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Ways to backup your data Part 1 of 2

Keep backups of your data or suffer the consequences


The data you collect up on your computers such as photos, music and video, is precious backup datato you, but pcpetes constantly witness people in shock after a virus or system failure realizing they have no second copy of their holiday photos or family wedding.


Loosing your ipod music is no joke, as most of it is probably paid for and can reach a hefty amount in money terms. Unless you keep every track on your ipod recovery will be the only answer.


There are many good ways to keep data backups, and we cover five of them in this article, for you to read and decide which method suits you best.


.1. External USB hard drive


By far the best option is to use an external hard drive. You can pickup a good 200+ gig drive for about £40 which is half what most PC engineers will charge to recover the data for you on a faulty computer.


Stick with a good make of drive such as Samsung or Seagate, and get at least 120gig because photo's music and video files collect up quickly.


There are also two different sizes of drive such as the 2.5 drives found in laptops and the 3.5 drives found in desktop computers. You can get both sizes in an external drive and there is also two speeds which are 7200 rpm or 5400 rpm. Always aim for a 7200rpm if you can as they have faster read/write speeds.


Most drives have a data cache built in which store data for writing to the drive allowing your windows system to be freed up from the task quicker. You don't always get to know what the data cache size is, but if it is mentioned aim for 8meg or more and don't except bellow 4meg.


.2. Backup data using your DVD burning software


Most DVD burner software like Nero or Roxio have a backup option allowing you to compress and burn files to dvd from your hard drive. DVD's are safer long term storage but each DVD can only hold 4.6 gig of data even though they say 4.7 gig.


So to backup 80 gig of compressed data you would need about 12- 15 DVD's. If the data's un-compressed then buy a pack of 25 and get busy.


If you get in to the habit of burning your photos to dvd once you get enough from your camera it should reduce the problems of data loss. This isn't the easiest way to backup data but if well taken care off a dvd will far out-live a hard drive.


.3. Cloud Storage


Not the sky type, but the online type. There are now many web sites and companies offering a cloud storage service which is basically a web-based storage location you use over the internet through your web browser or ftp client.


There are many free services for this type of storage, but you must bare these points in mind. Its not secure! anyone at the company offering the service can view your data. If their servers go down for maintenance or acts of nature, you can't get to your data. If the service isn't using a https: secure connection or some kind of data encrypting tool, then others can see your data as its being sent over the internet.


There are good points as well, because these services normally backup their own servers meaning your backup is backed up. Transfer times between your computer and cloud storage will be slower than a hard drive and the better faster services will come with a fee.


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