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Backup and Storage Solutions

For personal use and small businesses

In my article Why Backing Up Your Data Is Important, I spoke about using an external hard drive or cloud-based service to keep those all-important files safe. Here you’ll find out what types of solutions are available so you can decide which one is best for you.

Firstly, when choosing the right type of backup or storage solution, there are a few things to consider;

Security – If used as a backup device, it’s best not to have it permanently connected to your computer, just when it’s needed.
Accessibility – Will you need to access the files regularly and/or when on the move?
Capacity – How much hard disk space do you need?
Portability – Some are made to be easy to move and connect from one computer to the next.

External Hard Drives

Currently, there are 2 main types of external hard drives; desktop-style drives (3.5 inches) and laptop-style drives (2.5 inches).

Desktop-style external hard drives require a power adapter and can be quite bulky so usually remain in one place, at home or in the office.

Laptop-style external hard drives are compact, and usually just a cable connected to your device to power.

On-line storage (Free)

1)  Google Drive

If you already have a free Google email account (@gmail.com), you automatically get 15GB of free storage via Google Drive, and a whole host of other free apps to use. When logged into your Gmail account, type drive.google.com into your browser to access. You can also download their mobile or desktop app to be able to automatically sync and share files from your computer or mobile, and vice versa, anywhere.

If you need more than 30GB of storage, you can upgrade to 100GB or more for approximately £1.40 per month.

2)  Dropbox

Just like Google Drive, you can either access your Dropbox online or download their apps to syn or share your files from anywhere. Dropbox gives you 2GB of storage, but the more people you invite and they download and install their app, you get another 500MB free.

You can upgrade your plan to receive 1TB of storage from £7.99 per month, this also unlocks more features, for example, password-protected links and expiring shared links.

3)  OneDrive (Microsoft)

OneDrive is built-in to your Windows 8 and 10 operating systems, you can access storage from anywhere by downloading their app. Again, you are able to sync and share files, you get 5GB of free storage.

If you already have a Microsoft account, you can subscribe to a paid plan, the cost starts from approximately £1.40 per month for 50GB.

Need some extra advice? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.