Tuesday, October 23, 2007

When is the last time you backed up your computer?

So... if your computer died tonight, what would happen? Would you lose everything you have on your hard drive? Do you have copies of all your emails? Did you remember to back up all those digital photos?

Most people never think about all the stuff they have stored on their computer until their hard drive dies or their machine blows up. Then it's too late. The damage is already done and everything is already lost. I hear from at least one person every month who has lost everything and is looking for some glimmer of hope that I might be able help them recover the 5 years of stuff they just lost.

For the past 8 months I've been using an online backup service called Carbonite. It works in the background and uses your existing broadband connection to store the data within Carbonite's datacenter. The data is encrypted and safely locked up waiting for you to need rescuing. When it comes time for that rescue, your data can be restored to any PC with an internet connection.

So if you're traveling or are otherwise away from your home or office when your computer dies, there's no worrying about not having your backup discs, media, etc. You can simply start restoring all your lost data onto a new computer via any available internet connection.

You can even use Carbonite to do what I did recently - to move all your data to a new PC. I work in lots of different offices and getting data from my main laptop onto a new laptop is always a hassle. I'm usually traveling when I need to make the switch and that just complicates it even more. With Carbonite I just installed the software on the new machine and initiated Restore mode, chose the files I wanted to restore, told Carbonite where to put them and went to bed. The next morning, all of my data had been pulled down by Carbonite onto my new machine.

Carbonite is the cheapest data insurance you'll ever buy! I highly recommend it. They offer a free 15 day trial.