… online data backup solutions and storage

Iain On September - 19 - 2012

Having a backup is necessary, but so many people neglect to test their backups periodically.

Testing is necessary for you to know for sure that your backup is recoverable, and also to get an idea of how long it’s going to take to recover your data if disaster strikes.

If we’re talking about a local backup to an external hard drive, your recovery time over USB is going to be pretty snappy. However, if you’re recovering from your archive, things will probably move slower because network speed normally isn’t as fast as local connections.

Here’s what I like to do; use one of those old computers that most of us have laying around. Set it up with the same OS as your primary computer, and install the client. Then start the recovery process.

I don’t recommend doing this testing with your regular computer, just in case something gets messed up. If you don’t have an old computer available, go buy one from one of the online trading sites like Kijiji. Just get the cheapest functioning laptop or desktop you can find that will run your OS. It might cost you a couple of hundred dollars or so, but consider it “insurance”. How much are your photos and other un-replacable computer files worth to you?

Not testing backups is by far the most common mistake people make. Don’t assume that “it’s just going to work”. Test it. Then test it again next week or next month to make sure there’s not a corrupted file that’s going to spoil you plans. Simply making sure you have a backup is leaving the job 50% incomplete.

- Iain

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