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New Year's Resolution - Backup Your Data

I have been writing the Computer Corner for more than five years now. In that time I have written about backups at least three times, but still we run into customers all the time that regret not having backups of their data. They really meant to backup, but kept putting it off until one day the computer crashed and they lost their photos, music and everything else.

Since January is a time to resolve to do things better, I figured I would take another stab at convincing the computer users of the world... or at least the few thousand that will see this... to resolve to backup their data on a regular schedule.

There are several options for backups your computer:

Online - You can use one of many inexpensive online services to backup your data. They run about $50 per year and use software you install on your PC to back it up over the internet to a server. Check out carbonite.com, idrive.com and mozy.com. For even more choices, go to google.com and search for online backup service.

Local - To backup locally, you need backup software to do the work and media to save the backup to. One popular backup software is "Karen's Replicator" available for free at KarenWare.com. Windows Vista Business and Ultimate Editions include a "Windows Backup and Restore Center", but unfortunately this is not included in the Home and Home Premium Editions of Vista. For backup media, you can use CD's, DVD's, Flash or Thumb Drives and External Hard Drives. Most external hard drives include backup software with them.

Whichever option you choose, you will sleep better knowing the photos of the kids and your $2000 iTunes collection are backed up safely and ready to restore the next time your computer crashes.

Posted by Charles Swihart on 1/1/2009

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