The Best Way to Store, Save, and Backup Your Business
Have you ever lost your data? Have your photos, music, or documents disappeared into the ether when you dropped your phone?
Are you one hard drive crash away from your business going up in smoke?
A few years ago, my wife and I lost our data. Wedding pictures, engagement photos, and everything else stored on a computer was wiped away when the hard drive crashed.
Data loss sucks. Most people are vulnerable to it.
CLICK HERE to download the free Buyer's Guide
When you lose your personal data, you could be emotionally devastated. When you lose your business data, you could lose clients, face regulatory penalties, or possibly have to close up shop and go out of business.
If you only have your files stored on one device, you're betting against the house, and almost asking for something bad to happen. A dropped phone, a stolen computer, a crashed hard drive, any of it could mean the loss of months (or years) of work.
Ok, enough with the doomsday stuff. I've lost data and the odds are you have too, so let's move on to the solution.
If you're budget-crunched, there's still a good way to back up your files.
In this post about how to create your own personal cloud, I outlined a few ways to keep your files stored with services all over the internet. Using a free account with Box.com, you can get 10GB of cloud storage at no cost. Install their Desktop Sync app, and you can back up most of your data.
If storage in the cloud isn't your thing, I would recommend grabbing a few of these SanDisk USB 3.0 drives that you can put on your keychain.
Since you still run the risk of losing or misplacing the drive, you're still vulnerable to lost data. However, if you only have your data stored in the cloud, if you're not connected to the internet (or can't, like when you're on an airplane) you might not be able to get to your files either.
If you want to back up your business, and you want a low-cost solution that's good, but not great, my suggestion would be to grab a USB drive, backup your most important files to it, and duplicate your most critical files to the cloud.
Ok, so you're not looking for a “good” solution, something that gets the job done and nothing else. You want to reduce your risk. You want something a little better. Well, I have a great backup solution for you.
A couple of months ago, I started shooting massive amounts of video for my YouTube channel. When a single video can be over 5GB, you can fill up a smaller USB drive (like those shown above) fast.
And, although I have a NAS solution (Best, below), to back up my files off-site, I needed somewhere to store my files now so they didn't fill up my computer's hard drive while they were uploading via our insanely slow internet.
CLICK HERE to download the free Buyer's Guide
So I bought this 4TB Seagate Backup Plus drive (Model STDR4000900) that connects to my computer via USB 3.0.
4TB for about $100 is pretty good, and it's enough to backup my entire computer about 8x. While, at $100, the Seagate drive is much more expensive than the USB flash drive options, it also holds exponentially more information so you're less likely to have to delete something to add something. The Seagate drive is also physically bigger, so you're less likely to lose it.
The Seagate Backup Drive Plus also comes with Seagate's backup software, so you can automate the backup process and mirror your computer's hard drive to the portable drive. Regular backups of your computer's hard drive will significantly reduce your risk of data loss.
But, USB drives won't eliminate your risk entirely.
The best solution, by far, is to have your data duplicated and backed up to a NAS, or network attached storage device. These devices are connected to the internet and accessible from anywhere. NAS systems also typically have a LOT more storage.
After about three months of research to determine which company had the best hardware and software combination, I decided to upgrade my old D-Link NAS to something that had better software, more drive slots, and better performance. I decided to upgrade to the Synology DS918+ 4-Bay NAS, with Seagate 8TB IronWolf NAS HDDs.
The benefits of a NAS are many:
- Massive amounts of storage
- Accessible from anywhere you have internet access
- Easier to use than they were 5 years ago
- Automatic backup solutions
- Mirroring for redundancy and security
- Scheduled backups
- Multiple user access
- Multiple drives practically eliminate catastrophic failures
For reference, 8TB (terabytes) is 8,000 GB (gigabytes). That means each NAS drive could store the 64GB flash drive 125 times. And the DS918+ can hold four of those 8TB drives.
While a NAS setup might seem like overkill, it's not. If you're generating lots of data in your business, you're likely to need some serious storage. If you're in a regulated industry, you're likely to need a compliant backup policy that keeps files for years or even decades to come. And, the cost of storing all of that sensitive data in the cloud can get expensive.
Network attached storage solves those problems.
Synology uses most common types of data storage options, like RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, and 10. That means your data can be backed up on multiple hard drives within the same NAS box. So, if one drive fails, your images, documents, music, and files can be recovered from another drive in the system.
If you're curious about how your data would be stored and backed up, you can click here to use Synology's RAID calculator.
You're almost there! Just enter your info below and get instant access to the buyer's guide
The reason I wanted to write this post is to save you from the heartache and headache of losing your data. It's happened to me, and I remember sitting on the staircase of our home, hugging Ashley as she cried about losing years worth of pictures from college.
In your business, you might not have photos and videos of life's emotional moments, but you probably do have recorded phone calls, marketing videos, and other types of data you want to keep around. Not to mention signed documents, legal notices, and governmental approvals that you need to keep on hand.
I wrote this post because I know many of you would be totally screwed if your phone was lost or stolen, or if you dropped it at the wrong angle. Protecting and backing up your data might not be a sexy topic, but it's an important one.
And, for reference, I don't keep a lot of USB drives lying around. But I do keep my computer synced with my Synology DS918+ using their included Drive software that I have installed on my Windows 10 PC. Whereas Box puts a max file size limitation on what I can backup, Synology Drive does not, so all of my coaching and mastermind calls are safely archived for future reference.
Question: What's your backup strategy? How do you store your most important files?