In school, most of us are taught to save our work often. Spreadsheets, word documents, and digital artwork can take a lot of effort, and few things are as demoralizing as losing hours’ or days’ worth of work on a project due to an ill-timed power outage or other technical snafu. The stakes get even higher in the professional world: lost data can result in months of work down the drain, with real-world consequences like lost profits, angry clients, and significant professional setbacks. Data storage is crucial at home, too. Keeping your personal financial data secure and accessible is vital, and things like medical records, contracts, and other important files can stack up fast. How do you store your important files at home? In this computer support tips feature, we discuss five different ways to keep your personal data (and any backups) safe, secure, and easily accessible.
Cloud-Based Storage: A Staple for Computer Support Professionals
Some of the most useful data storage solutions available have one thing in common: they utilize cloud-based systems for off-site storage. By storing your data in the cloud, you can protect essential documents from physical threats like house fires, theft, and water damage. The market for cloud-based data storage is extensive, with products like IDrive, StorageCraft, Acronis True Image, and Carbonite vying against a wide range of similar competitors. These products operate by charging users for monthly or annual subscriptions, and they each offer different perks and storage terms. While it can be challenging to choose a service, finding a cloud-based storage solution that works for you can be a lifesaver; once you’ve selected a product, set up an account, and backed up your files, you can rest assured that all of your crucial documents are safe and easy to find. Howard Tech recommends clients to have cloud backups turned on. This allows for an off-site file backup in the event of an office fire, flood, or invasive local hack. Having a cloud backup minimizes risks of lost data or business downtime should the cloud backup files need to be retrieved and restored.
External Hard Drives
Cloud-based systems have their perks, but some people prefer to have all of their data under one roof. External hard drives are an excellent option for users who need to back up entire devices. Those that value tangible storage options and online security are likely to prefer physical drives to cloud-based alternatives. External hard drives are similar to USB drives but with much greater capacity (and a larger price tag). These devices come in many different sizes, with some heavy-duty options storing up to 14 terabytes of data. While they are typically larger than USB drives, external hard drives are still an excellent option for those who value portability.
Cloned drives are similar to external hard drives. However, instead of holding a select few files, cloned drives copy your computer’s hard drive in its entirety, essentially taking a snapshot of your computer as it is. Cloned drives are ideal for PC enthusiasts, who sometimes make updates to their computers that can render them unstable. A cloned drive can help users restore all of a device’s documents, settings, and partitions.
USB drives go by many names: jump drives, flash drives, and thumbsticks, to name a few. These file storage solutions are ubiquitous, and their small size makes them the ultimate portable storage option. USB drives can fit almost anywhere, and while their small size makes them easy to store and secure, it also makes them easy to lose. They are among the cheapest storage options out there, but they are also somewhat limited in the amount of data they can store. However, be aware USB drives can also pose a risk for your computer environment. Make sure you know that the USB is safe to insert into your machine. You could unknowingly infect your system or open a door for ‘bad guys’ to steal your data.
Can’t Decide Which Solution is Right for You?
We know that data storage isn’t always straightforward. Whether you’re trying to secure your business data or store personal documents, the team at Howard Tech Advisors is here to help. Our experts are pros when it comes to office networks and data solutions, and when our clients come to us with questions about tech at home, we do our best to provide guidance. If you have computer support questions that need answering, contact the team at Howard Tech!
Need Computer Support? Choose Howard Tech Advisors.
The team at Howard Tech Advisors is committed to providing managed services and customized IT solutions to our clients in Howard County, Baltimore, Columbia, and Ellicott City. We specialize in managed IT services for small and midsize businesses, particularly those near our office in Elkridge, Maryland. To learn more about our business and our work in the community, contact us at (410) 997-2500 or visit our website. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to stay up-to-date on our service offerings and tech tips.