You boot your computer up one morning and the very first thing you see is the big blue screen of death, or “non system disk error, insert system disk and press any key.” Or maybe your computer is just simply dead, no power at all. You get that flushed feeling and your stomach tightens. The first thing you think about is that your children’s pictures are now gone forever, and that proposal you spent five hours on for today’s meeting is now toast.
If this has happened to you, you’re not alone. About 90% of users who experience a computer crash do not have a backup. That’s alarming! How important is your data anyway? No one is going to backup your data for you. It’s your job to perform regular data backups or risk losing all of your data files in the event of a hardware failure or virus attack. And, odds are your hardware will fail, and you “will” get a virus one day. Just ask the 90% who didn’t think it could happen to them.
Imagine this. Take a look at your computer and think about what’s on it. Think about your data and your programs, and those irreplaceable pictures. Consider how much time it took to create your data, and to set up and tweak your computer so that it works just the way you like. Now imagine that tomorrow morning you go to your desk and your computer has vanished without a trace. What will you do? Your computer can be replaced. Your data is usually irreplaceable.
And what if you get hit by a new Ransomware variant not yet covered by your Internet security. Are you willing to pay upwards of $1,000 to get your data back?
If you still aren’t convinced, consider this report from the University of Texas Center for Research on Information Systems. Of the companies who lose their data in a disaster, 90% are out of business within two years and nearly 50% never reopen their doors at all after the disaster.
So backup or kiss your data goodbye. The most popular backup mediums these days are USB Flash Drives, and online backup services. But before you go out and spend your money, let’s explore these options so that you can choose the one that is right for you and your budget. Consider your data size in bytes before making a choice. Pricing varies by location and whether you’re purchasing online or direct at the store.
Removable Drives. Very popular and a good mobile choice is the USB Flash Drive. These drives vary in physical size as well as storage size. Some USB drives are small enough to fit in your pocket or on your keychain, while others are larger and might be stored in your briefcase. Removable drive storage sizes vary from a few gigabytes (GB’s) up to several terabytes (TB’s). A quick Internet search returned a 32GB flash drive for $9.00 up to a 4TB Western Digital Passport for $120.00.
Online Backup Services. For as little as $5 per month you can subscribe to an online backup service. The way this works is you install their backup software onto your computer and your data is backed up through the Internet on a schedule of your choosing, and kept offsite at the online backup facility. Pricing depends upon the size of your data files. Consult the Internet for a listing of online backup service providers and specific pricing..
Still not convinced that you should be backing your data up? Let’s say your computer just now crashed and you don’t have a backup. If your hard drive will not power up, your only other data recovery option is forensic extraction. This will cost you around $2,500 per hard drive. Hmm, that USB Flash Drive is sounding better now.