Online Backups – Keeping it simple

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Do you know someone who has lost critical and precious information that was stored on their computer?

Are there things on your computer that you don’t want to lose such as financial or business records or personal information like family photos? We live in a digital world and we don’t have hard copies of anything anymore. All you have is what’s on your computer. Is it safe?

You may be backing up on external hard drives or memory keys and that’s better than most. However, how often are you doing it and where are the back-ups stored? Are they going to be of any use in the event of a fire or flood, or when a thief steals all your equipment?

Today, backing up your computer to a data centre in the cloud is not only affordable, it’s incredibly easy. Every night, all the new data on your computer (e-mails, photos, etc.) is backed up automatically and can be restored at any time, from any computer.

Various options exist and two that I am familiar with are Carbonite and CrashPlan. I started to use Carbonite back in December, 2013. For $60 a year, I can automatically back-up an unlimited amount of data. The first back-up took about a week to run in the background on my computer as it uploaded the massive amount of files and photos that I have. After that, it only took a few minutes a day. Best of all, it does it by itself and I have nothing to worry about. I can even access my files from my mobile device if I need to. That’s convenience.

CrashPlan has a cloud back-up offering like Carbonite, but if you don’t like the data being in the cloud, you can use CrashPlan to back-up your data to another location of your choice. Pick a friend and you can each buy an external hard drive and back up each other’s computer over the internet. The data is encrypted so you won’t be able to see each other’s information.

When picking your vendor, do your research. Know if the data is encrypted for your safety. Know where the data is stored, if that matters to you. Find one that has a pricing model that fits your needs. For me, the peace of mind that I have from knowing that my data and especially my family memories won’t be lost in a catastrophe is worth every penny that I pay.

Thanks to Darren Buma of KWB Chartered Accountants for providing this article.

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