Data Backup Options

Could you imagine losing all of your digital pictures, files, folders, emails all in the blink of an eye? Well, if you drop your lap top, spill coffee on it, it gets stolen or the dreaded blue screen of death appears, this could be your reality! Some corporations offer their employees data backup solutions, however most do not. And if you’re like most home office or small business owners you don’t have an IT Department to keep your data safe and secure. Therefore, you need to choose a backup solution that is best for your personal and professional needs. Two of the most popular backup solutions are either through purchasing an external hard drive or using a monthly subscription service over the internet. Let’s review a few options from both.

Backup solutions over the Internet

The most appealing feature of backup solutions over the Internet is you always have access to your files, pictures, videos, etc., wherever you are. Your data is stored offsite in secure datacenters, and with some services you can even share your files and folders with others.

Dropbox lets you bring all your photos, docs and videos anywhere and share them easily. Anything you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your computers, phones, and even the Dropbox website. It is easy to share your data with others and your first 2GB of Dropbox is free, with subscriptions up to 100GB available for $19.99 per month. Dropbox works with Windows, Mac, Linux, iPad, iPhone, Android and BlackBerry.

CX.com is a cloud-based syncing and storage back-up solution, similar to Dropbox or Sugar Sync in many ways, but with collaborating features, too. When you sign up for the 2GB service you get free online storage and the ability to access your files from anywhere. You can give other people access to your files so they can collaborate on them as well. CX.com uses a "stream" approach to organization; as you and your collaborators work on a file, you can comment on it and have a conversations that appears as a "stream" related to the file.

Carbonite is one of the larger online backup providers offering easy-to-use, affordable, unlimited and secure online backup solutions with anytime, anywhere access. Carbonite does not offer a monthly plan, their annual plans start at $59/year, averaging less than $4.60/month and offer unlimited backup for home and home office customers. Carbonite does not have all the share and collaboration features as Dropbox and CX.com and not all of their solutions offered are available to Apple users. If you are looking for a simple, easy to use online backup solution this should work just fine for you.

External Hard Drive Backup solutions:

If you have a lifetime of digital pictures, videos and documents, a spacious external hard drive is a must. With hard drive capacities growing and prices dropping, it's time for you to switch to a 1TB or larger external hard drive. For buyers looking for the best in storage, there are three factors to consider: Storage capacity, speed and connection options, and size.

 

Desktop External Drives have large capacities to handle your desktop files.

Portable External Drives are compact and easy to carry, very ideal for laptops.

Mac-Formatted External Drives are compatible with your Mac and most laptops or desktops.

Buffalo Technology DriveStation USB 3.0 hard drive combines the highest capacity available with the latest iteration of USB by packaging the two into a sleek enclosure. , 1TB, 1.5TB and 2TB models are also available and can be found for $95, $130 and $174, respectively. Though designed for desktop use, and not “pocketable” by any means, at 9.5 by 3.3 by 8.7-inches (HWD), the DriveStation USB 3.0 is still a sleek, trim drive that is compact enough to easily transport from one place to another.

Apple Time Capsule 3TB External Wireless Network Hard Drive is a wireless hard drive that allows you to back up data and media stored on your networked computers and features dual-band 802.11n wireless technology for enhanced range and optimal performance. WPA/WPA2 security helps keep your information safe and it is compatible with Apple computers, iPod touch, iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, along with most PCs and most 802.11a/b/g/n wireless devices for use with a variety of peripherals. This hard drive is definitely on the more expensive side costing almost $500.

Seagate - GoFlex 1TB External USB 3.0/2.0 Portable Hard Drive is perfect for business travelers or people who are constantly on the go with their laptop. With 1TB of space it provides spacious storage for documents, photos, music, videos and the USB 3.0 interface ensures fast data transfer. (No worries, it is backward compatible with USB 2.0 for wide-ranging use.) It also provides encryption software ensuring your information is safe and secure. Included is a NTFS driver that allows the drive to be used interchangeably with a PC or Mac. You can usually find this hard drive for around $160.

Whether you prefer to have your data on a local external drive or online, everyone should back up their treasured memories and important files and folders. We’d love to hear your thoughts! What backup method do you prefer and why?

[image: ThinkStockPhotos]

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