If you have a home-based business of any kind, it’s likely you do much of your business on your home office computer. What would happen if you lost your computer? Your data can be lost in any number of ways. The computer can be stolen, destroyed (by fire, flood, extreme weather) or experience hardware failure. Notebook computers are particularly subject to theft and loss because they’re so portable. Making sure your data is backed up is one way to ensure that you can get ‘back to business’ if you experience loss such as this.
The best option is to keep copies of your data in some other place than your home. Since we’re in hurricane season now, let’s talk about that scenario. If you kept your backups in your home office and a Category 5 storm swept though, your backup would probably not do you much good.
Online backup services solve two problems. They get your data backed up and they keep your backup stored offsite in another location. Companies that provide these services generally have very secure environments and have their own disaster recovery plans in place.
Generally they work like this. You sign up for a service and download some client software they provide. You select the files / folders you want backed up and then back them up. The first backup will be a complete backup and will take the longest. Generally speaking, subsequent backups will pick up only changed files and will take less time (the service manages this change for you). The backup takes place using your internet connection.
You can also schedule backups to occur on regular intervals. For example, you can schedule the backups for the wee hours of night so the task gets done while you sleep. These services also provide restore procedures for when / if that disaster does strike. Some will even send your data on CD or DVD.
The online backup industry has really matured and there are a lot of choices now. Many of them are geared toward enterprise level customers and are therefore expensive. However, there are also many affordable choices. I have listed 3 ‘small business friendly’ backup services below.
Backing up your data should be part of your home business procedure. If it isn’t, now is always a good time to start!