By Steve Battiato
Computer, Tablet, and SmartPhone Backups
If you are backing up on a floppy disk, iOmega drives, magnetic tape, or even USB sticks, please continue reading. Don’t trust your once in a lifetime vacation pictures or important documents to a USB stick that costs 10 cents to make in a third world country.
Our electronic devices hold many important files for our homes and businesses. It is our homework, checkbooks, pictures, movies, and songs. It is also our client list, patient information, legal documents, and contracts. There are many risks including hardware failure, pesky viruses, and environmental issues. Don’t be a victim of lost files. Make certain that all files are backed up.
When considering a backup solution there are many considerations. Your solution should be automated. Daily backups are best, hourly are impressive. Backups that store files away, especially offsite from the original computer, are recommended. Should you have a local environmental issue such as fire, water, or smoke damage, an offsite backup is your only source of protection. Many will purchase a large external hard drive and leave it plugged into the original computer all the time so that backups can be automated. Unfortunately, when there is a local issue, both the computer and hard drive are often unusable leaving you without your data or hardware.
Backups should be considered for your computers, tablets, and smartphones. There are many options when considering backups for Windows and MacIntosh computers including Mozy, iBackup, and Carbonite. Galaxy Tablets can be backed up with third party software. iCloud is a free service from Apple can be used to automatically backup Apple iPads, iPods, and iPhones. Other smartphone users may have a variety of options including a SIM card, online via your service provider, or via third-party applications.
With all this being said, backups are interesting, but restores are priceless. Take time to research different backup solutions for your technology. Make sure it has the capabilities you want at a price that is reasonable to you. Finally, after investing in a backup solution, make certain that you test your ability to restore files on a regular basis.
For more information on good backup solutions and great restore solutions visit our website at www.southsidervoice.com/techtalk
Geek trivia: World backup day is celebrated March 31st each year.
Windows based computers offer several options. It is a tiered approach. Upon purchasing a new computer, often times there is no media (CD or DVD) included. The first step is to CREATE RECOVERY MEDIA. This will take between two and five DVD’s and about one hour of clock time. Place those DVD’s in a safe place. As you purchase applications store those original DVD’s in the same place. If the applications are downloaded, store the proof of purchase documentation in a safe place. It is recommended to save off the application downloads to a DVD as well. In case of a failure you can restore your computer and applications.
To protect your data, today’s best solutions are online / hosted solutions. Programs like Mozy, iBackup, and Carbonite. I personally use iBackup and recommend it to my clients. iBackup installs a small client on your computer automatically performing daily backups. iBackup allows for installing clients on multiple computers, Windows, Mac, and Mobile devices, sharing a single account. Keep in mind the initial backup will take a long time, while the nightly backup will take only a few minutes.
Mac OS based computers offer a simple backup solution for your entire computer. Apple’s Time Machine is included on all Mac computers. Simply purchase a USB external hard drive larger than the hard drive in your computer. Simply plug in the drive and open the Time Machine application. It is recommended that you backup to Time Machine every two weeks or when you have made significant changes to the computer. Time Machine backups up the entire hard drive, including your applications and your data. You may eject the drive and store it away until the next backup.
An online / hosted solution is still recommend as it will backup your most important, most recent files automatically each day. In addition, it will get your pictures and files in a different location in case of a catastrophic issue. Once again, I recommend iBackup.
Android based tablets and Smartphones require more research. There are a few “free” applications, G Cloud Backup and App Backup & Restore, but be careful. These deliver a small amount of space, then charge to expand the space. My Backup Pro and Titanium Media Sync are paid solutions. Be sure to read the details as each unique program offers different features.
Apple based tablets and Smartphones are much easier. Setup a free iCloud account with Apple. Let Apple do the rest.
The two things to remember. First, use a tiered approach: 1) how will I restore my original system, 2) how will I restore my purchases (Microsoft Office, Angry Birds, a Northern Nights song, or Frozen the movie), 3) how will I restore my documents, pictures, and other important information? Secondly, backups are interesting, but restores are priceless.
If you find that iBackup is right for you, please click here. http://www.ibackup.com/p=indyteledata
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As owner and Chief Technologist of IndyTeleData, Steve has been a life-long technology guru. He is excited to add Columnist for the Southsider Voice to his resume.