Featured Resource :: Computer Backup Services

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Last year brought with it the traumatic Great Crash of '07.  No, I'm not talking about the economy.  I'm talking about my computer hard drive.  The backup system that I thought was backing everything up was in fact not doing its job, so when my hard drive bit the dust, I wound up losing almost everything.

Since I try to be as paperless as possible in my company, I lost a TON of material: emails, floor plans, response card spreadsheets, client notes, etc.  A gamut of emotions followed: I cried, my language became completely sailor-worthy and entirely unladylike, and I felt completely disorganized and out of balance for two weeks.  Oh, and to make matters worse, I lost all my music as well since it was stored on my computer.  The silver lining was that my goal of transitioning to a Mac was moved up by six months. (Heaven, by the way. Why did I keep a PC for so long?)

Having a solid and reliable backup system in place is crucial to running a business and a lesson I learned the hard way.  As a professional, you are contractually bound to your clients, and if you lose materials due to your computer crashing . . . well, that's not covered by your force majeure clause because it's considered negligence on your part.

Here are two companies that provide computer backup services.  They charge a low and extremely reasonable fee and everything is stored off site and in a secure online database - so even if your house or office burns down, you'll still be able to access all your client files. 

The first is Carbonite.  For $49.95 a year, you get unlimited data backup that is secure and encrypted.  This service used to be only for PCs, but they now offer backup protection to Macs as well.  Here's how they say it works:

1.  Carbonite installs a small application on your computer that works quietly in the background looking for new and changed files that need to be backed up. It looks and feels just like part of your computer, and is integrated with your desktop — there's no new interface for you to learn.

2.  When your computer is idle, Carbonite automatically backs up your new and changed files. You don't have to do anything! When you're using your computer, Carbonite goes to sleep so it will never slow you down or interfere with your Internet connection.

3.  Carbonite takes data privacy and security very seriously. All your files are encrypted twice before leaving your PC. Files remain encrypted at our secure data centers, so only you can see your files.

4.  If you accidentally delete or otherwise lose files, it takes just a few clicks on your desktop to get them back. If your computer is damaged, stolen or “just dies” and you lose all your files, just visit Carbonite’s website from a new computer. Within minutes you'll be able to begin restoring all your files.

Pretty sweet for less than 5 bucks a month, no?

The second service, which works for both PCs and Macs, is called Mozy.  Mozy works in much the same way as Carbonite and is around the same price ($4.95 per month).  If you have a network of computers and several employees, they also have a solution that backs that up as well.  They also have a free account where you get 100% back up for up to 2 Gigs of space at no charge.  Here are some facts from the Mozy site:

* Current statistics show that one in every ten hard drives fail each year. The cost of recovering a failed hard drive can exceed $7,500, and success is never guaranteed.

* 34% of companies fail to test their tape backups, and of those that do, 77% have found tape back-up failures.

Don't make the mistake I did by thinking that your system is working.  Leave it to the pros and make sure it is backed up off site from your office.  It is worth every penny.

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