Data backup is one of the most important know-how this era of smartphone, digital camera and computers data backup even to an average user. Medium is what will hold the data. There are different medium and techniques of backup. Each of the medium and techniques has pros and cons. In this article elaborating 5 key data backup media for the home users, we need to consider factors like cost, reliability, speed, availability, and usability for each medium. Cost often an important factor to the home users. Reliability means the probability of having a working backup. A broken backup worth nothing. When we are using physical medium, reliability is too important for the procedure. Before a data backup medium reaches its maximum age to rely on, it needs to be replicated freshly. The speed of backup often not important. Availability points to the chance of loss of access to the medium. For example, backup on floppies was cheap once, but today it is difficult to get a computer with a floppy drive. Easier it is to make backups, usability is higher. Earlier we published an article on the virtual tape drive. Commonly, tape drive and virtual tape not used by the home users.
Among type of backup, there is full, incremental or differential backup which we discussed earlier. Ordinary home users may avoid knowing so much details.
Other matters around backup are security and privacy without compromise. For the sake of safety, it is advisable to pick at least two techniques and use them concurrently. For instance, using cloud storage backup technique concurrently with the on-site NAS (Network Attached Storage). This way, if any of the techniques used fails, then the user still has an intact backup from the secondary backup.
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5 Data Backup Media for the Home Users
Backup on the Cloud
Cloud storage services technique is all the rage today and for good reasons. Cloud-based backups offer end-to-end data encryption to keep it safe, accompanied by free storage space and rational fees for supplementary space. Cloud-based data are accessible by both mobile devices and computers wherever you are. The key players in cloud storage services include:
- Google Drive: This service is integrated with the Android devices. Mac and Windows users can download a desktop app for drag-and-drop capability. The service includes 15GB of free storage.
- iCloud: This service is for Apple product users and incorporates 5GB free storage space. Windows users may also sync their files with the iCloud Drive.
- Dropbox: This service has been in use for a while. It offers business and personal subscriptions. The personal account subscription includes 2GB free data.
- OneDrive: This service is accessible via Windows 10 file explorer. iOS and Android devices can access this drive through an app. Mac user is capable of downloading an app from the Mac App Store. This drive includes 5GB free storage space.
- Samsung Cloud: This service is accessible via Samsung devices. Their Android and other devices can access this drive their app for backup, comparable to iCloud.
There is a vast range of other cloud services including Nextcloud, Spideroak One, iDrive, Box, MegaBackup, among others (we have an article listing various cloud storage services). It is advisable that you trade cautious with new services to avoid disappointments.
- Secure data transmission
- Data is secure in a remote location. Accessibility is guaranteed so long as you have internet
- Free space available and affordable upgrades
- Poses the risk of a site/service closing
- Has capacity limitations for the free storage services
- You must have internet connection in your device to gain access to your backup files
Backup on External Hard Drive
You can connect portable and external hard drives to one PC at a time. External devices may be wired or wireless devices. Most portable and external devices today come with USB 3.0-speed capabilities. However, your PC must also have a USB 3.0 speed in order to take advantage of this feature.
- You can schedule your backups with software in place and remain to worry less about your backup files.
- Easy to use
- Solid-state drives are less risky but may be expensive especially for drives with large capacity.
- Needs to be stored off-site in case of any catastrophe
- The drives run a risk of failure
Backup on Optical Storage Media (Blu-ray Disc, CD, or DVD)
This method was once the gold standard method in data backup. Burning data to Blu-ray discs, CDs, or DVDs is currently much less popular, though still a reliable method of data backup especially for video and photo backup.
- Can be stored safely is an off-site location (for instance, safe deposit box)
- Drive failure is not an issue
- Some devices no longer include drives for this purpose today hence, the technology may be rendered outdated
- Time-consuming to manage these backups
- Can be pricey for a large volume of data since you have to buy additional archival quality discs
Backup on USB Flash Drive
USB flash drives are very portable and you can easily carry them around in your pocket. While these drives were once pricey and available in small capacities, their sizes have greatly increased and prices dropped today.
- Available in USB 3.0
- You can easily misplace these drives (not recommended for storage of crucial files long-term due to the high risk involved)
- Capacity limitation especially for data science, data analytics related files
- Not always durable
Backup on Network Attached Storage (NAS) Drive
A Network Attached Storage (NAS) is a dedicated server meant to save data. It can operate either wirelessly or wired, depending on your PC drive. Once configured, it can simply display as an additional drive on your PC.
- You can set it for automatic backup
- You can backup data from several computers at ago
- Subject to a possibility of drive failure
Whichever method you select to back up your data, ensure that you always do it the right, recommended way by the experts. It is advisable that you consider backing your files using more than one technique. People often fail to think about what could happen if they were to lose their crucial data until they lose it. Yes, that hard drive will one day fail to boot! If you happen to lose your crucial data, consider exploring hard drive recovery services in your area to get helped to recover your lost data in a hassle-free way.