Sunday, September 23, 2018

Backups: You need one (or two)

Wacky Tech

THESE days, most, if not all, of our data are stored in flash drive or a mechanical drive. For so many of us, it just sits inside our laptop computer’s or desktop computer’s storage systems. It can be your regular vanilla HDD or a blazing fast SSD. Whatever your storage of choice may be, it’s worth the time to note and think about back up.

Many will just scoff at me and tell me that it’s just an added expense for them and that they don’t use their laptops that hard anyway so there’s a very slim change of their hard drives breaking down on them. Hence, their data is safe. I can say, from experience, that that is not the way to go and thinking that way can get you in trouble sooner rather than later.

My recommendation has always been to have at least two backups. A backup of your current drive and then a backup of that backup. And to add to that, make sure the backup of the backup is stored in a safe place that is not your house. Data redundancy, I call it. Sure, there’s cost involved. But for safety’s and security’s sake, there will always be cost involved. Heck, some of you might have even invested already in installing CCTV cameras around your homes and probably even subscribed to an internet connection faster than 20Mbps so you can be sure that you can connect to that CCTV system in your house wherever and whenever.

If you’ve done that, why not go the extra mile and back up your data as well?

Think about it, you go on a vacation with your family, you take all those photos with your digital camera then transfer it all to your laptop so you can show it off to friends. All is well and good. Until that laptop breaks out of nowhere (even though you just bought it brand new three months ago), and when you bring it to the repair center (because it’s still under warranty), they tell you that your hard drive got corrupted and there’s no assurance that every single bit of data can be recovered or copied to a backup drive. And then your heart sinks. Deep. And from that point on, you’d wish the T.A.R.D.I.S. and The Doctor would magically appear and help you out.

Honestly, you don’t really need to wish for that. You can just invest in a data backup system just like how you invested time and money for your home’s supercharged CCTV system. If you check popular online shopping sites, there’s a lot of hard drive choices out there and a lot are not that expensive anymore. Three or five years ago, it might have been. On average, a 1TB external hard drive can be found anywhere between P3,000 to P4,000 depending on where you’ll buy it. 1TB is more than enough space for regular person to have to backup their digital life. Or if you prefer to do it the cloud-y way, there are a lot of cloud backup services available that will backup your computer’s entire hard drive to the cloud. If you want to read a quick comparo of the current cloud backup services, here’s an article from Tom’s Guide.,review-2678.html

Personally, I’d opt for a cloud backup solution since you’ll have access to your files anytime, anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. A physical back up can also be implemented as your secondary back to your cloud back up though. And, like I said, plenty of options out there as to what external drive you’d want to purchase for that purpose.

The end goal here is that you have a backup of your digital files. You have somewhere to turn to if and when your main computer bogs down on you. A single backup is a start. A redundancy to your backup (backup of the backup) is recommended. But if you’re able to implement a double- or triple-redundancy backup system, I salute you and that’s the best way to go.

If you already have a backup system in place, let me know how you set it up, what are the components of your backup system, etc.