Directing a small business can be stressful enough without the additional worry of losing your computer data. Knowing the right way to backup your data when you are already short of time doesn't mean that you have to become an IT expert. This review tells you in easy-to-follow language how to make best use of each data backup method according to the situation:
What is Backup?
Backup is the duplication of computer documents onto portable media so that if your computer crashes, files won’t be lost in oblivion. Backup is typically routine in large corporations but often neglected by individuals and small companies. Some suggest backing up data files and duplicating your hard drive weekly. It takes around 45 minutes to back up a 500Mb hard disc. There are a couple of choices - Local or Internet backup.
Here is a list of local Backup possibilities. The majority of these also double as tools used to transfer data between computers:
- CD's - There are different types of CD's that have ranging capabilities. Just to confuse us they are known by seemingly similar acronyms; CD-R, CD-RW, CD+RW, and DDCD.
- CD-R (Compact Disc - Recordable) is a CD that can be recorded to only once. It typically holds up to 700Mb of data. Perfect for storing images or other permanent files. Not so good for transferring files, as they can only be used once.
- CD-RW/CD+RW - A CD-RW (Compact Disc Rewritable) and CD+RW can be recorded onto as many times as wanted. Data can be overwritten and erased. In all other respects, the CD-RW is no different to the CD-R. If it wasn't for their finite durability, CD-RW’s and CD+RW’s could be saved to endlessly. Best for moving changing computer documents and holding temporary data. Not so ideal for holding important permanent files - in case they are accidentally erased.
- Double Density CD (DDCD) - This disc has a much greater storage capacity than a conventional CD-R or CD-RW. Great for backing up and storing archival files.
- DVD's - Although DVD's are more associated with home entertainment, they can also hold sound and PC data; hence their name Digital Versatile Disc.
- DVD-ROM/DVD-R is similar to a home entertainment DVD, but designed for computers. The DVD-ROM stores files like the cd-rom does. The pros more storage capacity – holds more files and has a faster speed than a CD. The cons DVD-ROM's can be recorded on only once.
- DVD-RW and DVD+RW - Much the same as the CD-RW, a DVD-RW or DVD+RW (Digital Versatile Disk – Rewritable) can be saved to, rewritten and deleted multiple times. Other than this they are no different to the DVD-R. The DVD minus and plus are just different types with identical functionality.
- USB memory stick - A small portable memory stick that is able to hold up to 1 gigabyte or more of files. It is surprisingly lightweight and will work with any computer that has a USB port. The pros … More hard-wearing and portable than CD's or DVD's and still good for backup. Memory sticks are also fast and rewritable. The downside more expensive than other backup options and the portability and compatibility of the USB stick raises the chance of virus infection or simple misplacement.
- Floppy disks - A floppy disk is a 3.5in removable magnetic disc. Best for people who use their computer or laptop for personal finance and projects that have to be continuously backed up such as a film script, but not so ideal for large amounts of data as floppy disks don’t have great storage space. Floppy disks now seem to be on their way out and many new PCs and laptops don't include a floppy disk drive.
- Zip Drives - A Zip Drive is a small, square shaped magnetic disc that is great for backing up your desktop or laptop. The 100Mb size will hold the equivalent of seventy floppy disks. They also come in a 250 megabyte size. However, most modern computers do not have a Zip Disc Drive installed and therefore unlikely to be around much longer.
Another backup option is copying your electronic data to a data storage website for safekeeping. If your PC or laptop crashes you can simply retrieve it from the website. Examples of such sites are Backup Defender and My Backup but there are many others. These sites will often charge a monthly or other fee for their services but can remove the hassle and security threats out of your file storage process.
Author: David Haysom
David is the Online Manager for OfficeRocket officerocket.co.nz OfficeRocket is an online store that offers a wide range of office supplies including small office data storage media .