An ideal data backup solution is essential for almost every one. For an individual, memories captured in photos and videos often hold priceless sentimental value. For companies and organizations, internal records and intellectual property are extremely important and often need to be kept for years securely. For whatever reasons, we can all agree that unexpected data loss due to a broken hard drive is the last thing that anyone wants to deal with.
So, with costs in mind, what options do we have?
Hard drives are inexpensive, and data stored on hard drives is easily accessible locally and fast to transfer. However, hard drives typically have an average life span of 5 years. While multiple hard drive setups with RAID may lower the risks, the media with such short life span is not ideal for long term storage, not to mention the additional costs with multiple hard drives for RAID may raise the overall costs.
For a monthly or annual subscription, a software application running on your computer can back up your data files to an offsite facility. Files can be easily accessed from multiple locations via internet, which is very convenient and offsite storage of data ensures disaster recovery options, however, the tradeoff is in security and privacy. While encryption on the data during transfer may stop amateur hackers from accessing your data, backup via internet still pose potential risks compared to local backup solutions. Large amounts of data will also require significant transfer time.
“Who still burns CDs?” One may ask with a chuckle. Actually, with disc autoloaders and the new M-Disc, optical medias could be the ultimate backup choice. Disc autoloaders like Nimbie USB Plus are external disc burners with robotic attachments, which can eliminate the trouble of manually loading discs when backing up huge amount of data to several discs. The average life span of optical discs is around 6~7 years, M-Disc DVDs and Blu-rays are new type of optical discs which can last up to 1,000 years.
The ideal backup storage solution will depend on your individual or company needs, the best overall system is the one that continues to protect your computer with minimal human interaction. In some cases, the combination of two storage options may be the best solution for you.