If you didn’t know already, I’m passionate about backups!
I’m probably the only person who is passionate about them, but I’ve witnessed too many disasters.
Disasters that were preventable.
If you don’t want to be the next disaster – then read on…
World Backup Day
March 31st has been set aside as World Backup Day:
World Backup Day is a day for people to learn about the increasing role of data in our lives and the importance of regular backups.
What is a backup?
A backup, in computer terms, is basically a copy of your files being stored on another media.
For example, you could copy the files from your computer hard drive to an external USB hard drive.
We’ll come back to other options later, but first, lets examine why.
Why should I bother with a backup?
Everyone who owns a computer should have a backup plan.
- Imagine YOUR computer hard drive crashed…
- Imagine YOUR computer is stolen…
- Imagine YOUR computer is destroyed in a house fire…
When I say computer I also include smartphones and tablets in the same category – essentially any computing device that creates and stores data.
Don’t believe me?
Here are some real-life stats and stories for you…
- 30% of people have never backed up
- 113 phones lost or stolen every minute
- 29% of disasters are caused by accident
- 1 in 10 computers are infected with a virus every month
- 31% of PC users have lost all of their files due to events beyond their control
- 140,000 hard drives crash in the US every week
- 60% of companies that lose their data will shut down with 6 months of the disaster
– Take my friend Liz who ran into some PC problems and was advised to ‘wipe her computer and start again with a clean install.’ That’s great advice to fix the PC problem, but they just missed the bit about losing everything, as in absolutely everything, when you ‘wipe your PC.’ Now Liz no longer has her photos from her special once-in-a-lifetime trip to South Africa.
– A colleague had undertaken a two-year research project. Data was saved on the computer hard drive and as a fail-safe on a portable hard drive. The computer hard drive crashed and the portable hard drive was stolen!!
– Take my step-daughter Steph who saved all her university work on a portable USB stick. Guess what happened when it snapped in two? Yep, all the data was lost – 2 years down the pan!
Losing your data under any circumstance is a painful experience. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your personal data or your business data – it hurts!
Why do I need more than one backup?
When it comes to backing up your files it’s wise to remember the computer backup rule of three, also known as the Backup 3-2-1 Rule, to help ensure that your data will last.
You need off-site backup storage, plus backups to different media types, plus multiple copies of everything you want to protect.
3 COPIES OF EVERYTHING
Example: 1 Primary + 2 Secondary Backups
2 DIFFERENT MEDIA TYPES
Example: USB External Hard Drive + CD/DVD
1 OFF SITE BACKUP
Example: Amazon S3 Cloud Based Storage
To quote a popular phrase: “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!”
How do I back up my data?
OK, so to put that into context, here is my backup plan.
Using the Backup 3-2-1 Rule I store my data in a number of places and a number of different formats:
- MacBook: internal hard drive
- Seagate Backup Plus: 1TB portable external hard drive
- iCloud: Apple Cloud backup system to sync data and photos across multiple devices; iPhone, iPad, MacBook, etc.
- Google Drive: Google Cloud Storage (15GB free)
- Backblaze: Online Backup Service (Unlimited data @$5/month)
Cloud storage or online backup?
Just a quick note to highlight the difference between these two terms:
Online Backup allows you to back up your whole computer so you can easily restore your files; e.g. Backblaze and iDrive. These services usually entail loading a small application on your computer and then letting the backup run in the background. The initial backup may take a while depending on the amount of data to backup, thereafter only new or changed files will be backed up.
Should I use the same backup plan?
No, not necessarily – it all depends on your circumstances and requirements.
When I was searching for a backup solution I came across many different options.
When making your selection, think about the following:
- Do you need unlimited storage for all your data, or will a certain amount (e.g. 100GB) be sufficient?
- Do you need to backup multiple computers or just one?
- Do the files on these computers need to be synced?
- Do you have different types of computer; e.g. PC, Mac?
- Do you need to share files with other people?
A quick word about Backblaze
Here’s why I chose Backblaze for my backups:
- Easy To Try: As a Mac user I wanted a service that would work well on the Mac platform and Backblaze make a special case for that. (They also have a special case for Windows too!) So I decided to give the 15-day free trial a go to see how it performed.
- Easy To Use: It was very easy to download the installation file and start my backup. Within minutes files were being backed up from my hard drive to the Backblaze servers. You don’t have to worry about which files to select for the backup; Backblaze automatically finds your photos, music, documents and data.
- Easy To Restore: During the trial period I made a restore request to test if that worked. Again this was a seamless operation.
- Easy To Support: I made a support request to check how quickly and effectively my query could be resolved. The support ticket was raised immediately and I received an answer within 12 hours; this was excellent service.
- Easy To Buy: Based on my experience I decided to purchase the Backblaze service and was presented with 3 simple payment options: $5/month, $50/1-year or $95/2-year.
Based on my experience to date I have no hesitation in recommending Backblaze for your Online Backup:
Infographic – Every day is World Backup Day
Here’s an excellent infographic from Cloudwards:
If you are a WordPress blogger then I have you covered too. Check out this post on free and paid plugins to backup your WordPress website.
Here’s what you have learned today:
- March 31st is World Backup Day – Take Action Today and Don’t Be an April Fool!
- Remember to follow the Backup 3-2-1 Rule
- Remember to back up your WordPress site as well as your personal files