Tech Notes: Backing Up Your Data

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Backing Up Your Data

File backup is probably the most important thing when we talk about the gadgets and computers we use nowadays. However, there are many ways to back up with pros and cons for each type. All backup strategies can fall under one of two ty

‐Local Backup : this means your data is backed up to another device that is physically with you. Whether it is an external hard drive, USB flash drive, CD or DVD, or SD Card, you can physically touch and hold these devices.

‐Pros : generally cheaper. More control. Not vulnerable to security breaches.

‐Cons : more room for error, less automated, can be stolen, misplaced, or damagaged.

‐Cloud Backup : this means your data is backed up “off site” to another system out in cyberspace.

‐Pros : More automated. Less Room for User error. Good if your place has been damaged by fire, electrical or flood or a victim of theft. No hardware to buy.

‐Cons : more expensive in the long run.  A little less control of your data. More vulnerable to security issues/breaches.

Let’s talk about the different devices we need to backup:

‐Computers (PC or Mac) – can be backed up locally using built in software (Apple – Time Machine, found in Preferences or Windows – Windows Backup – found in Control Panel) or you can sign up with a 3rd Party Cloud Backup (Carbonite – or Mozy –

‐Smart Phones and Tablets (Androids, iPhones, iPads, iWatch) – generally easier to back them up using the Cloud (Apple products – Settings >> iCloud >> Backup or Androids ‐ Settings > Accounts > Google account > Settings > Backup & Reset).

However, it’s a good idea to also occasionally backup these devices locally to your PC or Mac. For Apple products, plug your device in using it’s charger/sync cable and open iTunes. Find your device on the left hand side and click Back Up Now under Manual Backup. For Androids, plug your device into your Computer and go to Explorer >> Look for the SD Card and Drag it to your Desktop to create local backup.

When many of our customers have run out of room on their computers, they purchase an External Hard Drive or Flash Drive and offload some files (photos, documents, etc) to these devices in an effort to free up space on their systems. That’s a great idea in theory, but, if you move those files to an external hard drive, that means there’s still only one copy of those moved files. If that external hard drive dies, or flash drive gets broken, (which can and does happen), you still don’t have a second copy of those files. Be careful when doing this.

For our many Apple products (iPads and iPhones) we highly recommend upgrading to the 50GB iCloud package through Apple (.99 cents). With 50GB, that will backup all data on most users devices, unless you are a very heavy photos and videos user, then you may need more Cloud space to accommodate the space needed to backup these types of files.

Finally, concerning local backups, it might be a good idea to keep your backup device in a separate place in the house when not in use. If fire, water, or electrical damage or theft were to occur, you lessen the chances that both your computer and backup are damaged simultaneously. It would be similar to having your house key and the spare key on the same key ring. Just not good common sense!

-Submitted by Chad Droze

http://www.compu‐ and
Post and Computer Center (Freshfields Village)

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