Backup is one of the most important, as well as one of the most neglected aspects of a computer system or network.  The importance of backing up your data should be right up there alongside anti-virus and anti-malware software when it comes to protecting your computers.   Without either, data backup or virus protection, you are playing with fire when it comes to safeguarding your data.

Most users have probably already experienced this at least once, losing one or more files due to an accidental deletion, a virus, power failure, or due to a problem with a piece of equipment, such as a hard drive.  If you haven’t, I’m sure you’ve heard of someone else’s “backup horror story”.  Regularly backing up a PC’s or network’s data reduces the stress and other negative consequences that result from losing important information.   For a home user, the items lost may include family pictures, school and work documents, or even favorite recipes or websites.  For businesses, the potential for loss is much greater.  Imagine losing a record of your current Accounts Receivables, all of your open orders that need to be filled or shipped, payroll data, etc.  Then consider the time and expense to recover everything, just to get back to where you were prior to the data loss.

Today there are various types of backups available, with each functioning slightly differently that will protect you from possible data loss.  Some of the options available today are described below.

Drive Image or Mirrored Backup

In this backup, a drive image backup typically involves backing up or mirroring entire images of the computer’s hard drives rather than individual files and folders. The drive image is like a snapshot of the drive.  With the drive image backup, you can restore a computer hard drive to its exact state when the backup was done.  With the drive image backup, not only are documents, data files, pictures, videos, etc restored but the operating system, hard ware drivers, system files, registry, programs, etc. can also be restored as well.

Local Backup

Local backups are any kind of backup where the backup medium is kept nearby or in the same building as the data being backed up.  It could be a backup done to a tape drive, an attached external hard drive, or a Network Attached Storage (NAS).  Since the backups are always close at hand, they are fast and convenient to restore.  But since the backup is kept near the source, it does not offer good protection against theft, fire, flood, and other natural disasters.  If performing a local backup, a copy of the backup should always be rotated to an offsite location such as a bank vault or employee’s home.

Online Backup

Online backups are performed on a scheduled basis to a storage medium that is always available to the source being backed up.  The backup device does not need to be at the same physical location as the data being backed up.  Typically the storage medium is located offsite and connected to the backup source by a network or Internet connection. It does not require a person to be onsite to plug in drives and storage media for backups to run, and is usually offered as a subscription service to businesses and consumers.  The data is sent from the source to the storage data center securely over the Internet.  A major benefit of an online backup, is that you can access, restore or administer the backups from your office location, or any other location with an Internet connection. Another name for an online backup is a cloud backup.

Back up your hard drive, and avoid being the next “backup horror story”.

Protect your business from potential data loss by scheduling a free consultation with MIBAR. We can help you create a disaster recovery plan to ensure you are prepared when the unthinkable happens.