Backing up your data and all critical information is a great hobby you should get into. Whether you are backing up monthly, weekly, daily, or hourly, you should be backing up your data. You never know when you are going to have a hard drive failure, physical damage, natural disaster, or a cyber attack. All the data that you create on a day to day basis should be protected and backed up that way when disaster strikes, you can sleep in peace knowing that your data is safe and secure. But is backing up your data on a schedule enough? Let’s explore the concept of off-site backups.
The concept of off-site backups should be self explanatory. There are many ways to backup your data. You could go out and purchase an external hard drive and manually (or automatically) backup your data. This is a great, easy, and somewhat cheap solution to backups. But, while your data may be safe from a cyber attack on your network, what if the hard drive fails or worse, it catches on fire. It is not enough to just back up your data to an external drive, you should take an extra precaution and store that external drive, and in my opinion have multiple copies, in a different location. For example, you could keep a hard drive locked up in your drawer at work. Or you could keep the drive at a relatives house. If your data is that valuable, you could get a safety box at a bank and keep it there. Whatever your solution, having an off-site backup means that when tragedy hits, you will most likely have a reliable way to get your data back. The only downside to this is that since your drive is physically not with you, it becomes harder to do continuous backups.
Other solutions may be to use a public cloud like Dropbox, Box, or Amazon Drive. All these solutions are remote, they typically offer some sort of 99% up time, and they worry about physical failures for you. You pay a monthly or yearly fee, but all your data is automatically backed up and secure in a remote location. This option is great because you can have a scheduled backup, but it can get very expensive if you have too much data. Those storage plans can get pricey. My recommendation would be to have your utmost important data in both locations. Maybe you can live without backing up your 50 GB games, but your pictures from your wedding, those should probably be on the cloud and in an external hard drive.
Whatever strategy you pick, just make sure you have one. The number of people out there not backing up their data is mind blowing. Even if you are backing up your data to external drives, make sure you take a copy every once in a while and store it somewhere else. It’s always best to be prepared than to regret not having taken action when you had a chance. Be smart, backup and store off-site.