Why is backing up your data important?
Backing up your data is important to protect against data loss. You never know when you might get a corrupted file, a computer virus, have a fire or flood, a storm knocks out your power, or the many other things that can go wrong. You might lose your data if you are not backing it up. Data loss could mean money lost and lost clients.
What are some of the data backup solutions available?
There are many different backup solutions, and you should consider using at least two of them, if not three. Dropbox, Box.net, SmartVault, and Google Cloud allow you to work on your documents from your desktop but store the actual information in a cloud (somewhere on the internet). Examples:
Dropbox has you download a program that installs a folder on your desktop just like your My Documents folder in your Windows application. It looks and feels just like using the Windows application. The difference is the actual files are stored online on the Dropbox server. You can access your folders and files from your desktop or sign in to Dropbox and have access to them anywhere.
Box.net and SmartVault are very similar in the interface as Dropbox, but SmartVault has one real difference. SmartVault allows you to backup your accounting. If you use QuickBooks, it allows you to store your QuickBooks backups in it.
Google Cloud will have you download a program that will sync with your Windows folders and files. You work from your desktop or online, directly in Google docs. Your folders or files are synchronized when you save them from your PC.
Other options include having your own or a paid server, jump drives/CD/DVD, and an external hard drive. From all the research that I have done, the external hard drive seems to be the most popular for small businesses of these options. They are affordable and well worth the investment. An external hard drive is just like the hard drive on your PC, but it is not in your PC. The external hard drive is usually a small box that you plugin and then backup to.
I personally am currently using Dropbox, Google Cloud, and a jump drive. The nice thing about Dropbox and Google Sync is they do not interfere with each other. They work well together, and every time I create a document or hit save, they simultaneously backup to both Dropbox and Google Cloud. Then once a week, I backup everything to my jump drive just as an extra safety measure.
What backup solutions are you using? We would love to hear from you and your suggestions on great backup resources.