If you lost all your files tomorrow where would you be? What is a backup? A backup is a second copy of your data, i.e. personal or business files, music, video etc. Why do I need to backup my data? – Anyone who has ever lost important data knows the value of having a backup. Hard drives fail; files can be accidentally or intentionally deleted. Viruses, malware, and ransomware often wreak havoc in our digital lives. The reasons above are just the tip of the iceberg; there are many other reasons why it is critical to have a backup of your files. Ok, I’m convinced, what backup option do I choose? There are many options out there, and it can be overwhelming as to which one best suits your needs. Explained below are the most common backup methods and their pros and cons. Disk to Disk Backup: This includes portable hard drives, USB drives and multidisk (raid) backups used by businesses. Smaller disk to disk systems like USB should be taken offsite to avoid disaster. One of the main cons is the “Human Factor” disks can be lost, backups can be forgotten, backups not completed or data corruption. The main con for the multidisk backup is it is not designed to be moved offsite and in the event of fire, flood, earthquakes etc. all the data could be lost. Cloud Backup: This backup ticks so many boxes, it is the backup of choice as it solves the offsite challenges presented by the above methods. A copy of your data is sent over the internet to a storage facility commonly called “The Cloud.” While it does eliminate the human factor, the main con is to do with the speed and bandwidth of the internet connection. The bandwidth available can limit how much data is transmitted during the backup. Also, if you require a full system restore, the speed of your internet connection will dictate your recovery time. A Word about Cloud Storage – like Onedrive, Dropbox and Google Drive. These services provide a cloud-based location to store your files; however, they are vulnerable to Ransomware and Crypto style of attacks due to the “sync” nature of the system. While these services are good; they are best not treated as a true backup solution. The main cons are your data is stored offshore, and access to your files is not guaranteed. Work out what you want to back up and talk to your local I.T. professional who will help you customise a backup solution to fit your needs.