A computer is for Christmas, NOT for life

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WHY DO PEOPLE BELIEVE a computer is for life? Why don’t they understand that a computer needs regular care, attention and maintenance?

When you buy a car and don’t service it or look after it there’s a good chance it will fail; computers are no different, so here’s the mantra: Backup, backup, backup and if in doubt, back it up again!

Cloud data storage? I’m a big fan. However, trying to convince other people that it’s as good an option as storing data on a hard drive proves tricky. Impossible, even, until the hard drive fails and I despondently have to ask: “Do you have a backup?”

Sometimes there’s a wry smile and it’s a Yes; more often I get the embarrassed reply, “Errrr. . . no, I thought it would be ok. . .”  Then begins the often desperately slow process of data recovery or,  at worst, the client having to write off those precious family wedding photos or the recording of little Emily’s first words. Tragic! 

Anyway, back to backup: USB sticks are increasingly cheap and most average PC users can cram all their data onto a USB stick. Heavy technology users will need more storage and apparently more than 44 per cent of PC users generate in excess of a Terabyte (1TB) of personal data. But the fact remains that, like cream cakes, the more you’re offered the more you want and the more bloated you become.

Increasingly,  services like Amazon, Dropbox and many others offer Cloud backup that is good and cheap. For instance, www.idrive.com offers 1TB Cloud backup from about £3 a month AND its automatic. Once you have set it up, then you can forget about it. For just over £40 a year you can have complete piece of mind, and they also will backup your other devices, iphone and android.

The one big failing with these online backup systems, though,  is that they require a fast connection and good bandwidth, something still sadly lacking throughout most of our rural UK, which means you are left with the option of portable hard drive and/or USB stick.

You can buy a 1TB portable hard drive for less than £50 or a 128GB USB stick for about £35. An automatic backup facility is built into both Apple and Microsoft’s operating systems, which is very easy to set up.

Even if you don’t want automatic backups, please, save your sanity – and your data –  by at least copying the important stuff to one of the above.

It means I don’t have to mop up your tears and it WILL save you money!

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