Data backup is crucial for everyone with important data these days. You almost never want to not have some sort of backup system in place to help safeguard both you and your business. But of course, there are some drawbacks to that.
So, we’re going to discover in this article what are the advantages and disadvantages of data backup, and why this is important for you.
We’re going to look at both sides of the coin so that you can make an informed decision when it comes to utilizing data in various situations. We’ll also briefly discuss how to choose the backup method that is right for you.
I always like to start off with a good definition of our topic, so you’ll have a better understanding of what we’re talking about.
Data backup is making a copy of, or duplicating important data files and storing it on another media, different from the original media it is native to. This ensures that even if your original files are lost, damaged, or stolen, you can still access them from another location.
Data backup is essential for both individuals and businesses as it helps protect against data loss due to hardware failure, human error, cyber-attacks, and natural disasters. All of which happen more often than we think.
There are different types of data backups available as well that needs to be considered, such as full backups where all data is backed up every time, incremental backups which only back up new or changed information since the last backup was taken, and differential backups which back up all changes made since the last full backup.
Having a reliable data backup system in place can save you significant amounts of time and money in the event of an unexpected loss.
Here’s a quick video explaining what data back is and why it’s beneficial for you and your business.
Advantages of Data Backup
There are many advantages to backing up your data. The most obvious one is that you get to restore your data in the event something bad happens to your computer or server. It’s a form of insurance that you can rely on.
But I’ll break this down into 3 main categories that have the most positive impact.
By regularly backing up your data, you can ensure that even if your system is compromised or suffers a hardware failure, you won’t lose any critical information. This can be especially important for businesses that deal with sensitive customer information or financial records.
Additionally, many backup solutions offer encryption options that help keep your data safe from prying eyes. What this means is that no one else can access your data when it’s backed up to the cloud, for instance, unless they have the appropriate credentials to access it.
The industry standard for cloud backup encryption is 256-bit.
One of the biggest advantages of data backup is its versatility. With a good backup system, you can store any kind of data without worrying about losing it.
A versatile data backup system allows you to store all kinds of files such as documents, pictures, videos, and audio files in one place. This means that you no longer have to worry about managing different types of storage devices or services for your various file formats.
Whether you are an individual who needs to keep important documents safe or a business that needs to store large amounts of customer data securely, a versatile backup system can help.
Versatility can also come in various platforms. As I’ve mentioned before, your source for data backup could be via the cloud, like Google Drive, Dropbox, or Carbonite. It can also be local to your internal network either with a server, or a NAS (Network Attached Storage). And if you truly want to keep things local, your data backup could be as simple as an external hard drive.
Many external hard drives come with backup software loaded on them, so it’s not a bad place to start.
Once you have decided what platform you’re going to use to back up your data, once it’s in place and consistently backing up your data, you know you can rely on it to restore your data if need be.
Data loss prevention is one of the most significant advantages of backing up your files. Prevention is always better than cure, is what I always say, and that applies to data backup.
In this digital age, losing important information due to hardware failure or cyber-attacks can have devastating consequences for businesses. However, with a reliable data backup system, you never have to worry about losing your valuable data, regardless of what may occur.
If anything happens to your primary storage devices, you can easily restore all your files from your backups without any hassle. Moreover, another benefit of backing up your files is that it enables you to recover lost or deleted data quickly and easily.
Disadvantages of Data Backup
While data backup can provide many benefits, including protection against data loss and increased productivity, there are also some disadvantages to consider.
One of the biggest disadvantages of data backup is the cost.
Depending on the size of your business and the volume of data you need to back up, the costs can quickly escalate. You’re usually charged based on the amount of storage needed (usually measured in GB). Additionally, you may need to invest in specialized equipment or software to ensure that your backups are done correctly. However, if your data backup is outsourced to a third party, they usually handle all the equipment needed to carry out the backups.
Another disadvantage of data backup is that it requires time and resources. Backing up your data can be a time-consuming process that takes away from other important tasks, such as customer service or product development. This is especially true at the beginning when you’re first setting up your data backup system.
Additionally, maintaining and managing backups requires ongoing attention and resources to ensure they remain updated and secure. But again, all of that can be managed by a third party that handles all that for your business.
Despite these challenges, however, the advantages of having a reliable data backup system far outweigh any potential disadvantages.
So the pros definitely outweigh the cons in this case.
Selecting the Right Backup Method
With so many backup methods available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your needs. But let’s look at the different options to see what would be best for you.
This is one of the easiest and most convenient backup systems to set in place. Cloud storage falls under the SaaS (Software as a Service) category, and it’s the method by which your data to stored on a remote server, owned by a third party. This remote server is what’s referred to as “the cloud”.
The advantage of using cloud storage is that it offers unlimited space and convenient access from any device with an internet connection. This makes cloud storage a very attractive method for data backup. And there are many vendors to choose from. Here at Advanced-PCs as part of our Managed Services, we offer our clients cloud backup services.
Others that you can choose from for both individual and business usage are:
There are many more to choose from of course, but these options are a great place to start.
External Hard Drives
Using external hard drives as a backup resource is as basic as you can get. Many people start here because it’s the most economical way of getting started with data backup and it’s the most simple. All you need is to purchase an external with a large enough storage size.
As I mentioned before, many external hard drives come with backup software installed to help you automatically do your backups, daily and weekly.
The main drawback of an external backup is that you are limited to that device. So if that hard drive gets lost or stolen, so does your data. Security is very limited in this area unless you decide to be proactive and store your external hard drive in a secured location.
This is a great place to start your backup system, but I recommend upgrading to a more secure and advanced backup system, as business improves for you.
NAS (Network Attached Storage)
One popular option for backing up data is Network Attached Storage (NAS), which provides a centralized and secure location for storing and accessing files.
There are several options to choose from when it comes to NAS devices.
NAS refers to a type of storage device that connects to your network and allows multiple devices to access its contents. The device acts as a central location where you can store and share files, making it an ideal solution for backing up your data. Many NAS devices also allow for some cloud features, where your data gets stored in the cloud using the manufacturer’s cloud platform.
Unlike traditional external hard drives or USBs, which are limited by their capacity and portability, NAS provides ample storage space with added flexibility.
Another advantage of using NAS as your backup method is its ability to automate backups. Sure you can do this with an external hard drive, as I’ve mentioned before. But a NAS device is more centralized and accessible by several other devices from that network.
When selecting a NAS backup method, there are several factors to consider.
First, you must choose the right hardware that suits your needs. This includes things like storage capacity, connectivity options, and speed.
Another key consideration when selecting a NAS backup method is security. You want to ensure that your data is protected from unauthorized access or theft at all times.
Here are some top NAS brands for you to choose from:
So as you can see, there are many layers to data backup. We discovered that data backup is creating a duplicate of your data and storing it in another location separate from your local computer. The three main advantages of data backup are its versatility, reliability, and level of security that it offers.
Disadvantages, such as cost, storage amount needed, and initial setup, are more like inconveniences than actual disadvantages. Additionally, the advantages of data backup definitely outweigh the disadvantages and are absolutely worth investing in.
Finally, there are really 3 main platforms to choose from when it comes to selecting the right backup method for your office. The three main platforms are external hard drives, NAS devices, and cloud backup.
The platform that you choose is dependent on where you are in your business, your budget, and the level of accessibility that make the most sense for you.