What would you do if you lost the draft of that novel you've been working on? How much time would it take to re-type? Can you ever re-take that picture of your son smiling in the bathtub when he was 6 months old? Never. If you have to take work home and lose that "do or die" spreadsheet, what ramifications would you suffer? Scared yet? Good. This productivity tip will not only save you time, but also save you money and anxiety in the event your computer crashes or your laptop is lost or stolen.
Naturally, your company has a backup plan for your work files, but do you have one for your personal files? Every week 140,000 hard drives crash. Make sure your files are safe. Here are two techniques you can use to protect your personal files:
|Online Backup||Disk or USB Device|
|What’s the difference?||Works by automatically copying your files to a secure data center via the Internet. In the event you lose access to your computer, you can login to any computer anywhere and access your files via the Internet.||Physically moves data off of your computer by copying files to disk or USB device. So, even if your computer burns to the ground, you can go to any computer with your disk(s) or USB and access your information.|
|Pros||Most services offer so much storage; you won’t have to worry about space as you would on a hard drive, USB, or DVD. Plus, data is securely housed so you don't have to worry about keeping tracking of disks. Online backup and storage systems are also a great solution for those who work on multiple computers and need to access files on multiple machines.||Most new PCs include backup software to walk you through amassing and transferring your files and they can even maintain your folder structure.|
|Cons||Be careful who you trust with your data. Free services give you what you pay for. Know a service's policy on migrating and/or destroying data if you change or discontinue service.||If you have a lot of data, you’ll have a lot of disks and/or multiple USB devices floating around. Don’t lose them. You’ll also need to remind yourself to do the backup task periodically; otherwise you’ll be restoring old data because it’s been six months since you did you last backup.|
So, to avoid the possibility of ever losing that picture of my sons in the tub at six months old, I keep all the files on my desktop computer synced with my laptop that’s backed up to an online file backup service. So, regardless of what machine I create a file on, I can put my hands on it from any computer. Here at Rackspace we offer business-grade file storage and backup services for your work computer and/or server(s), known as Rackspace Cloud Drive and Rackspace Server Backup.