Saturday, May 28, 2011

Use an Online Data Backup Service. Or Prepare to Lose Everything!

By: Trevor Johnson

Unless you're living in a secure bunker deep below the ground (and probably even if you are) then you really should be using an online data backup service. They're cheap and provide the peace of mind that you can't get otherwise. Here are 7 reasons why you should use an online data backup service to protect your precious photos and files.

Water damage

Not just the catastrophic damage caused by big events like a tsunami. Water pipes can and do burst, often without the provocation of frost. When this happens, the water can get everywhere and since computers are electronic they're especially vulnerable. You may be able to get your data back after your house is flooded but it's by no means a given.

Electrical damage

Electrical companies experience power outs and power surges from time to time. Whilst a surge protector socket will probably give your computer equipment some protection, the only real guarantee is the money the socket company promise to pay if their protection kit fails. Which is a small consolation for any missing photos unless you're a time traveller.

Fire damage

Whether it's a fire that's got out of hand in a local forest or in the next door building or something that's started in your own property, fire wreaks havoc with computer data. The high temperatures don't mix well with fragile devices like hard drives and even if your drive survives, there's no guarantee that a data recovery company will be able to work its magic on it.


Burglars don't care about your personal or business files. They'll just take the computer and anything else vaguely valiuable that they can lay their hands on. Anything of value will get sold. Anything that they can't get money for will end up in the trash. Either way your data and photos are no longer in your possession.

Hard disk failure

Despite the astronomical length of time between faults quoted on the packaging and in the adverts, individual hard drives haven't always been told that they're supposed to last near enough forever. Instead, they can refuse to work. It's expensive to get the real life equivalent of Abby Sciuto to trawl through the wreckage of your hard drive. And in the real world the success rate is a lot lower than it is in fiction.

Computer failure

The software that runs your computer isn't infallible either. Windows is a lot more reliable than it was in the early days but when it messes up it does so more spectacularly. It's at that stage that you realize the few cents and time saved when you didn't make a backup disk at the time you bought your PC was a big mistake. I know, you were going to get round to it, but the fact is that you haven't and you've got the choice of paying a local specialist or writing off everything that was on the PC. Always assuming it wasn't a BIOS failure that killed your computer big time.

Viruses and malware

Not every anti virus program spots every malicious piece of software that your computer encounters. And you ay not know a file has been infected - or even just corrupted - until it's too late.

Using an online data backup service gets around all these problems and means you can relax, safe in the knowledge that your precious computer data is backed up well away from your home or office.