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Best Ways to Store Data In Today's World
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Best Ways to Store Data - Do you backup data on your computer each day? If so, congratulate yourself! You’re one of the tiny minority that can sleep easy.

Best Ways To Store Data - According to a 2016 survey, fewer than 1 in 3 computer users backup files on a schedule, whether daily, weekly or monthly. About 4 out of 10 do it when they think of it. Amazingly, about 2 out of 10 never back up their data, whether it’s on a computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet.

Critical for Your Business - Best Ways to Store Data

Your business depends on data. That’s true whether you work at home or have an office, whether your company is a one-person operation or you have employees.

Without your data, you’re dead in the water. Just look at what happens when you can’t restore lost data:

- 7 out of 10 small companies that experience a data loss fail within the year.

- Looking for businesses of all sizes, 94 percent shut down permanently after a significant data loss.

- Almost as many businesses—93 percent--that tried to do business following a major data loss for 10 days or more ended up filing for bankruptcy.

- 4 out of 10 users of personal computers lose data to some degree every year.

“I Never Lose Any Data”- Best Ways to Store Data

Famous last words! Data can be lost from personal error, fire, and technical or mechanical failure. Even the weather can cause you to lose data!

You can unintentionally delete a file or misplace an old CD with important files. A computer virus can delete data or your system can get hacked. A hard drive can be formatted and partitions deleted. Life happens.

Hardware fails more often than you might think. Computers get old and feel the effects of wear and tear. Hard drive failure is common. Power failures can result in lost data that hasn’t been saved or corrupt data. Your system can crash or your software might become corrupted. That can easily happen to databases too.

Thunderstorms can cause power failures. You can lose data from a fire or flood. Hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes can cause damage to your office and electronics.

What Happens Without Backups - Best Ways to Store Data

All those numbers show how critical it is to back up your data regularly—preferably daily—if you want to stay in business. Not worth your time? Too hard to remember?

Turn that around. What would happen if you lost your prospect and customer list? How many hours would it take to reconstruct it? And in fact, could you actually piece it together completely?

If you can’t reconstruct the lost data, how will it affect your business? For example, if you don’t have the contact info from your customer list, to say nothing of the information on what they bought and their preferences, how will you put together your next email campaign? You need this type of essential data to make repeat sales, to get referrals, to keep your current base of buyers happy.

The few minutes it takes to save your data will save your hours of effort and frustration. It means having the information you need to keep operating.

Ways to Backup Your Data - Best Ways to Store Data

The good news is that PCs and Macs both come with functionality built-in to help you backup data. And there are several other methods available.

A simple thumb drive can act as data storage and keep your daily changes safe. The only tough part if remembering to do it.

Or you can let off-site backup specialists handle the job if you’re connected to the internet. Just download their app and they handle the rest, using their data storage resources.

Here is a closer look at several on-site and off-site methods to backup data.

Backing Up Using Your PCs Backup Software - Best Ways to Store Data

Millions of people worldwide use a Microsoft operating system. The Windows OS has built-in tools that make backing up data simple and fast.

Each version of Windows has its own tool. Here is a look at how to use Windows 10 backup software. Actually, it has two methods of backing up.

File History. This saves all the versions of your Word documents and PowerPoint presentations, as well as other files. You can use it to restore the last version, or an earlier one, of the file you lost. You can go into the settings of File History to tell it how long to keep backups. Many users just keep it on the default, set to “forever.”

Backup and Restore. This makes a single backup of the files on your computer on a schedule you determine. It is also able to create a System Image, in effect a snapshot of everything on the hard drive, including the OS, documents, and software.

Enable Backup and Restore by opening it in the Control Panel. When you click Set Up Backup, you can select the drive you want to use, or if you want to use your network if you are part of one. You can let Windows choose what to backup or you can select which folders you want to be backed up yourself. Most people let Windows choose.

When you click on Save Settings and Run Backup, you start the process of saving your data. From now on, your data will be saved on a regular schedule. The default is Sunday at 7 p.m., but this is easy to change by clicking the Change Schedule link.

Backing Up Your Mac - Best Ways to Store Data

The aptly named Time Machine handles backups on Mac computers. To use it, you need to connect an external hard drive to either the USB port or to the Thunderbolt or Firewire port.

Open Time Machine and tell it to use the newly connected external hard drive by clicking Use as Backup Disk. Time Machine then makes hourly backups for the previous 24 hours, daily backups for the previous month and weekly backups for all prior months. As your backup disk gets full, the oldest of the backups are automatically deleted to make more room.

Using a Thumb Drive - Best Ways to Store Data

To back up files, thumb drives work well for data storage. They are handy if you have just a few files to save.

Connect the thumb drive to a USB port on your computer. Create a new file with the date of the backup. For example, name it Backup_5302017.

Then drag the files you want to save from your computer into the folder Backup_5302017. Another way to save them is by copying and then pasting the files into the folder.

Off-Site Solutions - Best Ways to Store Data

Based on recommendations offered by Tom’s Guide, Cloudwards, and PC Mag, here are three of the best options for off-site backup. Each offers unlimited backup, a real benefit for growing businesses. All have a variety of plans, starting under $60 for a full year of service.

Crashplan. Their software is easy to use, a big plus for non-techies. Customers say they are reliable and helpful.

Backblaze. BackBlaze has a simple setup, geared to those with little technical background. Users report that customer services reps are quick to respond and the service is dependable.

Carbonite. Carbonite has many satisfied customers. The company has a reputation for great customer service, dependability, and simplicity.

Before you sign up with any plan:

- Be sure to check online for promo codes. Reductions are common, often as much as 25 to 50 percent.

- Always carefully check out the features of each package. Match the plan to your current needs, and also make sure it will grow with you.

- Be sure to read a range of reviews on consumer sites.

Best Ways To Store Data

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