As you can imagine, losing your important data (work, photos, etc) that you have created or collected over a long period of time can be one of the worst feelings in the world!
I can’t even begin to explain how critical it is to backup your files, yet so many people don’t…
Below I will sharing with you two awesome methods that you can use to backup your precious data.
1. Using a free software that will get the job done for home and small business users.
2. A paid software that provides more functionality and is recommended for small to large businesses.
First of all, you will need to have at least one external hard-drive to backup your data to.
There is no point in backing up everything only to your computer because if it dies or gets stolen then all your data is gone… Forever…
I recommend that you purchase a 2TB External Hard-Drive from Officeworks (or a similar store) as they usually offer the cheapest price (around $100) and are happy to price-match if you find the same item cheaper elsewhere (even online).
Seagate 2TB External Hard-Drive
Best way to backup your files for free
Of course you can simply copy and paste your important data onto your external backup drive but this can get very tedious and time-consuming if you have a lot of files and if those files are constantly changing.
For this reason I recommend that you use a free software called Karen’s Replicator to replicate your important folders from your computer to your external drive.
The great thing about this software is that you can schedule replication jobs and it has the option to only backup the changes which will speedup the backup process.
For example, say you have a folder on your computer that is full of photos and you previously used Karen’s Replicator to replicate it onto your external backup drive, the next time you add a photo to the folder the software will only copy that single photo across instead of replicating (copy & replacing) the whole folder.
The only disadvantage of using this software as a backup system is that, it is just a Replicator which means whatever is on your computer is copied to your external backup drive. It is an exact mirror image.
The problem with this is that you cannot go back to a specific point in time to retrieve files, you can only go back to the time the latest replication occurred.
This means that if you get a nasty virus on your computer, the notorious CryptoLocker for example (encrypts all of your data) and then you run the Replicator, the encrypted files will then be copied onto your external drive and may even overwrite your existing files (depending on your settings) with the encrypted ones.
Then…. Simply put… You are screwed…
Believe me… These type of viruses do get around and cannot be detected!
Last week I was called out to 3 different organisations that had been infected with the CryptoLocker virus.
What’s worse is that, one of organisation did not have any backups because they thought they were not needed…
Best way to backup your files for Business
ShadowProtect is a complete backup system created by StorageCraft.
You can schedule backups to occur automatically and can chose to backup only the files that have had changes made to them.
Unlike Karen’s Replicator that is used to backup specific folders, ShadowProtect backups the entire system.
It also allows you to go back to any point in time which means even if you do get infected with a nasty virus such as CryptoLocker, you can go to a backup that was made an hour before the infection and retrieve your data.
You can also set email notifications, generate reports and much more.
The only disadvantage I see with ShadowProtect is that you may need to hire a technician (like me) to correctly set it up for you. This is due to the fact that ShadowProtect is much more than a mere replicator, it is a very powerful business-grade backup system that can be overwhelming to setup for those who do not have any technical experience.
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What backup software do you use and why?