How to's - 3 Computer Back-up Tips

Three Very Important Back-up Tips

  1. Backup using your CD or DVD drive
  2. Backup using a tape drive
  3. Backup using an online backup company

1) Almost all computers today come with a CD-ROM drive or a DVD-drive. Most CD-drives can write data to the drive, but not all DVDs can. If you can write data to the drive, then the CD-drive will normally hold up to 780MB or about 541 floppy disks. The DVD-drive holds up to 4GB for read and write disks (you can erase the disk and start over) or 8GB on read only disks (you can only write data once till the disk is full). Most computers also come with a CD/DVD program which helps you write to the disk. You have to buy a separate program if you want to schedule a backup.

  • Pros: Comes with computer, cost of media is insignificant, cost of scheduling program is insignificant.

  • Cons: You have to remember to do it, even if you have a scheduling program in which case you have to remember to change the disk every so often.

2) Tape drives are still widely used by both big business and small business. Several companies have abandoned tape drives because they so often are unreliable or break down. That said, they can still hold a large amount of data and might be the cheapest alternative for large amounts of data if you don’t want an off site solution.

  • Pros: Relatively inexpensive up front costs, backup and scheduling programs are included.

  • Cons: Often breaks down, cost of tapes expensive, you have to remember to switch tapes.

3) Online backup companies come in all kinds of flavors. Depending on what you pay, you can get unlimited backup space. For the time being, Carbonite offers unlimited GB backup for the same low price as a small backup. These companies have several different features. Ibackup offers an option by where you can have people collaborate on documents stored online.

  • Pros: Free or inexpensive. Works in the background so you only have to be online for it to work. Can take large amounts of data.

  • Cons: You have to rely on the company that offers the service that its servers are up to the task and that it has backup servers and in general is reliable.

Good Backup Rules

Whatever method you choose to backup your data, you should:

  1. Have one disk or tape per day or per backup period
  2. Always have more than one cd/dvd of the same data
  3. Always store at least one copy of recent data off site
  4. Always backup REALLY important data to a cd/dvd even if you have internet backup.


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