Backing up your laptop is serious business

Laptops are everywhere theses days and almost every business-person has one for sales presentations, working in the field or just the convenience of always having a computer with them. Unfortunately, by their very nature of being portable, they suffer from some "downsides" that a desktop computer does not:

  1. Laptop computers get banged around, causing more shock to the components inside
  2. A laptop is easy to steal from any public place
  3. Since a laptop isn't usually connected to a corporate network, all data resides on the laptop
The need for constant laptop backup

When your desktop or workstation is connected to a network, you are usually working on files that reside on the server and are backed-up throughout the day. With a laptop, you are usually mobile and don't have the constant server connection or the connection is slow. By default, we usually save all our documents on our laptop and then get busy and don't always sync with a company server or a backup device at home. All it takes is one small problem (hard drive crashes, accidentally drop the laptop, it gets lost or stolen at an airport, etc.) and all your work and even sensitive company documents are gone (or worse, in the hands of someone else). Laptops need constant backup and in most cases, you need to take your backup with you as a mobile and temporary solution.

How to backup and protect your laptop

There are two forms of backup that will keep you and your documents protected: portable, external hard drive with the correct backup software; on-line backup for those times when you are connected to a stable Internet connection.

External backup with a solid state drive: With the lowering prices for fast and lightweight solid state drives, now is the time to look to purchase one versus a standard mechanical backup hard drive. While solid state drives are more expensive, they will handle backups much more quickly and they are more able to handle shocks and "banging-around" that happens with mobile computing. Capacities for solid state drives are up to 2 terabytes and increasing, which is usually several times the size of your laptop hard drive. The rule of thumb is to get a backup hard drive twice the size of the "used" space on your laptop. We use the new Samsung external solid state drives. They run cool, are very lightweight and backup very quickly. For backup software, you can use the free endpoint backup from Veeam. We use that for many client laptops (in addition to using it for our home computers). This software is easy to use and runs in the background. As soon as you get to a point where the laptop will be sitting still for a while, plug in your external backup device and the software will start backing up (and give you a progress indicator so you know when the latest backup is complete).

On-line backup: It's always a great idea to have two types of backup as you never want a single point of failure. ON-line backup site such as Carbonite and Mozy Pro are fine for laptops s they take into account that your laptop is an "on-again, off-again" machine and often you will shut-down your laptop in the middle of an on-line backup. Their software picks-up where the previous backup left off. Of course, the downside of an on-line backup services is ahta yo are at the mercy of the speed of your wireless connection (which you use more often than a wired connection).

Conclusion

You can never backup your desktop or laptop enough. It always seems that the time when you really need to recover your files is when you didn't back them up. With a combination of external hard drive and on-line backup, you can feel free to roam where you want to and have access to all your data.

About Accelera IT Solutions

Accelera IT Solutions is a Phoenix, Arizona-based provider of complete IT services and solutions including on-site support, remote support, data backup and replication (to our secure data center), consulting for HIPAA and PCI compliance, IT project management and cyber-security audits and planning. Accelera also specializes in hardware consulting and installation/setup of servers, workstation, laptops and desktops. Our goal is to show you how IT can be a profit center, not an expense. Contact Accelera at 623-266-4190 or at www.acceleradata.com.

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