Articles

Protect Your Memories and Your Livelihood - Backup!

It's your loss if you don't!

To our advantage as well as our chagrin, modern technologies allow us the ability to conveniently manage both our personal lives and business endeavors through the use of computers and mobile devices.

While the advantages afforded us in modernity are virtually limitless, such capabilities have placed us at far greater risk for catastrophic loss.

Gone are the days when protecting yourself and your business involved burying a cache of shiny rocks a little deeper than the other guy or deftly sneaking up behind someone copying your cave paintings and bopping him on the head with a club.

In bygone days, if your home burned down, you lost all of your personal items and photos.

In the modern world, with or without the aid of natural disasters, all it takes for you to lose all of your precious photos and files is for your computer hard drive to die.

Anyone familiar with the law of averages knows that the more computers you have, the more likely you are to experience a hard drive failure.
Protect Your Memories and Your Livelihood - Backup!
Print Email
Protect Your Memories and Your Livelihood - Backup!
It's your loss if you don't!
To our advantage as well as our chagrin, modern technologies allow us the ability to conveniently manage both our personal lives and business endeavors through the use of computers and mobile devices.

While the advantages afforded us in modernity are virtually limitless, such capabilities have placed us at far greater risk for catastrophic loss.

Gone are the days when protecting yourself and your business involved burying a cache of shiny rocks a little deeper than the other guy or deftly sneaking up behind someone copying your cave paintings and bopping him on the head with a club.

In bygone days, if your home burned down, you lost all of your personal items and photos.

In the modern world, with or without the aid of natural disasters, all it takes for you to lose all of your precious photos and files is for your computer hard drive to die.

Anyone familiar with the law of averages knows that the more computers you have, the more likely you are to experience a hard drive failure.

“Death, taxes, and hard drive failure” --Uttered by Steve Grovenor when discussing life’s certainties.

Faced with the probabilities, businesses and individuals alike are confronted with a choice:

1. Act naturally and assume that such losses only happen to “the other guy.”
2. Acknowledge that what you cannot unfailingly protect, you must insure by backing up your data.

In our next installment, we share some of our experiences with drive failures and some ways to eliminate, or at the very least, mitigate your risk.

IT Support Services and Network Security

Your Source for Tips and Wisdom

Rocket science. Brain surgery. Quantum physics. IT support services and network security.

All these fields and disciplines can be extremely daunting to the lay-person but are vital to the furtherance of society and business.

Since we are, at present, not licensed to perform brain surgery and it can legitimately be argued that rocket science and quantum physics are more “cool” than “vital”, the focus of our upcoming blog series will be Network Security.

In a world where 3 year-olds patiently peruse the app store on their parents’ tablet and goat farmers in Afghanistan carry smartphones, we believe it to be the sacred duty of IT professionals to educate their clients and protect the unwary from the anonymous malice that seeks financial gain by exploiting the very technologies that make our lives easier and our businesses successful.

We all use computers, but we are not all IT gurus. Visit us weekly for some important tips and random wisdoms gained from a decade of helping both business and individuals negotiate the treacherous waters of security.

The Crash and the Recovery

We're Not Talking Economics Here

The failure rates of hard drives vary significantly by Manufacturer and fluctuate from year to year.

Seagate, which used to be (but is no longer) our #1 standard go to drive, has plummeted in reliability in the last few years.

Backblaze, one of our favorite and most cost effective online backup solutions, shows upwards of a 43% failure rate of some Seagate drives.

In one case, we purchased 5 Dell computers for a customer. Within 6 months, 4 of the 5 computers hard drives suddenly died. All of the drives were Seagate.

While one might be inclined to attribute this to “a bad batch” of drives, we have and continue to see significant failures recently in the Seagate laptop drives that are in many of the Dell business laptops.

In a few cases, even the replacement drives have failed in as few as 6 months.

Inconsistent performance is not unique to Seagate, as we have seen periods where multiple hard drive manufacturers have had reliability issues.

Typically, when you purchase a computer from companies such as Dell, HP, Apple, Toshiba, and all others, you have no idea which manufacturer made the hard drive in that computer, making it even more difficult to play the odds as it were.

Fortunately for some users, there are occasions when we can see symptoms and warnings that a hard drive crash is imminent and we can copy the data off before a complete failure.

In most cases, however, the drive fails completely with no warning.

In the unfortunate (and we hope unlikely) event that you don’t have a backup, all is not always lost.

Data recovery companies will happily charge you a large sum of money to recover the drive, albeit without any guarantee the data will be usable. To your chagrin, you may also wind up with extraneous program and operating system files in addition to precious documents and pictures.

There are a number of different ways to accomplish backing up your data.

Purchase an external hard drive that you plugin to your computer and backup the files to using the backup program provided with the drive or use Time Machine on a Mac to back up to the external drive.

Backup to the cloud using an online service such as Backblaze.

Consider a cloud based solution such as SugarSync which enables all of your files to be automatically synchronized between your computers and enables access of your files from mobile devices via the Internet.

Utilize the simple, user-friendly, yet still effective Dropbox option.

Pop in again tomorrow and find the best fit for your backup needs as we discuss some options in greater detail.