One very important process every business owner should have in place – but is often overlooked – is a back up system for their computer files. If you’re one of the many who have experienced the agony of losing countless client files and important documents after a computer dump, corrupt hard drive or some other unforeseen disaster, you’ll probably have at least a minimal system in place. If, however, you are among the untainted, you may just be biding your time with fingers crossed, knocking on wood that it won’t happen, and thinking you’ll get around to it sooner or later …
Personally, I have about three different systems in place; and not just for backup purposes either … ok, maybe four if you count the files I keep in Dropbox so I can access them no matter what platform I’m using.
#1 – Carbonite: Carbonite is a very economical online system (similar to Mozy), that backs up all of your files (even Outlook PST files) continuously, in the background as long as your computer is turned on. For the low price of $59 per year, I have the security of knowing all of my files are being backed up as I work. It’s so seamless that I usually forget it’s even happening. Set it and forget it! Carbonite backs up to an online “cloud” system, so if I lose my data and need to recreate files and restore important information or if I want to transfer it all or just specific files to a new computer, it’s easy peasy!
#2 – LogMeIn: While LogMeIn is well-known for being an excellent tool for accessing other computers (yours or clients) remotely, the pro version also has a file sharing component that will sync the files between any of your computers linked by LogMeIn. All for the low price of $69.95 per year per computer. LogMeIn is installed on both my desktop and laptop computers; and I perform the sync function on a regular basis so I not only have access to my files no matter which computer I’m using, but also have the added protection of knowing my valuable files are in two different places. If the file is on one computer but not the other, LogMeIn copies the file to the other computer. If there is a newer version on one of the computers, it will replace the older version with the newer one so the documents on both computers match. There are some other really cool features.
#3 – External Hard Drive: Last but not least, I have a small external hard drive I use for backups. It was about $80 and holds 500 gig of data. I’m not as diligent as I should be with backing up to the hard drive, but my intent is to perform a backup of the MyDocuments folder and any other important folders on my computer – to the hard drive at least on a monthly basis.
So there you have it. My 3-system-process for making sure all of the very important files and information on my computers are safe and sound. It may sound a little obsessive to someone who hasn’t gone through the agony of losing all of their data. But if you ever have … you’ll understand completely!
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