Back It Up: The 3-2-1 Data Backup Strategy
As families begin to grasp the devastation to their homes and losses from Hurricane Harvey, one more loss is likely to be felt: Important files and photos are lost forever for many people.
Backing up files is critical for home and business purposes, but is often overlooked. Backing up files used to be difficult but is simpler than ever today, the challenge is finding the right service for you. You should only settle for a full online backup service that allows you to have a local copy of your files as well as a full cloud service.
Essentially, you should follow the "3-2-1" backup strategy. This means you have three copies of your data—two local copies and one copy offsite. Your computer is the first copy, an external hard drive is the second and cloud backup is the third.
Having a local backup allows you to restore much faster, but having something in the cloud allows you to restore in case of a catastrophe. In the case of flooding, you are likely to lose your computer and your backup. Having files stored in the cloud ensures you will not lose your files. Plus, many backup services keep multiple copies of the file, allowing you to revert back to a document that you accidentally made changes to and saved.
There are three primary vendors that I like for your backup needs:
While all three are good choices, the low cost and excellent features of Backblaze make it my first choice. It is also very easy to setup and to use.
One important note about backups: Dropbox, OneDrive and such are not true backup solutions. They are synchronization and sharing solutions. I’m a big fan of using Dropbox and OneDrive to store your files, and they can be used as very simple backup options. I store all my photos on OneDrive, as well as backing them up to an external drive and cloud provider. I’ll talk about the importance, value and problems with OneDrive in my next blog.
In the meantime, don’t wait. Take time to start backing up your files to the cloud before it is too late.