Don’t forget to back up your laptop!

Businesses are finding that people are working from home, on the road, and even on your vacation. Allowing employees the freedom to access data and catch up on work from a mobile device often makes sense when you look at the data, such as a Forrester Research survey which reports that 75% of companies indicate workplace mobility leads to increased productivity. Forrester even coined a name for this emerging class of worker – the “anytime, anywhere employee.”

But mobility poses a backup problem, because people using laptops often store data on the local drive – which goes where the laptop goes – rather than on the server, which is backed up.  

In response to the fast-growing number of laptops being used in the workplace, Sinu now offers installation and management of online backup on all of your laptops quickly and efficiently. If your company uses laptops, Sinu recommends installing a Cloud backup solution on each laptop. The cost is about 50% cheaper than external hard drives for the same amount of storage, and is well worth the price to keep your company’s data protected. Additionally, it gives you peace of mind that if an employee should leave the company, you can access the data from their laptop.

If you are still wondering about laptop backup, read on…

What is online file backup?

Online file backup is the process of storing the contents of your computer's hard drive, such as your important documents and media files, through the Internet using a third party online backup service.

Why do I need an online backup service?

Online backup laptop services provide a simple, secure and economical way to protect all the files on your computer's hard drive. If your hard drive crashes, your computer is stolen, you accidentally erase important information from your computer or you otherwise lose access to important files, online backup services give you the ability to quickly restore any lost information.

Will my hard drive really fail?

It is a fact of life that all computer hard drives will eventually fail or crash. A recent study by Google found that 8% of computer hard drives will fail within the first two years of operation. That means one in every 12 computer hard drives will crash within the first 24 months of operation.

When your hard drive does eventually fail, you risk losing all the information that was stored on your computer. Restoration of a crashed hard drive that has not been properly backed up can be very expensive without guaranteed results of restoring your data.

In addition to hardware failure, you may also lose files if your computer is stolen or you accidentally permanently erase important files. In those cases, you have no way to restore your files unless you have been consistently backing them up.

Is online file backup secure?

Yes. Online backup services utilize the same security measures that financial institutions use to protect sensitive data. This means that the data you store with an online backup service is as secure as your bank account or credit card account information.

How do online backup services work?

Online backup services allow you to download a small computer program on your laptop or desktop computer. This application will allow you to select which files you would like to backup and set up automated scheduled backups of your files.

The first time you use an online backup service it can take several hours or even days to scan and backup all of the files on your computer's hard drive. However, once that initial set up is complete the online backup service will only need to backup new files or those that have changed. This will typically only take minutes if you schedule your automated backups to occur relatively frequently. We recommend that consumers backup their files every day to ensure that they are protected in the unfortunate event of file loss.

Does my computer need to be on and connected to the Internet in order for online backup services to work?

Yes. Online backup services use the Internet to transmit files from your computer to an online backup service provider. Most top-rated online backup services can process automated file backups while you are completing other tasks on your computer, such as surfing the Internet or checking your email.

Keep in mind that it typically only takes a few minutes to process a daily file backup, so you can also run your backup right before you shut down your computer for the day if you prefer.

What is the difference between online backup and backing up my files to an external hard drive?

External hard drives allow users to save files from their computer on another separate hard drive. Online backup is a better solution for most consumers for several reasons.

First, external hard drives have the same hardware failure issues that the internal hard drive in your computer has. They will eventually fail or crash and put the stored information at risk, whereas online backup services are not dependent on a single hard drive to store your information, which makes them infinitely more reliable.

Second, external hard drives are only as secure as you make them. If your external hard drive is misplaced or stolen you immediately lose all the backup information that you have stored there. Online backup services, on the other hand, allow you to store your information remotely and securely on computer servers that are maintained by professionals. In fact, many major corporations use the same online file backup services that are available to consumers to store important business information because these services are so secure and professionally managed. 

Third, external hard drives have storage limitations. For example, if you purchase a 100 GB external hard drive it will be able to store 100 gigabytes of information before you need to either purchase an additional drive or delete some information of your existing one. The top-rated online backup services offer unlimited storage capacity for all your important files. You will never need to buy additional storage capacity or hardware and you will never need to choose which files you will keep and which you will delete based off of how much storage space is available.

Finally, external hard drives are more expensive per gigabyte of storage than most online backup services. We recently analyzed the costs of both options and found that online backup services are about 50% cheaper per gigabyte than using external hard drives.

How do I restore my files using an online backup service?

The process of restoring lost files differs depending on the service provider. In most cases, it is as simple as accessing your online account and downloading the files you have backed up.

The amount of time it takes to download your backed-up files varies based on the amount of data you have stored with your online backup service. It can take anywhere from a few hours if you have a small number of files backed up to several days if you have many large files to recover.

Contact Sinu with any questions about laptop backup or to discuss the other NYC IT support services Sinu provides to protect your data.