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▣ Laptop Backup Doesn't Have to Be a Chore

posted by Steven Listino on March 1st, 2010 at 7:40 PM

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Laptop Backup Doesn't Have to Be a Chore

You know you should step up and do the right thing. Think of those helpless bits and bytes of data clinging to the hard drive of your laptop. They can't protect themselves. They need a champion -- someone who will make sure they are backed up and don't go to that great hard drive in the sky should an accident befall them or a thief make off with your notebook.

The inherently portable nature of laptops makes them a little trickier to back up. You don't necessarily want to pack around an external terabyte backup drive. But excuses will get you nowhere when your valuable business data goes missing. Here are several simple back up methods that require almost no effort on your part. Go on, do the right thing.
Online backup is an ideal solution for those of you in the "set it and forget it" school of thought. A year of backup for one computer runs $54.95 and allows for an unlimited amount of storage. If you're seriously working on filling up your 320 GB laptop hard drive, you'll find plenty of room to store your stuff with Carbonite. Setup involves installing an application that works in the background to back up your files when you're online. This works best if you're online a lot while traveling. A professional version is available for small businesses with multiple computers.

Comcast Secure Backup & Share
Comcast isn't the first Internet service provider to offer an online backup solution, but this is a convenient option for Comcast subscribers. Online backup provider Mozy (http://www.mozy.com) is the actual engine under the hood. 2 GB of space comes free, with a $49.99 annual 50 GB tier or $99.99 200 GB tier for users with more to store. You choose which files to back up, and the service works away in the background when you're connect to the Internet. The moral of the story? Check with your Internet service provider -- you may have a backup option rolled in with your monthly access fee.

CMS ABSplus External Laptop Backup and Recovery Drive
Some people prefer to actually hold their backup in their hands. If this sounds like you, then a sleek portable USB hard drive solution makes sense. The CMS ABSplus drives are lightweight and come with BounceBack backup and recovery software that handles the heavy lifting for you. Capacities start at 160 GB and move up to a generous 640 GB. A rugged version is also available. Just remember to separate your backup drive from the vicinity of your laptop to guard against theft and damage when traveling.

This free download isn't a full blown backup system, but it offers a clever way to sync files across multiple computers. When a document is saved to the Dropbox folder, it updates the folders on the other computers. Files are backed up and stored for access on the Dropbox Web site as well. It's not built for backing up an entire laptop system, but it will take care of those important files you also want to share between your desktop, laptop and smartphone.

Seagate BlackArmor PS110 USB 3.0 Performance Kit
USB can still feel a bit poky when it comes to backing up large amounts of data. You can speed things up with the next generation of USB: USB 3.0. Chances are, your laptop doesn't have 3.0 built in, but this kit has you covered with the included PC card USB 3.0 adapter. Just check to make sure you have a free PC card slot on your laptop. The 500 GB drive costs $179.99 and allows for data encryption to keep your files safe and secure.


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