No free lunch?
There is when it comes to your data security.
In the dark days before cloud computing, if you wished to back up your stuff, external storage drives were the logical choice of medium.
If you worked on files using more than one computer or tablet you had to ensure that you synchronised your data every time you switched devices.
The question when backing up to extra internal or external hard drives is: “Where do I draw the line?” If your main computer’s hard drive crashes, a backup is invaluable, but if you only have one backup drive it can be stolen in a burglary, or destroyed in a fire, along with your computer. So for total peace of mind you need at least two and one should be kept at a remote location. That means regular exchanging of drives, a potential loss of data you created since the last backup, and an lot of hassle we could live without.
Do you use more than one computer?
Data management is further complicated if you need to synchronise your files on two or more devices. There is excellent software for this. Microsoft’s free SyncToy and the excellent SyncBack SE are two very good sync utilities.
But running these programs is yet another job that we can do without. If you flip back and forth between your laptop and desktop, or between home and work, it’s a never ending task.
Enter the cloud
An extra hard drive is invaluable at home or in the office. I wouldn’t be without one for backing up my whole system using imaging software, but the game has changed for your data files: documents, email, photos, and music. There are services popping up all over the place like spring daffodils. Companies are clamouring to back up and synchronise your data files on somebody else’s whopping big hard drive in the “Cloud” i.e. on a remote Internet site usually thousands of miles away from your place.
And what’s more, you can take care of a lot (possibly all) of your data without parting with a cent.
Continue reading “Cloud Storage”