Where are your backups?

Where are your backups?

Dec 8, 2015

If you have a backup that’s great! But where is it?

Backups are a necessity, but have you thought about what would happen to your backups while you’re not at home? Take for example when you go away over the Christmas holidays.

Most people back up to prevent against data loss during a hard drive failure, but what if your house was broken into or there was a fire or flood? What if there was a lightning strike? Would your back up drive be lost as well?

So how should you be backing up?

  1. Always have your data in multiple locations, a backup is a copy NOT where to store things.

Unfortunately, we often see people who bring in their “backup drive” hoping for a recovery after the drive has either failed or been dropped. This can be a very costly repair if possible at all. But its ok the files are still on you PC aren’t they?

External HDD, Flash drives, Backup drives etc. aren’t immune to failing

  1. Where should you store your backup?

Most people’s backup drives are on their desk next to their PC or in a drawer. We have seen cases where people have been robbed and the burglar, you guessed it, stole both the PC and the backup drive. Not to mention we are currently entering bushfire, flood and storm season…


So unless you have a water proof/ heat resistant safe, that you constantly have your back up in, we recommend you have a backup you can take offsite.


What do I do?

I personally prefer DVD’s and External Hard drives over flash drives because on a DVD or HDD the data is (for lack of a better word) etched into the disk/plater so there is a better chance of retrieval if things went bad. A flash drive stores the data in “flash memory” and when a flash drive fails it’s typically all or nothing.

I may go a little bit over the top with my backups but I know how important my data is and how much can go wrong.

All of my important files are stored on my main PC and once a week this PC backs up to an external drive, this is set up to back up all new or changed files.

Once every 3 months this drive is taken to my mother’s house and swapped for the drive I have there, which becomes my new weekly back up. (to be honest I could do this more regularly but I typically do the swap just after I back up my phone to this PC and drive. So within the 3 months I have the photos on my phone as well)

I also have a drop box account that syncs these files the moment they change.

For photos of specific events such as holiday or weddings etc. they are also store on DVD’s off site.

So including my phone I have:

  1. Photos on my phone they back up to
  2. My PC which backups to:
  3. Drop box
  4. And an external HDD weekly
  5. Which is then swapped out to an offsite HDD
  6. And important pics saved to DVDs as well.

A six level redundancy so again may be a little over kill but the main points are:

  1. Have data on multiple devices
  2. Have copies spread over multiple locations
  3. Back up regularly
  4. Don’t forget to Back up your Phones and SD cards (cameras)

Backups don’t need to be fancy or expensive they can be as simple as copying data to DVD’s that a friend/family member stores for you. (preferably not a neighbour as a bush fire or flood would typically take them out as well.)

When asked: What should I backup and how often should I backup?
Our Answer would be: What are you prepared to lose?

If you need help setting up an automated backup our staff are only too happy to help, trust me having to tell someone they have lost everything is the worst part of our job.

From all of the team at MicroEd have a Happy and safe holiday period.

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