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There's to much information to fit into one newsletter. This is
the second of a three part series on the same subject. The first in
series is how and when to back-up your files. The second is back-up
devices. And the third is how and what to do to restore your files. Click Here
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What to use to backup your files
The choices may include, Internal Hard Drives, Flash USB Memory
sticks, Writable CDs and DVDs, External Hard Disks, and External
Internet file servers.
If you wish to be absolutely confident that you will not lose any
data in the future, you need to have more than one backup copy of
your data. For example, if you were to backup your data to an
external hard drive which is permanently connected to your PC, then
you should consider including one more backup method.
Why? Consider what would happen if
there was to be a fire or flood, or, if a thief was to break in and
steal both your computer and your external hard drive, then your
data will be lost. So you may wish to choose more than one backup
For those who are not familiar with storage device capacities,
1,000 Bytes = 1 Kilo Byte (1 KB),
1,000 Kilo Bytes = 1 Mega Byte (1 MB),
1,000 Mega Bytes = 1 Giga Byte (1 GB),
1,000 Giga Bytes = 1 Tera Byte (1 TB).
Internal Hard Disks can be used as backup devices, however, if your
PC is destroyed by fire, or is stolen you will lose your original
and your backed up data.
USB Flash memory sticks are convenient backup devices, and the lower
capacity devices, up to 8 GB or 16 GB, are cost effective. For
larger capacities, external hard drivers offer better value.
Writable CDs (CD-Rs) are very cost effective. You cannot delete
information on CD-Rs, so you cannot re-use them, however, their low
cost means they can be disposable. Their capacity is only 700 MB so
you may need several for a full backup. Re-writable CDs (CD-RWs),
have the same capacity as CD-Rs, but you can delete the data from
them so they can be re-used.
Writable DVDs (DVD-Rs and DVD+Rs) come in two flavors; single layer,
with a capacity of 4.7 GB and dual layer, with a capacity of 8.5 GB.
They have the same limitation as CD-Rs in that they cannot be
deleted and reused, but their capacity is much larger.
Re-writable DVDs cost but may be worth the price. They an be deleted
so you can re-use them.
External Hard Drives make excellent backup devices. They are fast,
they are available in capacities exceeding 1 TB, can be re-written,
and can be used to back up data from several computers.
Finally, a rapidly developing backup option is to upload the data
you need to be protected, onto a secure Internet file server.
Several well known Internet Server Providers (ISPs) offer this type
of service. Your data is encrypted before it is uploaded to the
secure server, and only you have access to this data. You will need
a fast Internet access connection, to benefit from this option;
otherwise your PC will be tied up for a long time.
Do you need to have more than one
backup device? Yes. Most of us use an external Hard Drive as our
primary backup device, and most of us keep this device permanently
connected to our computer. If our computer is stolen, then it is
most likely that the backup Hard Drive will also be stolen.
Similarly, if the computer is damaged in a fire, then most likely so
will the backup Hard Drive.
And please don't fall into the trap of believing you can delete data
from your Hard Drive because you have a backup of the data on an
external Hard Drive. Your external Hard Drive is just as likely to
fail as your PC Hard Drive. You need to have at least two copies of
your data to feel safe.
We suggest that you use another backup device that is kept somewhere
well away from your computer. You can use recordable DVDs which can
be stored well away from the PC, or you can use an Internet file
server, as described above.
Part One: What files to back-up.
Part Two: Back-up devices.
Part Three: Restore your files.
As always, if you need help with any
computer issue or have a question about your computer,
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