Back It Up!

by Jim Chesters

It’s one of the easiest things to “get around to later” because it’s never really that important until it’s too late. But taking the few minutes to make a backup of your files can save you days or weeks of work and even hundreds of dollars in recovery costs if and when something does go wrong.

If you don’t back up your data, you’re not alone. It’s common advice, but few people follow it. For a large or small organization however, losing your data can be damaging. Luckily there are several different easy ways to backup your data.

  • Online Backups. Backing up your data online is quick and easy and can usually be automated so once you set it up, you don’t need to worry about it. It also keeps your data offsite, so in the event something happens to your physical location, your data can still be safe.
    • Dropbox has really moved to the forefront as one of the most reliable and popular places for online file storage. Dropbox is great for sharing files and can be used to sync your computers for a regular online backup.
    • Crashplan is a service dedicated entirely to online backups and they give you all the options you need to decide what to backup and where to save it. Once setup, it can run in the background as well so you can forget all about backing up your data manually.
    • Google Drive is a easy option to jump right into. Free to get started and if you have a Google account you probably already have a Drive as well. Great for backing up documents, photos and files, but can’t be used for an entire system-wide backup.
    • Carbonite is one of the most popular paid online backup managers.They offer a wide range of features and options from small user with a single computer to large database backups.
  • Offline Backups.Backing up offline also has many advantages. It keeps your data physically close to home and can better guard against threats to online security.
    • Time Machine – If you’re a Mac user then Time Machine comes free with OSX and creates versioned backups of all your files once you set up it’s scheduling.
    • SyncBack is a handy tool for setting up a backup sync schedule to automatically back up your files on another drive. It comes with both a free and paid version.
    • Manual backups can be helpful too! Get an external hard drive and make a copy of your data on that.

Ideally the best course of action is a combination. A mix of online and offline storage and setting up regular backups is important. Focusing on important files that can’t be replaced is crucial if you’re pressed for time or backup space. And there is no one way to do this, so share solutions that have worked for you and your group in the comments!