Guest Post by Belinda Lima
Picture this: it’s late and you’re tired. So you decide to take your laptop and coffee and relocate to the living room where you can recline in comfort and give your sore shoulders a break.
Sounds good, right?
That is until you lean over to grab your cell phone effectively knocking over your coffee which of course lands all over your lap AND the laptop. The Universe stands still for a good 20 seconds which feels like 10 years while the enormity of what just happened sinks it and then complete panic takes over and you have a complete meltdown...
This happened to me a few years ago and I am still scarred by it.
After assessing the damage I ‘thought’ replacing the keyboard would fix the situation so I ordered one. Wrong. The laptop had problem after problem from that day on.
So I finally bring it to the repair shop and pray someone can back up all my files at the very least. Wrong again. After two days I stop by thinking I’m going to pick up my life in a box, only I see it sitting on the counter with a white piece of paper attached to it with big letters that say, “DON’T USE, MAY CATCH FIRE!”
That's when the five stages of grief officially started.
There were two major lessons to be learned and I should have already known both: Lesson 1 keep - the coffee away from the laptop, that’s obvious.
And Lesson 2, back up, backup and oh, back up.
Lesson learned, but apparently I missed the lesson on not dropping your laptop on the ground and destroying it. If only I was kidding. But, this lesson was far easier, I upgraded to an Ultrabook. And, the best part is, the Ultrabook has an aluminum shell therefore I feel slightly more protected and I’m definitely more careful.
Online Backup Options
My first consideration was online backup. The two sites I looked at were Carbonite and Mozy. Both are quality products and it came down to personal preference, just like anything else. When weighing both options the considerations are:
- Price and storage – Carbonite and Mozy both offer free trial of the software. How much storage you need will dictate the price.
- Accessibility and Security – encryption and ease of access are very important.
- Customer Service – During and after set up, this also includes ease of set-up and ease of use.
I ended up going with Mozy and for $5.99 for 50 GB and it affords me peace of mind. Also, that is a flat fee for all my computers.
External Drive Backup
My desktop, which I don’t use as much as my laptop and netbook, is still backed up to an external drive which runs of my USB port. I also have a handful of thumb drives (also known as flash drives) that I keep important files on.
They are cheap and easy to tote around.
Dropbox – Mobile App and Desktop
While Dropbox isn’t considered “back up,” per say, I have to admit I find it comes in handy. I can access my files from my laptop, netbook or iPhone which essentially ensures my most recent documents are all in one place if I save them there and they can be accessed from virtually anywhere. If you aren’t already using Dropbox on your phone or computer, I highly recommend giving it a try.
These tips sound so elementary in nature but I will be the first one to tell you that after all this time online I still need reminders to do my backups. With so many things to do, the most important are often the most overlooked until disaster strikes.
Lynn has a great article on using an online backup service that you should also take the time to read...
Belinda Lima is a freelance writer for andgeeks.com and bbgeeks.com. She graduated from the University of Texas with her Graduate degree in Creative Writing and now uses her word smith talents and her love of technology to write about a variety of social media, consumer electronics, and mobile accessories topics in her articles. When she’s not writing, Belinda can often be found hiking and rock-climbing the gorgeous vistas that surround her city.