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The dangers of not backing up online

You already know that it’s important to make backup copies of your files. What you may not have heard, however, is that hard drives (what your data is stored on in your computer) have a failure rate of between 2% to 4% per year, which means if you have a computer for five years, there’s a 20% chance the hard drive will have died, taking your data with it.

In fact, some systems have an annual failure rate closer to an incredible 13%! For these computers, it means that after four years, it’s more likely than not that the hard drive would have stopped working. Scary.

And it gets worse when you add loss and theft rates. While laptop theft rates vary, a 2011 study of 275 European companies showed that they had lost a massive 72,000 a year. Typically, only 12 of these are recovered for each business.

I’m not trying to scare you (the numbers do that for themselves), but it’s important to realise just how vulnerable data is. And while lots of files on your computer are recoverable (such as music and TV shows), the pictures of your family and friends, videos and any personal writing could all be gone forever.

What to look for in an online backup?

 The easiest way to backup your files is via an online backup service like Norman’s. Online services mean that you don’t have to remember to make copies of your files, nor horde an array of USB sticks around the house.

And, of course, if you fall victim to theft or fire, your backups are hundreds of miles away in a safe location.

The key features when shopping around for online backup should be:

  • Access – Make sure you can access your files anywhere, rather than on just one computer. Otherwise, if that computer breaks, you might have difficulty gaining access.
  • Backups of backups – Try to join a service that allows you to recover files you decide to delete. After all, everyone can change their mind. Norman’s allows you to undo a mistakenly deleted file for up to 30 days, and can provide other versions of a file you’re working on.
  • Sizing that suits you – Not everyone needs the same amount of storage space, so make sure you don’t pay too much for more than you need. Norman allows 20GB, 50GB, 100GB, 500GB or unlimited storage, depending on your package choice.
  • Flexibility to change – Be careful not to get a solution that’s stuck at one size. If you suddenly get an amazing video camera, you’ll want to upgrade your storage capacity. Try to find a provider with the ability to switch between sizes if you need it.
  • Sharing – If the online backup has a sharing facility, it means you also get the benefit of passing files to your friends and family.

Unsurprisingly, you’ll find all of these solutions on Norman Personal Backup starts at 20GB storage for €13.50/year.

If you’d like to give it a free try for 30-days, click here

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