This guest post is written by Patrick Jobin who gives eight tips for picking an online backup for your Windows Laptop. Find 0ut more about Patrick at the end of this article.
1. Make sure it’s properly encrypted
When traveling or working remotely, you can never be too sure about the integrity of your network or the other people who might be using it. When picking an online backup system for your Windows laptop, make sure you pick one that offers the right encryption options for your needs.
If you’re worried about securing the confidential data stored on your laptop, you want to make sure that your data is properly encrypted during transmission using a strong protocol such as SSL, and that the data stays encrypted when stored on the providers remote server using a password that’s only known by you. (And not the online backup provider)
2. Make sure it offers point-in-time recovery
It’s not just enough to upload your files to a server somewhere on the internet. In case of a virus or corrupted file, you need the ability to “turn back the clock” and restore a file version that you had created in the past. This is why most online backup services offer the ability to store multiple point-in-time file versions that let you recover from a previous date.
3. Minimize your data-loss window
With a daily scheduled backup solution, you can still lose up to 24 hours of data in an emergency. In order to minimize this potential “data-loss window”, you can look for a solution that offers continuous data protection or “CDP”. CDP instantly uploads your latest file versions as soon as you save your files. This way, you always have the most current and up-to-date backups possible. Instead of losing an entire day’s work, you only lose a few minutes.
4. Make sure it protects you while offline
Online backup can be especially tricky for laptop users that travel a lot, and don’t always have access to a fast, reliable internet connection. If this is the case, you may want to look into a solution that creates a local “versioned” backup partition on your hard drive that you can use for off-line recovery purposes. Also, make sure that your solution automatically uploads all file changes immediately after detecting an internet connection.
5. Split files up for selective and continuous backup
Not all files are suited for Continuous Data Protection. For example, your Outlooks PST files change every time you get a new email. If you were to process this file every few minutes, you would create a great deal of unnecessary load on your computer. As a way of countering this, you can look for a solution that allows you to split files up for different types of backup. This way, you can set your XL and Word files to upload continuously using CDP, and your PST file to be backed up on a daily basis. Many high-end solutions today offer this capability.
6. Minimize your bandwidth usage
One of the most common questions when it comes to online backup is “Will this slow down my Internet connection?” In order to minimize the bandwidth load on your system, make sure that your online backup provider offers block-level incremental backups. This way, you only upload the “changed” portion of the file instead of the entire file itself. Over time, this will save you a tremendous about of bandwidth while ensuring much faster backup times.
7. Make sure it supports open files
Windows is a bit unique in the way it handles files. Sometimes, you’ll need to back up databases, email programs or other systems that require “open” or “locked” file support. If this is the case for you, make sure that your online backup provider is compatible with all of the applications that you need to protect.
8. Test the recovery capability
Depending on what sort of back-end infrastructure your online backup provider uses, your recovery times can vary widely. Before you decide on a backup solution, make sure to test the recovery capability. There’s nothing worse needing quick access to your files in an emergency, only to find out that you need to wait a few hours while your backups “compile”.
Looking for a Solution?
Try Mozy backup.