We’ve all been there, right? We will never forget that horrible sinking feeling, the moment which sent your stomach down to the soles of your feet. The thought that caused you many nightmares when you were doing your final year thesis in college - data loss. All your hard work, gone - never to be recovered.
So, to help you learn from our mistakes and to prevent you from ever feeling that sense of loss and the accompanying grieving process, read on to discover the 5 best ways to back up your data.
Cloud-Based Storage Systems
Becoming ever more important in these work from home times, the ‘cloud’ part of cloud-based storage systems or services refers to the fact that you are storing your files, not on your computer's hard drive, but on your cloud service provider's servers. Saving your data in the cloud gives you the ability to access those files from any device and anywhere in the world through your internet connection.
Your data is normally encrypted before it departs from your computer and wings its way to the storage providers' servers (and also while stored there) ensuring your data security. The beauty of modern cloud services is that when you make changes to a document, the service does not send a complete document, only the changes you have made, meaning that they do not draw heavily on your bandwidth meaning you can view and update documents anywhere or while on the move.
If you are a business owner read here to see how digital storage solutions might change your business.
External Hard Drives
Ok, we don’t really need to give you a definition of these. They do exactly what they say on the tin. In essence, an external hard drive is a portable version of the disk drive on your computer. External hard drives have been around for years now but are still popular as people like to have copies of their data in a physical place, so they can see it, touch it.
There are several different types of external hard drives, each with strengths and weaknesses. Which one is best for you depends on what you need to use it for and how much data it needs to store. If portability is more important than capacity, for instance, a flash (or thumb) drive may suit you best while if capacity is paramount recently released external hard drives offer storage in excess of 20 Terrabytes of storage capacity.
Network Attached Storage (NAS)
Network Attached Storage (NAS) is a versatile, high-capacity storage device that, as the name suggests, connects to your computer via your home or office network. This feature means that the device remains within the security of your network but is available to multiple devices at once.
At home, Network Attached Storage allows you to store vast quantities of movies, music, etc that are then available to any device around the home. It is especially useful should you have any Tiktokers or budding Youtubers at home as it allows the storage of large volumes of video!!
In an office, the system allows the sharing of say, Microsoft Office files (Spreadsheets, Powerpoints, etc.) seamlessly with your colleagues. One of the main benefits of NAS is that it is scaleable so, as your business grows, you can add more hard drives when you need them and if you were to run a cost-benefit analysis, NAS would work out cheaper than commercial cloud storage providers over the long term.
Time Machine & Time Capsules
No, we are not watching reruns of Quantum Leap, Time Machine and Time Capsules are names that should be well known to any Apple users out there. Time Machine is the name given to the backup software that is included in more modern Apple devices (those running MacOS X Leopard or higher) while a Time Capsule (now known as the AirPort Time Capsule) is in effect, an external hard drive and residential gateway router made by Apple.
The obvious benefit of these two is that they offer the best features of both cloud storage and physical external hard drives but there is a downside, Apple ceased production of Time Capsules in 2018. They can however still be sourced online and remain a viable storage option for Apple users.
Burn Your Data to CD or DVD
The old school approach. Ok, it may seem like a backward option, but for some users with older equipment burning data to a CD or DVD remains a live option. For some users (Ma and Pa store maybe), they simply do not need to invest in expensive storage solutions and already have older computers with the ability to write onto a disc.
And no matter what way you choose to go with data back up, sometimes the simplest approach is the best.