The Best Backups

This article was originally posted in 2018 but it as true now as ever!

Generally speaking, any files you would hate to lose, should be backed up. This goes for family pictures, valuable records or work files. This article explores the options you have to backup files and which one may be best for you!

In August 2016, Delta Airlines canceled more than 1300 flights, at a cost of $100 million USD, not because of weather or mechanical problems, but because the company’s computer systems lost their data. Data loss doesn’t just happen to the big guys. All technology, whether it’s a brand new iMac, a PC, a flying saucer, a Roomba, a webmail service, or an eight-year-old PC running Windows 7, can potentially take a sudden nosedive resulting in lost data.

Hard drives are notorious for crashing, and ransomware can make a computer’s contents inaccessible. Sometimes it’s not even the fault of the technology: Fires, flooding, and other natural disasters can render PCs and other tech hardware inoperable. And laptops get stolen. You need insurance. With digital content becoming paramount for not only business assets—documents, plans, financial spreadsheets—but also for personal assets such as family photos, videos, and music, protecting with backup software is more important than ever.

As some of you may have noted, Crashplan, the best free backup program that was available, is stopping its free local backup services this October and focusing on online offerings. A buyout by a bigger company means they are looking to put everyone onto a paid model. As the best option out there, My Tech Guys have been recommending Crashplan for years so this is definitely a shakeup for our customers.

In this article, we will be talking about the steps you should be taking to make sure that your data is safe, by reviewing some local backup options and some cloud-based services.

Option 1:
Crashplan – For small business – 
Cloud and Local Backup
Carbonite – For personal use – Cloud backup
Paid services

You’re probably backing up your computer’s contents to an external hard drive (and if not, you should be), but in some instances, that’s not enough. Both your PC and your backup drive could be lost to theft, flood or fire. Cloud-backup services, also known as online-backup services, put your valuable information in an offsite repository that never goes offline and is available from anywhere and extremely hard to lose.

The most obvious replacement for Crashplan is simply adopting the next iteration of the program. Both Crashplan small business and Carbonite cater to businesses and can be upgraded to within the existing CrashPlan application and using your old log- in details. These options offer all the best parts of the older free crashplan software with additional cloud-based options but now, of course, they charge for the service. Carbonite offers online cloud backups and the more expensive Crashplan for small business offers both local and cloud backups.

Rates start at $6 per month per computer for Carbonite and $10 per month for Crashplan: Small Business. I would say this is a great option for people who want to guarantee their data is safe and are currently running Crashplan. If you have received the cancellation email for your existing free Crashplan account, you can follow the links in the email to upgrade quickly and easily. As always, if there are any issues give us a call!

Option 2: Windows 10 and Windows 8 Backup
Local backup
Price: Free

Unbeknownst to many, since Windows 8, Windows has some fairly decent local backup software built right into the operating system. Accessible through the settings menu, you choose which folders in your computer you would like to backup, plug in the backup medium, the Windows will make an incremental backup of those folders automatically.

Free and easy, all it takes is an external hard drive and 5 minutes to get your backups started. Being a local backup, this will not protect your against encryption viruses, or loss of property but the job it does for just getting your information backed up is sufficient. To set this option up all you will need is an external hard drive and to navigate to your control panel or settings and following the backup instructions.

Option 3: Iperius
Local backup
Price: Free

In terms of a free program that does the best impersonation of Crashplan, we arrive at Iperius. Iperius Backup is a complete and lightweight backup software with a range of powerful features, and most importantly to us, Incremental backup. This program will email you if Iperius is running and your computer has not backed up in a couple of days. However, for a new user not versed in how to use the software, it can absolutely be a daunting experience. The options and choices for how to do things can easily confuse someone not familiar with the program layout or how to navigate the software as there is such a huge selection of options to select from. For these reasons although Iperius is a great free solution, we would recommend asking us to set it up on your behalf due to the plethora of options.

Option 4: Google Backup and Sync
Cloud backup
Price: Free up to 15GB and unlimited photos

Google backup and Sync is a downloadable application which works on all computers and cell phones and can back up the data on those devices, sync to everywhere else, and be accessible from any location. The service is largely free, only requiring a Gmail account (which we would recommend anyway), offers unlimited photo backups and 15GB’s of document storage.

For more information and to download the application head here:

Option 5: My Tech Guys Managed Services Plan
Cloud Backup and Local Backup
Price: $10 / month

One of the important products we have been working hard to develop at My Tech Guys is an in-house backup and monitoring platform for our customers. This package includes live system monitoring from our geeks, security, alerts, patch management, data backup and recovery for many different client devices, such as servers, notebooks, desktops, storage systems, applications, and networks. This lets business users concentrate solely on running their business, with fewer distractions due to IT issues. This program unifies several services we have offered for quite some time and give us the ability to resolve computer issues before they become obstacles.

Prices start at $10 / month so give us a call on 250-338-4411 for more information and for a free assessment.

So what option is best for me?

Truth be told, there are many backup solutions out there that we have not mentioned above and the one that may be right for you may not be on the above list. In the end, it does depend on how much data you have, how secure you would like it to be, what features you desire it to have and of course, how much you would like to pay!

At My Tech Guys, we pride ourselves on being technical arbiters, finding the best, bespoke solutions for your needs and we go to great lengths to recommend the best products on the market. Although the above options should work for most people, you may have needs that call for another program, so if you have any doubts or would like help setting up your new backup option then give us a call. On-site or in-store we are ready to help keep your systems and data secure!

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