Everyone needs an emergency plan. Your family knows the plan if there is a fire, such as where to meet and how to get out of the house. We set up emergency funds to cover those unexpected things that come up during the year financially. But what plan do you have in place for your computer data?
If you’ve never had your computer crash, then your turn is probably right around the corner. No, I don’t mean to scare you. It’s just the reality of electronics. We put a lot of stress on our electronics. Some of us expect them to run forever without any kind of maintenance or plan. Bad idea.
With the advent of online storage, you can feel a greater sense of comfort in thinking that your data is safe. But is it really? What if it isn’t? What’s your backup plan?
I rely on Google Drive for most of my storage. That said, however, I also sync it to my computer so that there is an offline copy in case I don’t have internet access. But, that doesn’t mean I stop there. I also have a stand alone backup device. My Drobo http://www.drobo.com/ holds 4 hard drives and once I connect it, the backup runs in the background. I do incremental backups to four 1 Tb drives. Yes – they are almost full. (I don’t get paid by Drobo, by the way. I just happen to really like their product.)
Is this necessary? Well, is my data necessary? I could recreate all of what I have – maybe. But, I’d rather not. My workflow is on demand and without it, I’d be really hard-pressed to generate it all over again. Twice I’ve had to restore my data from a backup. Twice it was a headache and took about a week to get things back in place, but at least I had it. All of it.
Also, from experience, I’ve learned that it’s important to attempt to restore a few things from your backup just to be sure it really works! If you are using a plan, be sure it’s easy to access what you need should something happen. My first plan wasn’t very efficient, and I struggled to restore what I needed. So, try it out and understand how to get your stuff back when you need to.
The moral of the story is: Have at least two ways to retrieve your data if something happens. Don’t put it off. The longer you wait to have a plan in place, the more likely you will have a data crash and wish you’d prepared for the inevitable.