We all have a mass of important data stored on our computers – from address books to irreplaceable family photographs – and so making backups is extremely important. But where’s the best place to store your backups? While many people keep their backups on an external hard disk drive, it’s not a perfect solution. What would happen if you were to have a fire? Chances are that either the fire or the water from the fire department’s hoses would kill both your computer and your external drive. You could, of course, keep your external drive in a fireproof and waterproof safe when not in use but, unless you happen to already own one, that’s a pretty expensive option.
What about online backup using a service such as Carbonite or Mozy? There are some problems with this too. Firstly, online backup is great if you only have a small amount of data, but not so great if you have a large amount of data. Backing up a complete image of your drive to an online server could take days – or weeks, if you’re on dial-up – and restoring your data could take the exact same amount of time again. Secondly, do you really feel comfortable entrusting your data to a third-party? What happens if the company goes bust? And just how good are their own backup processes?
So, what’s the answer?
Here’s a possible solution. ioSafe make a range of external hard drives that are fireproof, waterproof and that can even be bolted to the floor – or some other surface – to make them more difficult to steal. Something worth noting is that, although the drives are advertised as being disaster-proof, this does not mean that they will still work after a fire or flood – it simply means that the data on them will still be recoverable. How do you recover your data in those circumstances? You don’t; ioSafe do. They’ll pay to have the drive shipped to them, will recover the data and then send it back to you on a new drive. And, if ioSafe cannot recover the data, the company will pay up to $1000 to have third-party data recovery specialists look at it. Note that the data recovery service is only valid for 12 months from the date of purchase, but can be extended for an additional fee.
Surprisingly, the ioSafe is actually pretty cheap with prices starting at $149.99 for a 500 GB ioSafe Solo. That’s more than you’d pay for a standard 500 GB drive, but not all that much more.
Of course, the best advice is not to keep all your eggs in one basket. Keeping your images on an ioSafe and using an online service to backup your smaller files will cover you against pretty much every eventuality.