For this use I would recommend the SanDisk 1 GB Secure Digital Memory Card. Usually running around $90 this card will allow you transfer large files, take hundreds of photos, handle large movie files, and take pictures on the highest resolution setting. If you are looking for something with less storage space, but with an equally reduced cost. I would recommend the Kingston 512 MB SD Memory Card running from around $44. This card holds a significantly less amount of pictures, but still performs well.
A multi-tasker needs all the RAM his PC will handle. I just increased mine to 2GB and I can tell a big difference. On the other hand, 512MB is a pretty healthy amount of real memory for a notebook – especially if you are using a PIV processor. If you have a Celeron, however, it needs a lot of help. I have resorted to the reformat, reinstall process a few times – but it was always with Celerons and the computers were slow from the second you turned them on.
I would first try dumping all of your background programs. You can do that by running `msconfig’, choosing `selective startup’, going to the startup tab, and unchecking everything but your antivirus program. Another software maintenance issue (besides defrag) is keeping all of your junk files cleaned out (recycle bin, temp files, temp internet files, cache, history, etc.). I like a little program called `Window Washer’ but there are several on the market, another problem you may be having is heat. If the underside of your notebook is not well ventilated it could be running hot – and that will really slow it down.
Multi-tasking is a memory thirsty pastime. Your CPU can clearly cope. Adding 256MB of RAM would make a difference; 512MB would have a much bigger impact though. Don’t reformat mate, you’ll be gutted afterwards, as you can never get things quite the same again. First, I’ll list below, a way you may be able to greatly improve things by simply tweaking windows a bit.
You may or may not be familiar with Virtual Memory. (If you are, prepare to suck eggs, sorry) It’s an area of Hard Drive specifically allocated by Windows to act as an overflow for when your system runs low on Physical RAM. So if your system has 512MB and your Multi-tasking requires 1024MB, Windows will use 512MB of Virtual RAM to make up the extra.
When you defragment your Hard Drive, the Virtual Memory is shown as Data that cannot be moved (Green). The Problem with Windows is that it manages your Virtual Memory Dynamically. Setting a minimum and a maximum value that, changes as and when required. This tends to slow things down as the Virtual Memory allocation becomes fragmented on your Hard Drive. In turn this delays your Processor as it retrieves Data from all over the place instead of simply off your Memory module(s).
The best way to overcome this is to monitor Task Manager while you are multi-Tasking. And while the PC is at rest. You need to note the “Page File” usage (This is another name for Virtual Memory). See how high it goes when you’re hammering it, and how low it goes when it’s resting. Deduct max from min and add around 10%. This is the figure you’ll need later. Your aim is to end up with a Page File in one place with no fragments. All you’re doing is optimizing your system.
Start by, Defragging your Hard Drive. Now left click Start,right click My Computer,left click Properties. You should now have the System Properties Window open. Click the Advanced tab,Performance Settings,Advanced. In The Virtual Memory area, click Change. Select Custom Size and insert your calculated figure (Max-Min) +10%.
You need to insert the same figure for both Max and Min. This will fix the memory size and stop windows from expanding and shrinking it dynamically. You’ll probably be required to restart before the changes will take effect. Once restarted, you can go to Defragmenter and analyze the Drive to ensure you have just one Fragment of Page File. This information can be viewed in the report generated by Defragmenter. If you find the Page File is fragmented, try defragging it again to try and clear a contiguous area big enough for it.
An Overview of Online Backup Services
Online backup services are perfect for users who are answer yes to the following questions. Do you have several small files that you need to always have access to? Perhaps you have important documents from your work, or school assignments that you need to have accessible on every computer?
Online backup services are better than traditional backup media such as CDs, because you always have access to them.
Several options exist, as you can put the files on a CD, floppy disk, or one of those little flash drive key chains. But what happens when you forget your CD, floppy disk, or key chain at home?
Enter the world of online backup. Thanks to the internet, there are now several online services that offer free or low cost backup services. With these such services you can easily upload your files to a server, and later access the same files from literally any computer that has internet access.
Online backup service providers offer users the ability to gain access to their files from literally any computer, anywhere.
Most online backup providers have really simple yet powerful services. Not only are the services simple, and powerful, but they are also easily accessible in any web browser window. What this means is that you can do all of your sending and receiving of your files through a web browser. You do not need any special software, or drivers installed.
What’s more is that several online backup services have some really nifty features for their users. Features such as the ability to email anyone a copy of your files can really come in handy in a work environment. Other really nice features include the ability to password protect your files, and the ability to share your files with anyone.
Online backup is not for everyone. It is made primarily for small files, unless you are going to be connected to the internet with a really fast connection. Also many online backup service providers also give their users a limit on the amount of space they may use. So even if you have a really fast internet connection, you still won’t be able to use the services to create an online backup of your three gigabyte file.
Remember to consider all of this information when you use a online backup service. Each service provider has their own policies, along with their own amount of space given to users, as well as their own pricing plans.
Be sure to shop around to find the best bang for your buck service. Also make sure that each service you look into offers a service which fully fits your needs. It’s not a wise move to use an online backup service to store digital video, when the service provider only gives you fifty megabytes of storage space.
Free trials often exist for many online backup services.
Be sure to try them out to see if they meet your needs. Finally see if the online backup services that you are interested in offer a free trial. Some services will offer a seven day trial, while others (such as .mac) will offer you a sixty day trial. Be sure to use the trial to see if ordering a subscription to the service would be worthwhile.
What is Backup, Anyway?
Backup should be an essential part of your computing experience if you spend great amounts of time on your computer and/or use your computer for important personal or business dealings. There are too many stories of people who have lost all of their files due to system crashes or computer viruses to ignore. When you backup your files, you are storing your files separately from your computer.
In this way, if your computer crashes or is infected with a virus that results in a loss of files, you will still have access to your files on backup disks or whatever other backup program you choose to use, such as online backup. You can then restore your files to your computer proper from these backup sources.
Why Do I Need to Backup My Files?
Don’t fall into the old paradigm of “it will never happen to me.” While there is certainly a chance that you will never have a need for the backups you make of your files, if something does happen to your computer you will certainly be glad that you have them. And you do not have to backup your entire computer, although this is certainly something that many people do, but only the files that are of the most importance to you.
Some things are easily replaced, and there is no need to backup these sorts of things, but those irreplaceable documents or files that are yours and yours alone should be saved in a place where they cannot be damaged. That way, no matter what happens to your computer, you can have security in the fact that all of your files are available in backup.
So How do I Backup My Files?
There are many possible methods for backing up your files. Floppy diskettes are a very common way, although this is somewhat falling by the wayside as computers are using floppy drives less and less. It is not uncommon to not see a single computer with a floppy disk drive on display when you go to the computer store to buy a new computer. CD-Rs are an excellent method for backing up your files.
CD-Rs and CD-RWs allow hundreds of times more storage space than a floppy disk could ever hope to have, and with increasingly faster CD burners they are becoming faster and easier to use all the time. It is possible to save 800 MB of data onto a CD in only minutes, and for many people they can backup every file of import on their computer onto a single CD.
This is far easier than have stacks of floppy disks lying around your computer desk which you must dig through any time you are trying to find a particular file that you have saved in backup.
Online backup is another excellent method for the backing up of your files. This allows you to store your files online, where there are no need for disks or CDs, and you can simply download your files back onto your computer whenever you want.
Whatever method you choose, remember that backing up your files is very important, and make sure that you do so to protect against the worst.
When you don’t back up your data, you choose to live life on the edge. A hefty power surge, faulty software update, rampant virus, or Godzilla-like toddler—these are just a few of the things that could leave you with a computer that’s incapacitated or damaged beyond repair. But what sort of media should you use for storing your backups? You have numerous options, depending on your needs, preferences, and budget.
Hard drives provide fast backups and restores, and external drives can be moved offsite for safe storage. But they can also be pricey. Hard drives are the only real choice for bootable backups or backing up a network, and they’re ideal for archiving frequently used files when you’ve scheduled the backups to occur every day.
You can buy external drives with almost any combination of USB 2.0, FireWire 400, FireWire 800, and Serial ATA (SATA) interfaces. Virtually all Macs with a FireWire port (including every model sold within the past few years) can boot from an external FireWire 400 drive, making that the lowest-common-denominator choice. If you have a high-end Mac with a FireWire 800 port, you’ll get faster performance from a FireWire 800 drive, but you’ll pay a bit more.
SATA, a high-speed bus technology, is the fastest of these interfaces, but to hook up an external SATA drive to your Mac, you’ll need to add an adapter using a PCI card (for Power Macs and Mac Pros), a PC card (for PowerBooks), or an ExpressCard (for MacBook Pros).
Only Intel-based Macs can boot from a USB 2.0 drive, but drives with only USB interfaces tend to be less expensive than those with FireWire. Note, however, that OS X 10.4 comes in two separate versions—one for PowerPC and one for Intel. If you create a bootable backup on an Intel-based Mac, you can’t use that to boot a PowerPC-based Mac (and vice-versa). This restriction may disappear with OS X 10.5 Leopard.
Recordable DVDs are inexpensive but transfer data much more slowly than hard drives, making them a good choice for files that change infrequently, such as your photo or music collection. I recommend recordable CDs only for those without SuperDrives; their limited capacity means you’ll spend a long time feeding in discs and waiting for backups to finish.
Local network storage
If you want to store files from multiple computers on your network—without setting up a computer to act as a file server—you can buy a network-attached storage (NAS) device, commonly known as a network hard drive. Available in both wired and wireless varieties, a NAS device is essentially a hard drive with a network interface and a minimalist built-in server—no computer required. Turn it on, configure it via a Web browser (setting up individual user accounts and access rights, if you wish), and any computer on your network—Mac or PC—can store and read files on the disk. Some NAS devices use the SMB (Samba) file sharing protocol, which is the norm on Windows and also supported in OS X, some use AFP (Apple Filing Protocol), which is the norm on Macs, and some offer both (as well as, in some cases, FTP and other protocols).
NAS is increasingly popular, and for ordinary network file storage, it’s often an excellent choice. For backups, however, you should be aware of a few limitations. First, you can’t run server-based backup software on the NAS device itself, so each computer on your network must run its own, individually configured backup program. Second, you generally can’t use a NAS device to store bootable backups, because you can’t select a conventional network volume as your startup disk in OS X. And third, some NAS devices use older versions of the SMB or AFP protocols that impose a 2 GB limit on individual file sizes. This limitation can crop up, for example, when using a backup program that stores all your files inside a single large archive file. For all these reasons, I consider NAS devices less than ideal for network backups. NAS devices are available from manufacturers such as LaCie, Linksys, and Maxtor, among many others.
Another category of network storage is SAN, or storage area network. Whereas a NAS device is basically a hard drive with a network interface, SAN typically uses much higher-bandwidth interfaces, such as Fibre Channel or Ultra320 SCSI, to attach an array of drives to one or more computers. (Apple’s Xsan software is a prominent example.) SAN provides extremely high throughput for tasks such as video editing and 3D rendering, but it’s overkill for day-to-day backup applications.
Internet storage of any sort has one huge advantage: your data is stored safely offsite, without your having to go to any extra effort. It’s also accessible remotely, so you can both back up and restore data even if you’re away from your home or office. So Internet backups are an attractive choice for people who spend a lot of time on the road, and they make an excellent supplement to conventional backups for just about anyone.
However, keep in mind that Internet backups can be extremely slow, even with a relatively fast broadband connection. In addition, you can’t get a bootable backup by copying your files to a remote server—nor would you want to if you could, because of the slow speed and the high cost of storing so much data. At most, you’ll want to store your user folder online—and more likely, only a subset of that folder that excludes music and other large files (see Easy Mac Backups ). Also, by using any of these services, you put yourself at the mercy of the network’s availability: if you can’t reach the server that has your data on it when you need it, your backup is useless to you.
If you’re a .Mac member, Apple’s Backup, as well as most other backup programs, can store data on your iDisk. But there are two catches. First, by default, you have a maximum of 1GB of storage space (which must be shared with your .Mac e-mail account). You can upgrade to as much as 4GB (for an additional fee ), but that still isn’t much storage space. Second, Backup does not encrypt data sent to your iDisk, and hackers could conceivably intercept it during transmission. (Some other backup programs, including Retrospect, Data Backup, and Tri-Backup, can encrypt files before storing them on your iDisk.)
Two Internet-based backup services offer OS X clients that handle the entire backup process (encrypting your data before sending it over the Internet) and enable you to store as much data as you need to. BackJack offers 2GB of storage for $12.50 per month, with additional space available at $2.75 per gigabyte (with volume discounts available). Prolifix charges $10 per month for 500MB of storage or $29 per month for 8GB, with intermediate and higher options available as well.
A new service from Amazon.com called Amazon S3 ] provides online storage at a much lower cost: $0.15 per gigabyte per month, plus a file transfer fee of $0.20 per gigabyte uploaded or downloaded. After signing up for the service, you plug your user settings into a free program called JungleDisk, which enables you to mount the S3 storage space as a network volume that any backup program can write to and read from. Unfortunately, several limitations in the S3 system make it less than ideal for backing up your Mac right now, and no current OS X backup software supports it directly. However, this is something to keep an eye on: it could become much more useful in the future.
1. Corrupt Keychain
Problem: I keep getting prompts to enter my password, even though I know it’s in my keychain.
Solution: Mac OS X’s Keychain provides a handy way to store user names and passwords for servers, Web sites, and other resources. Usually it works invisibly in the background. How-ever, if the keychain file becomes damaged, you may not be able to save new passwords, or an application such as Apple’s Mail or iChat might ask you to enter a password you’ve already stored. A corrupted keychain can even cause applications to crash.
If you suspect that you have a damaged keychain, open the Key-chain Access application (/Application/Utilities/) and choose Keychain Access: Keychain First Aid. In the box that appears, enter your login password and select either the Verify option, which merely checks the keychain, or Repair, which checks for and fixes errors. Click on Start. Keychain First Aid reports any errors that it finds and repairs.
2. The Same-Password Blues
Problem: I know it’s safer not to keep using the same password. But it’s hard to come up with new passwords all the time.
Solution: Although many people reuse the same password for various purposes, it’s more secure to make each password unique. You don’t have to exert mental energy on this job—your Mac can come up with ideas for you. It can also give you tips for improving passwords you already have.
Mac OS X includes a password-generator tool called Password Assistant, but you can access it only at certain times—for example, when you’re setting up a new account in System Preferences or creating a new keychain in Keychain Access. (You’ll see a key icon next to the field where you’re supposed to enter a password. Click on this icon to access the tool.) Take full advantage of this tool’s powers by using codepoetry’s free Password Assistant, which lets you access Password Assistant as a stand-alone program. The codepoetry application works only with OS X 10.4 (Tiger). If you haven’t upgraded, try David Kreindler’s free RPG, which works similarly and runs on Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther).
Password Assistant lets you set the password’s length via a slider and adjust its complexity via the Type pop-up menu (see “Choose Secure Passwords”). For example, choose Letters & Numbers; Memorable, which mixes common words with numbers and punctuation; or Random, which includes letters, numbers, and special characters. If you don’t like the first suggestion, pick another from the Suggestion pull-down menu. Or generate another set by changing a setting or selecting More Suggestions from the Suggestion menu.
You can also use Password Assistant to test your own passwords. Type one in the Password field. The tool rates the password’s quality and gives you tips for improving it.
3. Autofill Won’t Fill
Problem: My Web browser is supposed to autofill my passwords, but sometimes it refuses to comply.
Solution: Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox, and most other popular browsers can remember user names and passwords for Web forms and fill them in at your command. To turn this feature on in Safari, choose Safari: Preferences and select User Names And Passwords under AutoFill. In Firefox, go to Firefox: Preferences, click on Security, and enable the Remember Passwords For Sites option.
However, autofill doesn’t always do the job. For example, as a security measure, some sites block autocompletion of certain fields. Also, if you have multiple user names and passwords for a particular site, your browser can’t tell which one to use.
You can solve such problems with a third-party password utility. My favorite is Agile Web Solutions’ $30 1Passwd, which uses Apple’s Keychain for storage, but provides plug-ins for most popular browsers (like Safari, Firefox, the Omni Group’s OmniWeb, and Mozilla’s Camino). Once you enter a Web password, the application remembers it for every supported browser. It also adds a menu to each browser’s toolbar (see “Manage Browser Passwords”). This includes commands for generating new passwords, as well as options that let you choose from multiple user name and password sets for a single site. If your browser’s autofill isn’t working for you, 1Passwd is definitely worth a shot.
4. Master Password Mind Block
Problem: I entered a Master Password when I set up FileVault, but I’ve since forgotten it.
Solution: Introduced in OS X 10.3, FileVault provides a way to encrypt your entire user folder. When you first configure FileVault in the Security preference pane, you’re prompted to enter a Master Password. This password allows you to access the encrypted files even if you forget your login password (though if you forget both passwords, there’s no way to recover the files).
In order to change your Master Password in the Security preference pane, you must enter the original password. So if you’ve forgotten it, you’ll have to delete the FileVault keychain. First, if FileVault is currently on, disable it (go to the Security preference pane and click on Turn Off FileVault). Locate the two files in /Library/Keychains (the root-level Library folder, not the one in your user folder) that begin with the words FileVaultMaster, and drag them to the Trash. (You’ll have to enter an administrator password.) Note that if you delete this keychain—and you’ve forgotten the login password of the FileVault-protected account—you will not be able to access encrypted files by setting up a new Master Password.
5. Admin Absentmindedness
Problem: I’ve forgotten my Mac’s administrator password.
Solution: If you can’t remember your administrator password—or you don’t know it because you’ve recently purchased or inherited someone else’s machine—you’ll have to reset it. There are a couple of ways to reset an administrator password:
Ask Another Administrator If your Mac has a second administrator account, open the Accounts preference pane. Click on the lock icon at the bottom and have that person enter his or her administrator name and password. Select the user with the forgotten password and click on Reset Password to choose a new one.
Use an Installation Disc Insert your OS X installer disc. To restart from it, hold down the C key while you reboot your Mac. Choose a language as requested, and then go to Utilities: Reset Password. Select your main disk and choose your user name from the pop-up menu. Enter and verify a new password, then click on Save. Quit the Reset Password utility, and then quit the installer and click on Restart to boot up from your hard disk.
If you previously set your keychain password to match your administrator password, the keychain probably won’t unlock automatically when you log in (since it still uses your old password). So just delete it and create a new one.
Launch Keychain Access. To delete a keychain, make sure the keychain list is showing in the upper left corner of the window; if it isn’t, click on the Show Keychains button at the bottom. Select the keychain you want to delete and choose File: Delete Keychain keychain name. Select File: New Keychain, choose a name, enter a password, and click on Create. In the list, select the keychain you’ve just created, and choose File: Make Keychain keychain name Default. Whenever you store a new password, Mac OS X will automatically add it to your default keychain.
Note that just as you can reset your administrator password, so can anyone else with physical access to your Mac and an installer disc. To minimize your risks, take extra security precautions such as making your keychain password different from your login password and storing sensitive files in an encrypted disk image. Get more details.
6. AirPort No-Go
Problem: I can’t remember the passwords for my network or AirPort base station.
Solution: If you use an AirPort base station (or a third-party wireless router), you potentially have two passwords to worry about: the wireless network password, which your computer needs to get online, and the base station password, which protects the base station against modification by unauthorized parties. You don’t have to set either password, but it’s a good idea to do so.
Most people store their wireless network password in their keychain so OS X can enter it automatically. But if you switch computers or want to grant a friend access to your network, you’ll need to know that password. To find it, open Keychain Access and type the first few letters of your network’s name into the Search field. Double-click on the match with the word login (or your user name) listed in the Keychain column. In the box that appears, select the Show Password option, enter your keychain password, and click on Allow Once or Always Allow to display the password.
If your network’s password isn’t there, you’ll need to select a new one in AirPort Admin Utility (or AirPort Utility, if you have the new 802.11n base station). That, in turn, requires that you either know the base station’s password (if it has one) or have it stored in your keychain.
To change the wireless network password on older base stations, open Air-Port Admin Utility (/Applications/Util-ities) and double-click on the base station’s name. In the AirPort tab, click on Change Wireless Security. Type a new password and click on OK and then on Update. For 802.11n AirPort Extreme Base Stations, open AirPort Utility, select the base station’s name, and choose Base Station: Manual Setup. Click on the AirPort icon, and then select the Wireless tab. Enter and verify a new password, choose an encryption method from the Wireless Security pop-up menu, and click on Update.
What if you’ve forgotten the base station’s password too? Then it’s time to reset it. Instructions vary by base station, so go to Apple’s AirPort Support page and do a search for Reset AirPort to find your model.
What makes a password secure?
When creating new passwords, most people know they should avoid using their pet’s or spouse’s name and should include a mix of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. But just how long and complex does a password really need to be? Here are some rules of thumb:
Low-Security Passwords If you’re creating a password simply to identify yourself, and little is at stake if it’s compromised (for example, on a Web site’s discussion forum), choose a memorable pattern with eight or nine characters. Include one or more non-alphanumeric characters (for example,
High-Security Passwords If you’re protecting bank accounts or personal records, it pays to be safe. Choose a random password or a memorable, word-based one. If you choose a random password, use a mix of 10 or 11 letters (capital and lowercase) and numbers (for instance,
I5oqMqQk8xn). If you include punctuation, 9 or 10 characters are adequate (such as
@wF?FHbZl). For memorable passwords, use at least 17 characters, including letters, numbers, and punctuation (as in acme13-shortbread).
Check your speed limit
Copying files over the Internet can take a long time. By figuring out exactly how long, you’ll know whether your best course of action is to limit the files you back up, shop for a speedier broadband connection, or ditch your online backup plan altogether.
Check your speed limit
Copying files over the Internet can take a long time. By figuring out exactly how long, you’ll know whether your best course of action is to limit the files you back up, shop for a speedier broadband connection, or ditch your online backup plan altogether.
Proper backup procedures are of the utmost importance and can make all the difference should an IT disaster strike.
Security is equally as important and many companies need all user data files protected with the most powerful encryption and compression available.
Many of the Online Backup vendors listed below use 448-bit strong Blowfish encryption just for this reason knowing that some companies insist on industry-strength Online Backup solutions.
No one readily admits to liking insurance, especially paying for it. However, when something goes wrong everyone is thankful they have it. The same can be said about online backup, which is the process of copying files over the Internet and storing it remotely in another location.
When a computer crashes, a fire or theft occurs or equipment is damaged after a disaster, everyone rejoices that important files were safely backed up and available for use in short order.
You may be thinking that your backup and storage requirements are being met by periodically copying your important files or folders to CD, DVD or alternate hard drives. That’s an important first step. But where do you keep the CDS, DVDs or hard drives? Many keep them right where their computers are or somewhere in the same vicinity. That’s not helpful when a fire or flood hits home.
Others will argue that their IT departments routinely employ tape cartridges or software backups to handle storage requirements. Again, unless copies are sent offsite, that’s not very useful in a disaster recovery scenario. Plus, it takes some serious knowledge and experience to configure, maintain, backup and restore information. Many small businesses do not have this expertise in house.
Consider the main causes for Data Loss:
* 44% Hardware Failure: Most hard drive manufacturers have reduced their warranties from 36 to 12 months
* 30% Human Error: Accidental file overwrites and deletions
* 12% Software Corruption: Programming errors, improper application terminations
* 7% PC Virus: Inferior anti-virus software, updated signature files.
* 7% Theft, fire, flood or other natural disaster
The Online Backup Advantage
A simple solution requiring the least amount of company resources is generally what businesses seek out. By simply downloading software, installing it on your PC or Mac and connecting to the online backup provider’s server, you can administer a secure online backup strategy. What’s more is this can be an automated procedure being conducted at regular intervals while your computer is still on.
What’s simpler than sending your encrypted, password-protected data to another computer over the Internet? If the data is lost or stolen, you contact the online backup provider and retrieve the information.
Even better, for many, is a web-based option in which you can access all your files from anywhere you can use a PC or laptop, providing you have a high speed Internet connection. Granted, this option works best for a few files stored rather than the entire contents of your hard drive.
To reiterate, online backup services allows you to:
• Easily manage your backup strategy without IT personnel
• Eliminate the hassle of copying/storing tapes, CDS, DVDS
• Retrieve files 24/7 from an offsite location regardless of the impending emergency
There are a few minor drawbacks to be sure.
Security: You’re sending your valuable information to another source and you’re concerned about the security measures especially during transfer. One has to ask the service provider for explicit details here; we’ll address this in the questions to ask when ”Choosing an Online Backup Service Provider”.
Speed: Dial up Internet connections will obviously take more time in the transfer and retrieval process. This can be overcome somewhat by scheduling overnight backups. Also, the first backup will take longer to complete depending on the amount of data transferred. It gets faster as you continue to use the service as only new or updated files are uploaded.
The Usual Risks: Internet-based companies are fairly new and sometimes go out of business, but the same is true for all business undertakings. It becomes crucial to choose the right solution provider.
What’s the Next Step?
Basically, you must establish what you need to back up. This is impacted by the number of workstations you have and what you establish as crucial information to your business. Backing up your sales and billing information daily may be a considerable amount of data in some organizations. Even various components of your operating system or application files, if so desired, may fall under the realm of vital in terms of storage.
Once you establish the needs and the amount of information that you need to survive in the event of an emergency, it’s time to go online backup shopping.
Choosing An Online Backup Service Provider
There are hundreds of online backup providers clamoring for your business. To ensure you make the best decision, there are several questions to ask the potential candidates. Besides the traditional ‘tell me about yourself’ to learn how long the company has been in business, their financial status and their stance on the Mac vs. PC issue, you have to dig a bit deeper.
Do you offer a free trial period?
Many online backup providers provide a 15 to 30-day trial period. This is ideal to evaluate the service and conduct a test to see how long it would take to send and especially to recover your data before an emergency situation occurs.
Where is your data center located?
It’s preferable that the data center is located a fair distance away from your own facility to offset a common disaster. A rule of thumb is about 100-miles, but there’s nothing wrong with spreading it out further.
How secure is your service and your storage facility?
Ask about encryption, firewalls, uninterruptible power supply, backup generators, raised flooring, and Category 5 compliance. Who will have access to my data? What is your own company’s backup policy?
How are costs determined?
Basically, the total amount of data being backed up, the number of machines that the backup is coming from and the number of versions of the data files being stored will figure into the cost of the service. But what happens if you exceed capacity? What additional charges will occur if my needs change?
Can you provide customer testimonials and may I speak with a few of them?
Always ask for references, period.
What happens to my data if you go out of business?
It’s a fair question. How quickly will you get my files back, and in what form?
Now it’s time to get some answers. Remember what Henry Ford said: “Don’t find a fault. Find a remedy.”
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- ZYCOO ZX50-A4 Asterisk IP PBX 4 x FXO