Top 5 Backup Options for Windows

Data loss is horrifying to think about, but it’s also a common occurrence in the computer world. Hardware failure, natural disasters and virus damage can take you from fully operational to completely useless in less than a minute. Lost data has an impact of half a billion dollars per year for small and medium businesses, according to cloud backup service Evault.

Instead of allowing yourself to be subject to the winds of fate when it comes to your data, look into backup options that get you up and running faster than it took for everything to go horribly, horribly wrong. It’s easier to prevent the loss then spend hundreds of dollars an hour on data recovery that may or may not even work.

Hardware Choices

If you’re opting for local backup solutions over a cloud- or online-based backup option, the first part of this process is looking into available hardware. While you can store your backup on the same hard drive as all of your other information, this is an issue for many reasons. An external hard drive allows you to store your backups in an entirely separate physical location from your desktop. If a major disaster strikes your home or office, but your external hard drive is stored in a different or reinforced location, you only lose the computer, not the computer or your data and backups. Network-attached storage devices are also an option, depending on your specific network configuration and budget.

Online Backup Options

If you want the safety and security of knowing your data is being held at a secured, state-of-the-art data facility instead of a spare closet, online backup options are the choice for you. For example, one of the prominent options in this market segment, Mozy, makes online backup solutions for personal, small business and enterprise-level users. It enables you to create scheduled backups, so you aren’t missing any essential file changes and load the backups easily to your computer after you’re done with the disaster. Mozy’s file encryption ensures your data is safe and secure and provides multiple backup restoration options, mobile apps and access to your files from any Internet browser.

Carbonite is another solid online-based option that creates automatic backups, gives you unlimited space for your backups, puts your data in high-end backup centers with speedy Internet connections, provides app- and web-based access to your backups and files, provides an incredibly easy restoration process and even provides a physical copy of the data for some service tiers, so you don’t have to download massive amounts of data.

Local Backup Options

If you want to keep your backup options out of the cloud, look to your operating system first. Windows has a pretty useful, albeit basic, built-in backup solution that works effectively. You can set exactly which files you want to back up and restore them through the utility to get yourself back up and running.

Paragaon Hard Disk Manager is a $49.95 Windows-based backup solution that takes an easy-to-use interface and pairs it up with excellent features, such as a partition manager and migration tools. If you need a full-featured hard disk management option, it’s hard to pass this affordable solution up.