For home and business data backup, I highly recommend an online backup routine. This method has several advantages over backing up to local media (tape, CD, external disk, thumb drive). The biggest advantage is that you don’t have to remember to do it since it can be scheduled. It’s extremely cost effective. You can retrieve your backed up files to any PC. Data is encrypted (using your key) and compressed prior to being backed up and it will never interfere with what you’re doing since it works when your computer is idle. Data gets backed up even when you’re on vacation. I recommend doing some cursory cleanup of your data files before initiating your backup routine to make it easier to restore files, if necessary.
I recommend the IDrive Pro online backup routine. Use this link to sign up for IDrive and as an authorized rep I can provide 1st level support for the product. It is a very dependable routine and the company has a proven track record and multiple secure servers. Note that the free IDrive Basic account is for a single user and only allows up to 5GB of data to be backed up. Click here for the full pricing schedule. After you sign up, you download a small program that becomes resident on your PC. You select all the folders that contain data you don't want to loose. Remember that your data is encrypted and compressed prior to being uploaded to one of the IDrive data centers. IDrive can see that you have data but they can not access your data. Backed up data files can be retrieved to any PC, providing you know your IDrive account ID & password, so remember to jot them down and keep them in a safe place. IDrive can be set to send you an email message after each backup. Their IDrive Express sets them apart from other online backup routines.
As with any backup process, you should verify that you are really backing up the data. Log onto your respective online backup service at least monthly to check on its status. As a backup service (as opposed to a synchronization routine which I never recommend) it retains all files ever backed up unless you go online and delete a file from the backup. If you have any questions, please contact me