|Cloud backup is not just fluff|
|Written by Jack Dominic|
|Tuesday, August 14, 2012 9:18 PM|
If you are a regular reader of this column, you know that over the years I have written several times about the importance of backing up the information stored on your computer.
I have suggested various ways of protecting your files, documents, pictures and videos from loss when your hard drive or other storage medium fails.
Notice I said “when” and not “if” your hard drive fails. If you use your computer for any significant length of time, the storage drive will fail and if your files are not backed up you will loose them.
Because many of us now store on our computer very important information such as tax returns, banking statements and legal documents, loss of these files can be serious.
With photography now almost completely digital, family photographs are no longer relegated to the shoe box in the hall closet but share space on that at-risk hard drive.
Up until now, my recommendations for protecting your stuff have been hardware based. Backing up regularly on CDs or an external hard drive were the least expensive choices.
In many cases, though, you had to remember to do the backup and, perhaps more importantly, make sure the backup copy was stored in a safe place.
If the backup is stored on a CD and that CD is kept in a box on your desk next to the computer, a fire or flood might destroy the computer and backup. In short, backing up your data has been a pain.
Now there are inexpensive options that make backing up easy, and solve the backup storage issue and the need to remember to do the backup.
Several services use the Internet and the Cloud to provide reliable and affordable options.
Carbonite.com, myPCbackup.com and ZipCloud.com are only three companies of more than a dozen options. Priced at about $4 per month, these services load a simple program on your PC that automatically backs up your files to their secure and redundant data centers around the world.
The backup is continuous; every time a new file is created or changed on your computer a copy is sent to the Cloud. This is done in the background and the user doesn’t even know it is happening. It takes only seconds to back up a file.
When you first sign on to one of these services, it might take several hours for all your files to be transmitted to the backup site, but after that it is quick and painless.
When you need to restore the files, you just download them from the Cloud to your new computer or hard drive.
Many of these services also allow you to access your files from another computer. So if you are on vacation away from your computer, you can download any backed-up file from the Cloud to the other computer.
A list of the major cloud based back up providers is available on line at www.top-10-online-backups.com/best-cloud-storage
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