When Lori is not busy programming or taking customer support calls for The Cattleman's Resource, she finds time to raise and care for her own herd of cattle. Every day on her lunch break, Lori mixes grain or moves hay bales with her tractor to feed her hungry, growing calves.
Lori's experience working with cattle allows her to connect with her customers on a business level, and a personal level as well.
We all know we need to backup our computer data. Some people copy files out to an external hard drive, some copy files out to a flash drive, and some backup to tapes and put them into a file cabinet. All of these techniques are good and useful.
There are two big issues with many companies’ backup processes, which still expose them with the risk of data loss and all of the pain and cost of trying to recover lost data.
If your process includes a human having to REMEMBER to periodically do it, OR your storage location is a complete loss (burns down, wind and rain damage) then that tape in the file cabinet is also lost. “Oops!”
Fireproof safes are great, but they still only have a limited fire exposure rating for heat temperature and minutes before the fire is put out.
Another backup option is to take the tapes or drives off site, but again, this isn’t daily, it is generally weekly or monthly and when a human REMEMBERS to do it.
But humans get too busy and humans forget. Buildings burn and wind, rain, or worse can happen. Don’t think it can’t happen to you, because it can. It happens everyday to some company, some person, in some town. It has even happened to my customers!
That’s why we’re writing this:to get you to ADD an Online Backup to your approach.
‘Online Backup’ means saving the data out of your office, on to file storage out on the internet.
Online backup companies provide a simple, secure and economical way to protect all the files on your computer's hard drive, out onto the backup service company’s data storage.
If you lose access to your computer and files, online backup services give you the ability to quickly restore any lost information. You can easily and quickly download your files to a computer in another building, office or other city. All you need is internet access.
How Does it Work?
Most online backup service companies have 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. 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.
The installed software will automatically run based on the frequency you tell it to. We recommend backing up files every day to ensure that they are protected in the unfortunate event of file loss. It runs in the background, so you can still use your computer. It can hog your internet bandwidth, but when this happens, you can pause it, and it will try again later.
The online backup approach can eliminate these two risky issues since it runs automatically and a human does not have to remember to do something. The files are stored at a different location than the computer in the case of total building or location loss.
Studies show that losing critical files for even 24 hours can seriously harm most businesses. And it’s about more than just losing money. It’s about your reputation… keeping your business running, and providing your customers required information and services.
There are multiple companies that provide this service. Each one has a slightly different pricing plan but they all will include various prices based on volume of data storage required, and the number of computers, with servers costing more than desktops. Before shopping for the one that will fit you the best, you need to know:
Data Storage Requirements
Number of Servers
Number of Desktops and Laptops
To determine your data storage requirements, you will need to look through the computer’s file system to find the folders and files that you want to save. Make a list of these folder names, and also write down the current size of the folder (and the sum of the storage for all files in the folder.)
To Find the Folders and Data Storage Requirements:
Open ‘My Computer’ from the start menu and you will see each physical drive. You will drill down into different subfolders of the computer storage to find the folder and files that you want to backup. When you find the folder, right-click on it, and choose ‘Properties’. When the property window opens, it will tell you the total size of all of the files stored below it, including any subfolders. Write this number on your list so you can add them all up after you have found all of the folders on all of the computers that you want to save the data.
Shopping for Online Backup Service Companies:
There are quite a few companies now that provide online backup services. Carbonite advertises a lot so it might be one of the most recognized names. At the end of this article we will include links to pages which will let you see them, compare them, and choose one that fits your needs the best. Some will be cheaper and more focused on single computer customers, where others might have a better option for businesses with servers and multiple computers.
For our company, we have a server and multiple computers; two of which have files that I wanted to include in the backup. We chose MozyPro, because I knew of the company, and they had a better price for a server. The 50 GB storage volume was enough for my current data.
MozyPro protects Windows and Mac computers, servers & desktop computers. They also have a Personal option which doesn’t include servers, just desktops. Here are the pricing of MozyPro, for one server + desktops. The first is for 10GB storage and the second is for the 50 GB storage. On their website, you click on the storage volume and it displays the price in Monthly, 1-Year, or 2-Year payment options.
With MozyPro, my initial installations went smoothly. But after 6 months, I wanted to add a computer and I had a difficult time traversing their website for how to do that. I then called technical support which answered promptly and helped me through it. I give a thumbs UP to calling technical support, but the website was very difficult to follow on my own. Giving feedback on their website, they said to just call them, they were happy to help me directly.
For $297 /year, we have additional security against data loss. That’s really inexpensive compared to the cost of any type of data loss. Additionally, I sleep better at night.
Links to multiple online backup service company information:
These two are reviews of different online backup software programs: