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Is your data safe? Protect your information

So often we hear the obvious question "did you back it up?" after disaster strikes on your family laptop or desktop at home. Or, more recently as is the case nowadays, your laptop gets stolen while you are out of the house.

I am sure we all know that we are supposed to back up our information regularly, but doing so manually is such a chore and folk seem to consistently put it off until later. That's when disaster strikes.

It's one thing to say back up your information on your computer to an alternate location but it's not just information is it?

It's your time, it's your transactions, it's your history of activities that you wish to keep and it's in some cases your life! Photos that cannot be replaced. Trips that you'll not be able to repeat. Years of your personal accounting information that you have no way to replace or re-enter.

If there was a nice easy way to back up your information then without pain or worry automatically, wouldn't that be worth a look at?

Top consumer back-up applications

MozyHome by Mozy

Voted by Cnet in 2011 as the best consumer back-up application on the market. Cnet’s sites its easy-to-use interface and fast online uploads as well as custom options that allow you to run the app as you wish. Simply download a client from Mozy (www.mozy.com) and it allows you to back up both online and to local external storage as in an external hard drive. After downloading the client and running it, it will automatically scan your drive for files to back up.

You can pause the back ups while running other tasks to conserve CPU and files already backed up are saved online for 30 days. The initial back up if you select your whole computer can take up to a few days depending on the size of the data, but this is fairly common of all the back-up solutions that store data online.

Free accounts are available for up to 2GB a month, 50GB will run you $5.99/month and 125GB for 3 computers is $9.99/month.Both MozyHome 50 GB and 125 GB plans give you automatic or scheduled back ups, file syncing between multiple computers with Mozy Stash , mobile access, tech support via live chat and tickets, file encryption, open and locked file support, bandwidth throttling, in-client and web-based restores, and web access to your files.

CrashPlan +A great choice for giving you three locations to back up your data. You can back up online, to external hard drive or secondary drive or even to another of your own computers (even if it is in another location). If all you need is local back up or one of your other machines inside the same network, you can use CrashPlan free version.

Again, all you need to is download the client (www.crashplan.com), set up an account and choose your locations to back up and what you want to back up. With CrashPlan+ you have the capability to also manage your bandwidth usage and when you back up. There are a great deal of custom options you can choose yet again. The free client contains ads, but hey, it's free.

CrashPlan+ starts at $1.50/month for 10GB, Unlimited storage for $3.00 per month per computer, or a family plan for $6.00/month for all the computers in your house!

Carbonite

Carbonite has won numerous awards for its simplicity and a great choice for online back up. Many experts recommend Carbonite as do many of my IT Pro colleagues here on the Island. In fact, just recently one of those colleagues mentioned that his daughter, who lives overseas, had her residence broken into and among all the things stolen was her laptop.

Carbonite had been installed and flawlessly backing up all her data to the "cloud" (online) protecting her all the way. My colleague was able to login to the online data, download it onto an external drive and post it to his daughter. With her new laptop she was able to install the Carbonite software and was able to load all of her data from the external drive and nothing was lost.

Carbonite is inexpensive, easy to use, unobtrusive back-up process and has clear file markings. No free version seems to be available any longer and as with the other apps here, the initial full back up can be slow.

Carbonite, www.carbonite.com, starts off with a single computer at $59 per year for unlimited storage.

Bottom line

Why take the chance on losing data at all? Go online and read the extensive reviews available on each of the three mentioned applications above and pick one. Install it and rest easy knowing your data is protected if you ever have the need for a back up.

There are many other options available apart from these three. In fact TBI here in Bermuda has their own back-up application to store back ups on their servers. Whatever you decide on, make sure you have something running automatically, both locally and online.

Too often local back ups meet the same fate as the original machine being backed up. Make sure you have a remote copy, too.

John Manderson is the president of Wireless Ventures Ltd. He can be contacted at john.manderson@wirelessventuresltd.com.

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Published April 25, 2012 at 9:26 am (Updated April 25, 2012 at 9:25 am)

Is your data safe? Protect your information

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