The Importance of Data Backup - Including 3 Tips for Backing Up Your Important Files and Documents

     All hard drives fail eventually. It’s not a matter of “if” but “when”

A report from Google’s data centers in 2007 indicated that consumer-grade hard drives fail at a rate of 7% per year. That’s one out of fourteen hard drives every single year!

Most of us use computers to store important files and documents such as family photos, videos, e-mails, financial information, and more. Therefore, the importance of data backup cannot be overstated. A good data backup solution and recovery plan can mean the difference between a slight computer setback and a catastrophe.

According to the National Archives & Records Administration in Washington, 93% of companies that suffer from catastrophic data loss file for bankruptcy within one year of a disaster. Of those companies, 50% file for bankruptcy immediately!

If you’re not regularly backing up your important files and documents, you’ve got a serious problem! While the cost of replacing a broken hard drive is relatively inexpensive, the cost to recover the important data is often in the range of hundreds or thousands of dollars. Data recovery firms who specialize in extracting data from damaged hard drives charge $1,500 and up for this service on average.

While losing your important files and documents can be a huge disaster, backing up your data is actually a quick and simple process. Below is a list of 3 easy ways to backup your important data.

1). CDs / DVDs
Most computers these days have the capability to burn CDs or DVDs. If you’re running Windows XP or higher, you also require no additional software and can burn pictures and documents on a CD or DVD in a few easy clicks. Just remember, CDs and DVDs do not last forever so make sure to backup frequently. If you’re trying to recover files from a CD backup you’ve made three years ago, you may be out of luck.

2). External Hard Drives / USB Keys
You can pick up a USB key at your local computer store for just a few bucks. Simply keep a copy of all important files and documents that you can’t afford to lose on your USB key. If you need to backup more information than a typical USB key can store, you can look at purchasing an external hard drive. The prices have come down considerably over the years so these days you can purchase a good name brand 500GB external hard drive for less than $100. Many of the new external hard drives also come with built in software that can backup your files automatically or at the push of a button.

3). Dropbox
Dropbox is a program that can securely store your files remotely and let you access them from your computer, laptop, or phone as long as you have an internet connection. You simply drop important files into your Dropbox and you’re done. You can then access these files from just about anywhere. You can sign up for a free 2GB Dropbox account at The website features a quick video explaining how the program works and how it can help you, and signing up for a free account only takes a few minutes.

Whichever method you decide to use, just remember to backup your data and do it frequently. As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Article Source :

Nick Fotache is the president of Computer Republic , a company specializing in laptop repair , computer repair, and data recovery services.

Posted on 2011-02-22, By: *

* Click on the author's name to view their profile and articles!!!

Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author.

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