Four Common Myths About Backup Software

Four Common Myths About Backup Software
by Alexey Spiridonov
Computers affect the way we live, communicate, work, and entertain today more than ever before. So, the information stored on them becomes very significant. Loosing data from your hard drive is at least unpleasant, but in some cases also very expensive. At the same time, not all of us take measures to protect their data. Moreover, day after day we hear about alarming accidents of data loss. But why reliable backup strategies are not as much widespread as data crash accidents? – Perhaps, because people have some wrong notions about backup software and about the problem of data loss in general.

Precious personal and work data is stored in a computer’s hard disk, but no hard disk is perfect. Sometimes they die, and so does the information stored. Furthermore, viruses, human errors and even natural disasters or theft can take away your data without any chance of restoring. One reliable solution for the problem of data loss is backup software that makes reserve copies of your critical data automatically. There is a great variety of such data-safe program to choose from. But why do people still ignore this software?

In this article we’ll try to denote some possible reasons of ignoring backup software and to destroy some myths about backup preventing people from using it. We have summarized these notions in four common «myths» and will try to expose them.

• Myth 1: The risk of data loss is insignificant

Some people believe that data loss is not their problem. Why don’t they care? Because they just know nothing about possible crucial hardware faults and destructive effect of such faults on the stored information.

Actually, there are high risks of data loss. According to the survey conducted by Verio (Global Premier Provider of Online Services), fifty-three percent of respondents have already experienced an actual loss of information that was stored on a PC. Six percent of PCs will suffer an episode of data loss in any given year. 31% of PC users have ever lost all of their files due to events beyond their control.

The reasons of losing data may vary greatly – power faults, short life of the hardware, viruses or hacker attacks… The fact is: you can irretrievably lose the information stored on your home or work computer (i.e. project data, email correspondence, personal information, irreparable and urgent documents) if the hard disk crashes.

Learn by others’ mistakes: thoughtless attitude toward data backup has fatal consequences. Most people and organizations come to understand this only after losing their crucial data accidentally. With special backup software your data is more likely to be always on hand.

• Myth 2: Copying files manually is more effective

Some people are aware of the risk of data loss and try to deal with this problem without special backup software. These people protect the data on their own.

Common practice for such people is copying data to digital media occasionally. In other words, they copy their data without any backup software. Of course, it is better than nothing. But is it enough for guaranteed data protection? You can simply forget to make a backup before a hard disk fault, and your previous backup work will become sheer waste of time. Moreover, you can forget to copy some files which you may need most of all after data loss.

With special backup software you can use automated procedures for regular backup and synchronization under your own schedule. Backup software will do all the routine work on copying files for you, you only need to set what, when and where you wish to backup.

In other words, manual copying of files is not as reliable and comfortable as using special data backup software.

• Myth 3: Backup software sufficiently slows down computer performance

Some people think that backup jobs require too much hardware resources (space on a disk and CPU time) and it is tiresome to run them often. They suspect that backup software will impede using computer for work, entertainment or other purposes.

In fact, most backup programs are not resource-consuming. A typical backup program requires only operation system installed and about 5 Mb free disk space for program files. So, if your computer meets these requirements you have nothing to worry about. In other words, if you computer can have an operation system running, it will easily run a backup program.

Moreover, with a scheduler you can set your backup operations execution on the most convenient time. For example, during lunch time or when you sleep. Moreover, some backup programs can run in service mode. In service mode, the backup is independent from the currently logged in user. The benefit is that your backup tasks are processed even if somebody else is using the system at the moment or if nobody is logged in at all.

As you see, with a good backup program you can perform reserve copying operations in any time you wish. It means that you can have backups running when you are idle, and they will not interfere with your work.

• Myth 4: Using backup software is difficult, time-consuming and expensive

Imaginary difficulties of data backup procedures make users think about backup as a waste of time and money and as the result refuse it, hoping for the best. We are busy at work, family and friends fill our days and leave us little time for boring things like computer maintenance. But backing up data is much easier than it seems.

Please forget fairy tales about baffling complexity of backup programs! Most of backup programs have Wizards with intuitive user interface which let you configure your backup task with ease. A typical backup program can be installed within several minutes. Setting a backup task takes several minutes more. That’s all. Then the backup program will take care of your crucial data.

After all, the price of such a program (30-70$ for single license) is far less then the costs of data loss.

We have tried to expose some myths about backup and to mark some positive abilities that backup software gives us. Today’s backup software offers comfortable way to make reserve copies of your crucial data. As more people get familiar with automated backup solutions, they tend to become must-have software, along with e-mail clients, word processors and anti-virus programs.


Copyright © Alexey Spiridonov
About the Author:
Alexey Spiridonov is a staff writer for SoftLogica covering personal technology. He studies Sociology at Novosibirsk State University in Russia.
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