Which file backup solution is right for you?
You’ve just got your new computer, it’s going to be faster, sleeker, has more disk space, in fact it’s going to be better in every sense of the word, apart from one !!
It does not have your old files on it.
That’s where this article comes in, depending on how long you’ve had your old computer you could have well in excess of tens of thousands of files to migrate over to your new computer.
This can really take the fun out of having a new computer, as this can be confusing, tedious and above all time consuming, but let’s look at this from a positive angle; this is a great chance to have a good file clear out of all the unneeded data just taking up space, but first things first.
To begin with, have you or do you make periodic backups of your data?
This is a very good time to implement a file backup solution , after all take a moment to think, what’s the worst that can happen if you suddenly lost all of your data? Imagine all emails, pictures, addresses, everything GONE.
So rather than just backup your files to migrate over to your new computer, how about creating a complete self managing file backup solution ?
So how is this going to work, what would be the best way for you to do this?
Backing up data using CD’s or DVD’s is a good way to create a static backup, but this can be time a frequent time consuming chore, and depending on how often you need to do this there will still be a time window between file creation and backup when you’ll still be vulnerable.
For example imagine you create a file or make changes to a file on Tuesday and you backup twice a week on Thursday and Sunday, but your computer’s hard drive dies on Wednesday, now you’ve lost any data or changes made between the last backup on Sunday, but wait a minute, you never backed up on Sunday the big game was on, now you’ve lost a week of work.
Sounds as though you need a file backup solution !!
To many people this may be acceptable, but to anyone creating lots of data be it small business, students, home users this can be catastrophic. So what we really need is an automated file backup solution that will enable us to replicate all file between two locations.
Firstly no matter how you do this you’ll need some replication or mirroring files software, many packages can be picked up for around fifty bucks, packages such as Folderclone or ViceVersa which I use, many of these packages can be downloaded fully working for 30 days as an evaluation so take advantage of this first and find a package your happy with. This will enable us to synchronize files between two locations, as soon as a change is made at one location it’s automatically mirrored to the other, so if ever a hard disk fails you’ll still have a current copy of all your files.
So how about using your new computer connected to your old computer and replicating the files between the two? This can be done a number of ways such as Computer to Computer using a Crossover cable between two wired network cards.
If you have a WiFi network simply connect both computers.
If you don’t wish to keep your old computer, how about using a portable USB external disk? To take this a step further how about a network hard drive ( a network hard drive is simply a small external box with a hard drive inside, but it allows you to connect it to a network as a network device, they can also be used as USB Wired RJ45, some even come with wireless capabilities ).
Another solution to think about is a web based solution, basically having an allocated amount of storage on a web server on the internet somewhere, there are a number of companies this provide this service, but there are a couple of points to think of, such as
- How many files do you have to backup?
- How fast is your internet connection?
- How reliable is the company you’ll be using in terms of security, service downtimes and speed?.
Personally I’d prefer to manage the whole thing myself, but if your someone who does a lot of travelling, providing you can find an adequate internet connection this may be a viable solution for you.
To use any file mirroring software you’ll need to share the hard drive on the other computer you wish to mirror, so install the mirroring software on your main computer and share the hard drive on the other. We have written many articles on sharing files securely, backing up files, so please checkout our other articles.
I hope this has given you some food for thought when it comes to backing up your files, and I speak from personal experience when I say how much it really sucks when you lose all your files at once.
But like any backup solution it’s only as good as it’s weakest point, just about every home, or small business backup solution has a weakness, for example even if you have a mirrored solution, both computers may still be in the same area, this can be seen as a risk, due to thefts, acts of god etc. So in this case it would still be worth taking a static backup copy via a CD or DVD as an extra layer of security.
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