Backups

Backups are like un-protected sex

…It’s not a problem until it’s a problem. Too often people overlook backups and that’s because people are too busy living to worry about what might happen. In a day to day basis at home most people don’t think twice about losing their data and that’s generally because people only have a “few” photos that more often than not turns out to be thousands.

You will find that all the people who are very particular about their backups are the people that have already gone through the pain of losing some work that they hold dear or IT people…Who have probably lost someone else’s data. So don’t be that person. Backups can be simple things and you can make it so that you don’t even realise it is doing it. The majority of the time it will take longer initially whilst you catch up on all the stuff you haven’t backed up yet but then after that it is just incremental backups that can take just minutes.

There are several different ways you can backup up your data but they all provide you with the peace of mind that no matter what happens you will always be able to recover your data.

Related – NAS 

Backups you can do at home

There is a vast market of NAS drives that you can get and install within your house and these can beneficial for more than just keeping all of your files safe. Once set up you can use the NAS drive with all of your devices within the house to store any data on. You can do backups of your machines or use it as a central drive so that you can share files within your house to either your own separate devices or with those you live with.

A NAS can also be setup to allow external access so that no matter where you are in the world if you have connection to the internet you will be able to access your home files. This can be beneficial if you work from home a lot and may forget to take some files with you or if you are on holiday and want to show off your prized pictures of your cat you can easily whip them out.

Along with a NAS you can simplify it and acquire an external hard drive which you can attach to your machine. This is more beneficial If you only have one main machine that you use. This external HDD can be used to extend the amount of storage you currently have so that it will allow you to duplicate your data and have it safe or you can use it as a truly external storage device that you only connect in the times that you want to do a backup of your files.


Cloud Backups

A method that I prefer to use for backing up my files is using a cloud service. I personally use DropBox but you can find others in my earlier post that may be better suited to your style of work. I am forever travelling from office to office with my clients and I don’t have a steady “base”. I don’t even spend enough time in my house to set up a NAS and have that function externally.

Cloud services are good because if you use something like DropBox you have an additional folder on your machine that is always connected to your online account. This means as soon as you save anything into that folder it will be backed up and sent to all of your devices…. Providing you have internet connection. If you don’t have an internet connection then the machine will keep trying to send the file until you get a connection.

Another great feature that comes from services like DropBox is that they provide versions. If you make a change to a file that you change your mind with at a later date you can review the versions of your documents and then restore it to its former glory.

Backing things up at the office

You may think that this section is irrelevant and the IT technician at your office should be able taking care of this and to a certain degree you are correct. Any IT technician worth his title will have several procedures in place to ensure that your data is backed up securely. But you have to work with them to make sure that all of your data is correctly backed up.

Generally speaking, most offices will have some form of a NAS that is used as a central server and everyone will work directly off of that. This file server is your IT Technicians main concern. They generally won’t care about your machine because in terms of the whole company the central file server is way, way more important.

That being said there is more chance of your machine dying and becoming corrupted than there for the server. Which might make you think that they should put more effort into protecting your local data. Personally, I would say you are wrong.

If the way you work involves you working locally and having local copies of all your data then you need to make sure that you get all of your data backed up on the server at the end of the day because that’s where all the safety is. Depending on the spec of your central server and the network topology of your building you will hopefully be working directly off of the server, so you shouldn’t have need to store any files locally.

Let me ask you, Has the server ever decided to slow down for a reason unbeknown to yourself and you decided to just take a local copy of the file and then the end of the day just came out of no-where and by chance forgot to send the file back to the server. 99% of the time this would be fine because it will still be there when you get back to the office in the morning. Now imagine that you have come in the next day and there has been a power cut and your machine has become corrupted, I know it’s a long shot but it could still happen.

At this point you will be furious because all the work you have done previously will be gone and you will be hounding your technician to get it back for you. At this point you have to understand that it is not the Technicians fault that you have lost your data because the server will still be up and running because it will have UPS’s connected to it to keep it powered through the loss of power.

Backup

The moral of the story is that you need to take responsibility for your files. If your IT technician has a procedure in place for you to save your files to a certain place then you need to make sure that you follow it. If not for the security of your data but to protect yourself in the case that something does go wrong. If you have followed the procedure then it is not on you for the missing work.

If you have files at home that you hold close and want to protect make sure that you store them on external drives whether it be one in your home or on a cloud drive. This will keep your data

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