Backing up your data is essential to help prevent data loss in the event of deletion, corruption, fire, theft, hardware failure, or any other reason which may lead to data loss.
In essence, a backup is simply making a copy of something, so that you have a duplicate. If you lose the original, then you can simply replace it with the backup copy.
We cannot emphasise the need for making backups enough. We see so many systems with failed hard disks that contain the only copy of clients photos, documents and emails. Providing the disk is recognised by the BIOS and hasn't suffered physical damage, we will always do our best to recover data and we have sophisticated tools to help us do this. However, there will be situations where the data recovery can only take place with the use of a clean room and replacement components - this can cost hundreds of pounds. More on our data recovery service can be found here.
Why do I need a backup solution?
Having a backup solution in place is like having an insurance
policy to pay out in the event of damage, loss or theft etc.
Many people underestimate the amount of personal or business data they rely on that is stored on their computer systems. In the event of a disaster, you could stand to lose personal or business documents, emails, client files, projects, invoices, accounts, and other essential data. If this data isn't recovered quickly, a business could lose customers, or even go out of business.
What backup solution do I need?
There are many different backup methods available - from simply
copying data to a floppy disk, to backing up to tape. You will need
a backup solution that is suited to your needs.
For most home users, simply burning your important data to a CD on a regular basis would be sufficient.
For those with more data, a DVD writer will be required.
USB Memory Sticks
Memory sticks are a great stop gap between DVD and hard disk based backups. They are relatively cheap with increasing capacities. The backup procedure works in the same way as an external hard disk as it is seen as another drive in Windows. However, Memory Stick speeds vary hugely. Just because they have a high speed logo or a USB2 marking doesn't mean they all perform at the same speeds. In our experience we find they are great for replacing DVD as a backup medium, however for backups that require more space, we would recommend an external hard disk. Memory Sticks are also easily lost as you frequently hear about in the media.
External Hard Disks
This is our preferred method of backup. If you have more than a DVD's worth of data, an external hard drive would be the sensible option. They now offer massive amounts of storage space at reasonable prices. External hard disks are much quicker than other backup methods.
There are now many providers of online backup, some free services and some paid for. Online backup generally offers the ability of a "set and forget" configuration, where once it is configured, it will generally look after itself either performing a backup based on a schedule or on an automatic basis, either when sufficient files have been modified, created or deleted or at periods of low bandwidth usage so as not to have such a big impact on your internet speed when you need it. With your data backed up online, you don't need to worry about where it is, if you are broken in to, or suffer a fire or flood - your data is stored safely off site. There are however disadvantages of online backup systems. Upload speeds are generally a fraction of your download speed so if you have larges amounts of data, you will find it can take hours, days or weeks to complete the initial backup depending on your computer usage. The same is true for restoring data; whilst much quicker than creating the backup, it will be significantly slower than restoring from DVD or external hard disks. Recently it has come to light that many services are hosted outside the UK, and therefore some people may have reservations about where their data is actually being held - some services may have mirrors in several countries so your data could be stored in several locations. There are also restrictions with the data protection act regarding the storing of personal data outside of the UK.
Tape backup is not so common nowadays for small businesses. Large corporate businesses may still use this method as it can offer large scale automation, but at a cost of thousands of pounds. We don't generally offer tape backup any more as it can prove somewhat expensive to purchase and install, with external hard disks being much cheaper, with much larger capacities and much quicker.
Why choose NTS Computing for my backup solution?
We will come to your site to evaluate your backup needs, and suggest the recommended method. We will install all the required equipment and software and also configure your backup to include all your critical data, photos and emails. Your backup can be password protected and encrypted to prevent unauthorised access to you data should your backup fall into the wrong hands.
Page content updated on: Thursday, 02 January 2020 11:33
Other related services: Data Recovery