Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Backups - so many choices...... so little time

Someone asked me recently, "what's the best and most reliable backup solution for a home computer?" There are so many answers to this question, but I want to address the big picture.

There are just so many factors affecting backup solutions that you need to consider more than just reliability. You should also consider practicality, ease of use, degree of risk, cost and time invested. Remember - I'm speaking in the context of a home user's needs only. There is no such thing as a "best" solution - only best for you. So ask yourself if the data on your hard drive is that valuable. Can you get by with just a backup of those files created by you, or do you need to backup everything? Is it enough to save the files on your own PC or do you want to physically store them elsewhere? What kind of media is big enough, durable enough and perhaps, portable enough? External hard drive, DVDs, CDs, USB thumb drive, backup tapes, take your pick.... each have their pros and cons.

In my completely irrelevant yet humbly offered opinion, my idea of the perfect backup would be the copying of valued files over the network to another PC (under my control) using the leftover space to store the backup. It's making use of existing hardware and network resources - very efficient.

Anyway, some things to think about. Best is so subjective..........

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