We've been using Twitter to talk about backing up your data for the last dozen Fridays. We think that this is the most important step any small business or individual PC user can take. Your data, music, tax returns, personal photos, and videos are worth more than the PC or laptop itself. There are a few basic, easy steps that you can take to ensure that your data is safe when your PC crashes.
Local Backup Option #1: You can set up a simple backup system using your CD or DVD Burner and a backup burning program. Most programs like Nero and Roxio can be used to make copies of your data.
Pros: CDs and DVDs are cheap and you can backup when your schedule allows.
Cons: Manually scheuled backups are easy to forget. CDs and DVDs don't last forever. Backing up large amounts of data is very tedious and requires multiple disks.
Local Backup Option #2: Use an external hard drive to backup your data. Most external drives come with a program that automatically backs up your data on a predetermined schedule. You can buy a large hard drive and use it for extra storage space, too.
Pros: Easy to set up and maintain
Cons: Higher cost initially
Remote Backup: Why not use a local backup and copy your data to an online source, too? It makes sense to backup your data outside of your home or office. It helps ensure your data from a catastrophic event such as a fire. There are some great, reliable options such as Carbonite and iBackup that cost between $50 and $120 per year. You can back up all of your data for those prices.
Pros: Easy to set up and maintain; backup happens automatically
Cons: Ongoing expense; your data is held by a faceless company