Best Home Backup Solution
Why do we need backup?
We all store important data on our hard drives. Whether its important letters, contracts, bank statements, photos or video we really don’t want to loose this stuff. However, probably the most unreliable part of your computer is the hard drive. Hard drives have lots of moving parts and moving parts break easily and unfortunately its that very same hard drive thats storing all those important files. So a backup solution is crucial, just think how bad you’d feel if it just stopped working one day and all those files were lost. It’s well worth the price of an external drive or online backup service to keep those files safe.
What are the options?
- External USB Drive This is a simple and effective solution especially for a desktop computer. Windows Vista and Windows 7 comes with the Backup and Restore feature for scheduling regular backups and on the Mac you get time machine which works just fine with pretty much any external USB drive. Problem with this is the USB drive could break too or if you get your house broken into the chances are both PC and hard drive will be gone. It’s not a great solution for laptops wither as you have to keep making sure its plugged into the external USB drive at the right times and I really just want to forget about the backup.
- Network Access Storage (NAS) This is a slightly more convenient solution for those with laptops wanting a backup solution that just works wherever you are in your house. The problem with the NAS is that it’s another piece of hardware on the local network and I have seen no end of problems with NAS’s coming and going from the network and having to reboot, reconfigure, replace broken disks etc. Again this fails my “setup and forget” criteria and yet another a bit of hardware to go wrong. Just not simple enough for home users.
- Internet Backup Service Thanks to the prevalence of broadband, a whole host of web based backup solutions have popped up. You just signup download a piece of software configure it and then forget about it. Your files are backed up to a secure online file store. This has several advantages: Offsite backup (the thieves can’t get these), available anywhere and no hardware to go wrong.
- Internet Backup & Sync Service With a syncing solution you can designate folder(s) on your machine that when changes are made they automatically sync updates to online file storage as well as any other computer that you connect up to the account. This is a great home alternative to a file server or network drive. Your family can easily share files and the fact that it is doing this via online storage means you have a backup usually with version history too.
So tell me what to do already!
So I recommend a web based backup and sync service. It’s just simpler to setup, less to go wrong and offers a more complete backup solution than a USB or network drive. In my ever more mobile life the idea of being able to access my files easily from anywhere I have an internet connection including my phone is also a huge advantage. File syncing means you have folders on your computer that are constantly being synced with web storage and any other computer you choose to hook up to the storage. It’s a really seamless way of backing up and sharing files. Take a look at the expert choices below for our favourite solutions and for a more thorough review see the best home internet syncing services article .
Dropbox, Pro 50 (50GB)
Very simple, fast syncing, 2GB free, 30 day version historyCan only have 1 Dropbox folder per machine.
Humyo Premium (100GB)
Easy setup, great desktop and web software. Create new folders on Humyo or sync existing folders or both easily. Great price. UK support & servers. Limitless versions. Edit office documents directly from the webNo mobile applications yet.
Apple MobileMe iDisk (20GB)
Also includes email, photo gallery as well as contact and calendar syncing. Beautiful web app.Mac only for iDisk syncing, no version history