Small is valuable: data backup for the micro-business

A few short years ago, data backup for the micro-business was tough. An external hard drive sat on my desk, as big as a pond turtle and about as swift, and pokily copied my data. That was all.

It should be this easy.

It should be this easy.

I could keep all my data at home when I took my computer out, but there were still  too many contingencies left uncovered.

For one thing, I knew that a fire in my office would wipe out computer and external drive alike.

Further, Jeannie Shea, owner of Bay to Bay Technical Solutions and my backup guru, warns that business owners need to be concerned about the failure of external drives. Jeannie says, “I’ve seen people get a check for the cost of the drive and a quick ‘sorry’ from the manufacturer when their external drives failed,” leaving them with no data backup. One common source of failure is a problem with the USB port. Jeannie recommends looking for a drive with both a USB and a Firewire port, which gives two sources of access to the data.

Then came remote encrypted offsite backup programs, such as Mozy and Carbonite. At first, they left Mac users like me out in the cold. But as of this writing, both have Mac versions as well as PC versions. Now for about $50 a year, Carbonite quietly runs in the background, backing up my important data while I work. For the micro-business, this is backup heaven.

I know some small businesses that consider the cost of these services so cheap and the price of downtime so dear that they use both of them. This is one case where a “belt and suspenders and another belt” make sense.

Next up: addressing the needs of businesses with more sophisticated requirements

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