Data backup services: What is a good backup of the data

We all accumulate a quantity of data increasingly important among the files stored on our hard drives and multiple mobile devices, online storage solutions, web services etc. Unless you tend to close their eyes and grit your teeth and hope that everything goes well, it is likely that you have already thought about all that data backup service, at least for the most important.

But then, this is not one of the funniest tasks, and there are so many possibilities that it is easy to get lost or forget. Here are some thoughts on the subject bases. Note that I speak here rather individuals or self-employed, rather than companies that have to take this issue more seriously by mostly hire professionals to manage this aspect.

Introduction: what is a good backup of the data?

automatic backup services to be able to go back in case of problems
This may seem obvious at first, yet there may be criteria to take into account that you imagine:

– Requires that the data be copied in several places. So at two points at a minimum, but obviously the multiplication increases safety,

– These storage points should be as far as possible away from each other, so there is virtually no likelihood that they all disappear at the same time. An example: if you backup the hard drive of your desktop PC on an external hard drive you home canning, you will be saved if your PC crashes, but in trouble if unfortunately you suffered water damage / fire / burglary…

– It’s all well and good, but I think that we should not forget to take into account the sensitivity of the data: is it wise to save your document “confidential” on the servers of a foreign company with which you have very little information on the use of data? For once, multiplying the storage points has the effect of increasing the risk of unwanted diffusion … So you understand that this is a balance to find.

Of course, all this depends directly on the importance one door to different backup data, and sensitivity: what is the risk if they were to disappear? Are they replaceable? Do they have significant value, both market (software …) and sentimental (photos …)?

The different backup solutions

The assembly of the hard drives in RAID his machine

If this term tells you nothing: the RAID (for Redundant Array of Independent Disks) is to use multiple hard drives on a single machine, which will operate in parallel to improve performance and / or to copy data in multiple copies. So save yourself the implementation failure of one disk.

If this is an interesting solution that allows you to keep full control of their personal data, security side you quickly understand that the interest is limited to cases where a hard drive were to make one soul, without collateral damage.

For everything else (theft, damage on the complete machine or the building that houses …), it is not enough.

Physical media “mobile”

A simple solution that we all use, and that many still use today, of copying its most important data on removable media like CDs, DVDs, USB drives, memory cards or external hard drives.

Everything then depends on the amount of data to back up.

The advantages are many:

– They can be taken everywhere. If you follow the first part of this article, you know that the proper way to make a safe backup is not stored in the same room, and even better not in the same building,

– They can be used on multiple devices, and be swept from side to side to use its files everywhere,

– Data storage on physical media which is still in control and obviously a good solution for the protection of personal data. Provided they do not leave them lying around, of course.

The inconvenients :

– Storage space is limited by the support. External hard drives now have large storage capacities but are less portable. Easily found today of USB 64GB from € 20-30 , 128GB from 50 € , for brand models “serious”. In a little more if performance issues are important to you,

– These media really have interest in a secure backup of their data if they are stored in a different location, which can be quite restrictive,

– It is difficult to schedule automatic backups of its data (and I’m not even talking about the case you stored the outside). However, there are tons of backup software , I confess myself really never discussed the subject.

I have personally used this method for several years to back up data from my work computer, making an almost complete copy every 15 days of PC in my office on an external hard drive that I stockais home. You imagine that this is tedious, with the need for a giddy like me to get a reminder to think about taking the disk, a reminder to think about making the backup, a reminder to think about bring the hard disk. But it works.

NAS – network storage servers

The network storage servers , commonly known as NAS, are small boxes filled with hard drives and connected to the home network, that load the storage of his data.

Often used by small businesses, many affordable models are accessible to individuals to constitute a real personal home network.

They usually use the hard drives in RAID mounting system that I mentioned above (provided you equip several course records), and some models can be accessed via the Internet or automatically send files to a remote server via FTP.

Note that without investing in this type of equipment, you can always simply connect a hard drive to our Internet box, the latter having fortunately today many opportunities for connection from the entire network.

The benefits of NAS:
– They are used to automatically back up our data seamlessly,
– Storage capacity can be very important, depending on the number of slots provided for hard drives, and disks that we will put inside,
– They are used by all the machines connected to the home network, and thus allow the sharing of data between machines,
– As with other storage media “physical”, they provide minimal protection of personal data (especially if they do not have direct Internet access).

The inconvenients :

– If the initial conditions we take a good backup, one can say that they do not provide maximum security since they are normally stored in his house or apartment. They can however be stored in a dedicated room and a minimum “safe” against the main problems (key closed cupboard, protected from any risk of water protected against surges …), and versions with a Internet backup system offer additional guarantees.

– All at a cost, but which may prove to be a good investment seen them mentioned advantages.

Cloud “owner”

That’s a good term that every business no matter how used in recent years to appear in the game, a kind of “tech washing” which fortunately calmed down.

Behind this nebulous concept (#pouet) simply hides the fact of having an online storage space, usually with software and dedicated web interfaces making sharing simple and user-friendly data.

We all know Dropbox, One Drive, iCloud or Google Drive (slightly different because it offers integrated office software) … and there are many others.

Advantages :
– It is a true remote backup, which greatly limits the risk of data loss,
– The competition between these services is strong, and the giants of the web being of the party, these tools are usually simple and practical to use, with thoughtful web interfaces, and software available for all platforms, like mobile PC,
– The basic versions are usually free for a limited storage space (2 GB Dropbox, 5GB of iCloud and onedrive, 15 GB Google Drive)
– It is easy to automatically back up data using software and applications provided.

The inconvenients :
– To have more room you have to pay, and it can quickly be quite expensive if you want to save a lot of data, (from € 9.99 per month for 1 TB on all aforementioned services (a great deal)).

– You have to have confidence to businesses that you trust your data. With stories of PRISM and Co. , and which is gradually being set up in France also hard to be fully confident.

The backups on an external personal server or even create a personal cloud

As we have seen, the cloud storage brings many advantages, with the counterparty to lose control of its data.

Another solution will not scare all those who are familiar with web hosting: rent space in a hosting company, and slip her time to time files with FileZilla FTP program to style have a solid backup .

Of course, this is not the most ergonomic way possible to manage files, and to go further we can consider using a software “cloud” staff.

If all this seems a bit obscure to you: you see operation of Dropbox? Well imagine the same thing, but instead of sending your data on servers of a US company, you’re going to use a space on a server that you rent to a host.

This does not guarantee total privacy, but it’s a little better.

One of the presently known is owncloud , I personally put in place recently on one of my servers, and I was surprised by the ease of installation while I was expecting something much more complex (in my case a Gandi Simple hosting hosting at).

Okay, it takes a minimum comfortable with web hosting, but most hosts offer the pages of explanations if necessary.

Once installed, it has a web interface, software that lets you create folders on their PC, and mobile applications, just like Dropbox, with the added satisfaction of mastering a little more host its data.

Caution in cost though, because to get a substantial storage space can rarely be satisfied with first prizes shared hosting.

I’d maybe a dedicated section shortly.

Note that an alternative is offered by web hosts themselves, which offer solutions to some of turnkey cloud. Counting for example € 0.01 HT / month / GB OVH … we therefore falls on the prices of the tenors of the cloud.

You’ll see more clearly? An update now different devices and services to save, just after a short advertisement page :-p

What backup system depending on devices and storage?

For computers

Resuming the different solutions:

– Copying onto physical media removable (USB keys, external hard drives …) is an easy and relatively inexpensive solution to implement, but will really secure that if one takes the trouble to store the support a location other than the computer. Regular backup can quickly become tedious, and we will all quickly “forget” to do its backup.

– The acquisition of a NAS can be a good idea for several reasons, not least that to create a real home network, and so have its files from the entire IT and multimedia equipment. The disadvantage of the same storage location may be exceeded by a scheduled backup solutions offering an online space.

– Backups in the cloud allow resolve the issue of the storage cost, but with a limit of space available in free versions. For more control over the confidentiality of data that is in my opinion worthwhile to invest a little in the creation of its own cloud. Tools like owncloud seem ideal for this function.

No ideal solution ultimately, it is to consider case by case, the “right” solution often consisting of a mix of all these possibilities.

For mobile devices

They obviously forgot most physical media for our mobile devices, unless imagine doing backups on micro-SD cards for cameras equipped … but it would be too tedious.

Owning a NAS access via Wi-Fi or any other home server solution also will make sense in the case of smartphones and tablets, both to save but also to access files shared by other machines.

The solution I would call the more “comfortable” remains that of online storage, cloud services offering all applications generally easy and pleasant to use.

If you trust them, services like Dropbox or Google Photos even offer to automatically save photos you take, to be sure nothing is lost in case of trouble (and to make space on the device if necessary).

For data stored in the cloud

Yep, we must not forget that sending their data in the cloud is not a guarantee of safety, because even if the web companies take precautions (multiple backup at different points …), it is never safe from a major failure, or an error in the management of your account. It is better here too have a copy somewhere backup.

You can fine you set a recurring reminder to repatriate a copy on a hard drive, just to “re-materialize” just your data.

A bit tedious I admit, I personally tend to use an automation tool like IFTTT or Zapier to make copies of several services (sending the contents of its Google Drive Dropbox for example)

For the most important web services

Again, it seems important to leave nothing to chance, especially for the services most used: webmail, calendar, task list, or even social networks. They propose a solution in principle all to download all of its data, but sometimes you look good. You can still once you put a reminder to do this periodically, even if it is a bit tedious.

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