Thursday, August 18, 2011

Backing up your data, not just for the conglomerates anymore.

Backing up your data
Backing up your data is one of the most important things you can do (right next to saving on a regular basis).  Believe me I know; I've spent time doing some video editing,  working for over 4 hours, and then losing everything because my computer crashed.  Had I backed-up my work, I would have been fine.  But I've learned from my mistakes and hopefully you can too!

There are a few different ways of doing a backup.  First you can do it cheaply and easily using a burnable CD or DVD.  There is no real problem with this, as it is cheap, easy, and just about everyone has a CD or DVD burner  In fact, from my understanding, MM2000 back up their MMOnTheWeb data everyday using this method.  The only problem becomes storage of all those CD's, though with the way the music business is heading, I'm sure you can find a 2000 CD Folder for under 10 dollars.  

The second method for backing up your data is to do it via an external hard drive.  There are two types you can get: a flash drive (one of those little sticks) or an external Hard Drive.  The flash drives are small in stature, as well as in size.  You can get them in up to 64 gigabytes (the same size as the largest Ipod).  Most people would never need to backup this much data so it would work.  The only downfall, a flash drive that size is going to cost you a pretty penny, though there are some out there for the value.  I picked up a 4 gig flash drive for under $20 (four gigs should be enough to back-up).  If you feel you need to go bigger, you can go with the external hard drive.  These can run you anywhere between $100 and $200, but will get you between 1 to 2 terabytes of hard drive space (that's 1000 gigs).  This will more than cover you for a few years as I guarantee most people will never go through this much space, especially at work.

There is one alternative to this method and it is to backup your data on the cloud.  There are a few companies out there who host just plain hard drive space, letting you upload anything you want.  Most places charge for this and do so based on how much space you want to rent.  It is a monthly fee so it might be cheaper at the start; it won't in the end.  These monthly fees can range from $4.99 to $15.00 per month depending on how much space you need.  The drawback, it could take forever to upload all your data.  But once again, if you have less than a gig of data you need backed up, then there really shouldn't be a problem.

It comes down to a preference.  Would you rather have the hard drive in your hand, or would you rather "set it and forget it".  Before you make any decisions I would encourage you to do research, just like with anything else.  The key thing is to make sure that you are backing up your data.  The worst thing you can do is ignore it, come in one day, and your computer is completely fired because the janitor spilled his soda on it the night before.

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