With most households in the UK now owning one or more computers, a huge amount of data is stored every day with varying levels of value to its owner/s. On top of that, there are many small businesses, based in and outside the home who need to store data securely but may not be able to afford sufficient physical hardware to ensure that their data is backed up regularly.
Think of how you personally use your PC, and the kind of data you store every day.
- You are at school or college and your coursework is created and stored on your PC. At some later date you will need to print it out or submit it electronically in order to pass an exam or meet a standard for qualification.
- You are a photographer, selling your photos to technical magazines or news media and you have a large amount of photos which may be of value to people writing articles on similar subjects
- You run a small business which needs to keep accounts which will be the basis of your submissions to tax authorities in the future. You also need to maintain contact with your customers in order to keep them up to date with your latest products and services and to bill them for what they have purchased.
In all of these cases, if your PC broke down or was stolen, it could be disastrous for you and your future. You need to consider the best way to keep your data safe and also to maintain additional up-to-date copies,
One option is to have some kind of external hard drive on to which you copy your PC data periodically. Of course this piece of hardware is also vulnerable to theft and breakdown.
The modern alternative is to use 'cloud' backup which means that you copy your data to an internet server owned by an outside organisation and ensure manually or automatically that if you add to your data or modify it, that you re-copy the file to your backup media.
If the work or hobby that you do generates a lot of data, it may be a good idea to consider BOTH methods, which is what I advised a friend whose hobby is family research and has a huge amount of family tree information and photos of her ancestors, relatives and related information.
Using one or more external hard drives can also help to keep your PC running fast, especially if it is getting old and is struggling to find enough space to run. I have given a link at the end to a good quality hard drive that I would recommend.
I have recently encountered two different cloud backup companies, MyPCBackup and Cloudzow. I initially opened an account with MyPCBackup but it was limited on how much space I could use for my monthly subscription and upgrading meant paying considerably more. The lowest entry point subscription cost me £8.95 (GBP) and the company is British.
I then found Cloudzow which offers unlimited storage for a very low monthly subscription so I have switched my backup to there. ($5 US per calendar month). So, you can see that the price comparison comes out very much in Cloudzow's favour.
The two systems work in different ways and for my purposes I much prefer Cloudzow's method.
MyPCBackup needs to be scheduled to run on your PC each day or at other intervals you select. This constrains you to have the PC on and internet available at that time, If it is not, the backup will run again as soon as the PC is on and connected to the internet. It isn't intrusive in itself, and it does not slow down your PC but it could be disastrous if your PC was stolen when you had just updated something essential and the next backup had not run. Most thieves just wipe a hard drive immediately on stealing a PC and laptops are a frequent target. MyPCBackup also defaults to NOT backup certain types of popular file formats in particular, videos are excluded and the backup parameters must be modifed to include them.
In contrast, when you sign up with Cloudzow, one complete backup runs immediately. Thereafter when you add or modify a file, in your designated folders, Cloudzow will automatically pick up the file as it is saved and update your backup. This is a far better way to work in my opinion.
Both companies offer you commission for referring new customers so when you have decided which best suits your needs you can tell friends and family and cover your monthly costs with just a couple of referrals.