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Feb
09

Are Computer Backup Services Worth the Money?

By

coffee and computerRecently, a friend of mine messaged me horrible news. Her house had been robbed and along with that her electronic valuables. She had no backups! Thankfully, she had some files on Google Drive, but her story reminded me of the importance of always having a backup of computer files.

I’ve been caught several times, too. Not by theft but by the inevitable crashing of hard drives in laptop computers. It only had to happen to me a couple of times to realize–using a backup service is essential to running my business!

Also, years ago one of my external drives had failed. One company quoted me $3,000 dollars to recover the data! Thankfully, a computer whiz I knew managed to restore the data for $75. That was a bargain!

And computer backup cloud services are a bargain, also!

Sure, you can do it yourself. For Macs, there is Time Machine. Um, can’t remember the last time I did it. Besides, if there was a disaster or a theft, most likely your external drives would be history, too!

So if you don’t want to go to the expense of a cloud service, at least backup your computer to a drive you will keep off site!

But suppose you are sold on the idea of paying for a service? Where do you turn?

Here are three companies that can help:

1) Carbonite.com

This is the service I have used for years. It’s a no brainer in that it automatically backs up my computer as I work on it. For one or two computers, it’s reasonable. The payments start at $59.99 annually so it’s easy on my budget.

The negatives are that when I did have a computer crash, recovering the files was not as smooth as I would have liked. Some files didn’t appear to work. But I managed to download everything that was important so I don’t think I lost much.

The other drawback is that the charge is per computer. However, if you purchase the office plan you can get unlimited backup for computers, devices, and external drives for $269.99 per year.

One more negative–if you are working on a file and then realize later you need to restore it to its original, it will be too late. The backup is actually so fast that whatever’s on your hard drive currently is what will be on the Carbonite cloud soon after. For those projects that you are continually working on, it would be beneficial to periodically backup these files independently to another cloud service (like iCloud. See below).

2) iDrive.com

iDrive promises to be much more competitive. I like that I can backup all computers (Windows, Macs, external drives, and devices) in one account. It starts at $69.50 for the first year (but there is a sale as I write this so it is even less). It will even do older operating systems. And it has a 5 GB offer that is free. So you can try it and see if you like it.

I did try the free account awhile ago and I found it a bit more complicated to use than Carbonite. But I’m not sure I didn’t give it a fair shake. Considering the amazing deal I will probably try again!

3) iCloud.com (http://www.apple.com/icloud/)

If you have an iPhone, iPad, or Mac computer, iCloud is an excellent service to have. You can have a free account if the storage is 5 GB or less. It’s just 99 cents per month for 50 GB and $19.99 per month for 2 TB.

This service includes syncing and automatic backup of devices. You can work in a program on your Mac (like a presentation in Keynote) then make changes on your iPad. It saves it everywhere. You can also access your notes, photos, calendar, music (iTunes) and mail. Family sharing is also a very nice feature in these plans.

For those projects that you want to quickly backup in the cloud, this might be a great tool.

I have been using iCloud for years and have found it very helpful indeed!

Backing up your computer, external hard drives, and devices is an important step to protecting your business assets, which are extremely valuable. Do so and you will have a successful brand!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Dana Susan Beasley, the creator of an online training program called Brand Identity Quest, helps Christian families create sizzling brands so they can build dazzling futures. A graphic artist, writer, and homeschooling mom to a special needs son, she is the owner of AngelArts, an arts agency and publishing house. It’s purpose is to inspire audiences to reach for new heights in their lives and beyond through excellently-designed publications and products using original art and literature. To take her free mini-course, 5 Steps to a Wildly Successful Home Business, click here to start now

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