Some say that New Year's resolutions were made to be broken. So, forget the standard ones you give up in a week. This year, do something practical, easy and very important. There's really only one resolution you need to keep in 2011: back up your data!
It is all too easy to put off backing up for another day. Having being subject to the theft of a laptop myself recently; I have had firsthand experience of the inconvenience this can cause.
Whether you're a small business or an individual, backing up your files is an important exercise. The smallest glitch with your system could bring your data to its knees resulting in an unfortunate loss. A little preparation is all that is needed to avoid any future mishap.
Here are some top tips to help make that preparation a little bit easier, so you can carry on eating Christmas leftovers and mince pies with the peace of mind that your data is safe.
Get an external USB hard drive
Firstly, it would be a good idea to purchase an external hard drive to store the data you are backing up. Making it portable means you can put it in a safe place in the event of fire, theft or loss. At Resolve IT, we've found the latest Western Digital Elements Drives to be the most reliable.
Backup solutions for business
For business backups, we don't look any further than Acronis Backup and Recovery. The beauty of Acronis is its ability to copy your entire server or workstation, including the operating system, applications, user settings, and all data; it literally takes a snapshot of the entire system. Then, in the event of a system or disk crash, virus attack or other fatal failure, you can restore the entire disk contents in minutes without having to re-install anything.
Backup solutions for home
Acronis also provides a Home version of their software called Acronis True Image Home 2011 which has a simplified interface and a "quick backup" feature to allow backups at the touch of a button.
Another option is Windows 7 Backup and Restore - it's easy to configure and schedule regular backups of your important files like photos and financial records with this built in feature of Windows 7. If you are a Windows 7 user, you can learn how to use it here.
Backup using free software
If you haven't got the budget to invest in a paid product then you can still take advantage of many free software applications available to do the job.
Download & Install SyncToy from Microsoft
SyncToy is a free application that synchronizes files and folders between locations like your PC and a USB device. Typical uses include sharing files, such as photos, with other computers and creating backup copies of files and folders. Get it here.
Free Backup with Cobain Backup
Not all backup software is expensive, complex, and time-consuming; this one is free, very simple and satisfyingly speedy.
Online Storage Service
Uploading your files to the internet is another possible backup method now that high speed internet connections are becoming the norm. You will be limited to how much storage is available for use before having to pay for extra but most give you up to 5GB of storage for free. Two such services areDropbox and Windows Live Mesh.
There are many more ways to back up your data, there really is a method for everyone and finding the right one for you is just a matter of knowing what's on offer - the most important thing is to do it. If after reading this article you still can't decide, then give us a call and we'll help you!
Happy New Year from Resolve!