What Type of Data Backup Is Best For Your Business?

By: Trycmcw
Keeping a copy of critical data is important for both home and business computer users. Whether it's your personal checking account or a corporate customer database, a backup copy can save you from disaster in the event the original file is lost.

There are several levels of backup from local copies to online file storage. Each is successively more secure and more likely to keep your data safe.

Backups on the Same Computer

Some data can be satisfactorily backed up on the same computer. A common example would be a spreadsheet that is about to undergo significant changes. By saving another copy the user can always revert back to the original if the changes aren't implemented correctly.

Keeping old versions for easy reference or reversion of changes is fine, but these types of backup are almost useless for data security. Anything that endangers the original file will endanger the backup as well. A failed hard drive means both are lost.

A slightly higher level of security is realized by saving to a different hard drive on the same computer. If the main hard drive fails the data is still safe on a backup drive. However disasters such as fires or floods could destroy the entire computer system and again both copies are lost.

External Backup Media

Tape backups are still an inexpensive and effective choice of external media, although CDs, DVDs or external hard drives are good options as well. Media kept onsite can be stored in a fireproof safe or other secure environment, protecting the data against larger disasters. Yet another level of security can be achieved by storing the media offsite.

Onsite media, even if stored securely, is still in danger from any threat to the main data. Offsite media is better protected but is hard to get to. When you need to restore from offsite media you have to wait hours or days for the media to be delivered to you first.

Online File Storage

A backup option that combines security, safety, and convenience is online file storage. Keeping copies online takes offsite data backup to a new level. Your data is stored in servers that may not even be in the same state much less the same city. Even widespread natural disasters won't threaten both your originals and your backups at the same time.

Despite the remote storage, your data is still easy to get to. Log on to the online file storage site and your files are immediately available. Unattended backups are easy because there are no tapes to swap out.

Online solutions are completely secure. Connections are encrypted so that hackers can't intercept your data or pull it off the storage servers. In fact online backup is more secure than offsite tapes, which are unencrypted and could be examined by anyone.
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