video or audio files, but for that novel you’d be devastated to lose, it’s certainly worth considering.

PROSCONS
A backup that won’t be affected by hardware
outages or tech headaches
Impossible for certain file types
Impossible for hackers to accessLess practical for longer documents
Awkward to manage
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