PROTECT YOUR BACKUPS
NOTHING LASTS FOREVER — AND THE SAME IS TRUE OF BACKUPS.
Optical discs don’t last a lifetime, while hard drives wear out, and cloud storage can disappear without warning. That’s why backing up to multiple locations is essential, but it doesn’t stop there. You should take additional steps to protect your data from physical degradation.
Check with the maker of your drive for a monitoring tool, such as Seagate’s SeaTools ( www.seagate.com/seatools), to keep an eye on your drives’ health, giving you time to replace failing drives before they disappear with your data. If you want a network drive, choose a two-bay model, such as Synology’s DiskStation 216+, and fill it with two identical drives in a RAID 1 setup. Data is mirrored on both drives, so if one fails, you can swap it out with a replacement without fear of data loss. Just remember a RAID array doesn’t constitute two backups — if the enclosure fries (or gets stolen), you lose both drives. (As an aside, try the free DMDE data recovery tool from www.dmde.com if you need to recover data from NASformatted drives.) You can read more about NAS boxes on page 84.
Also watch the software you use. Some tools store your data in their own proprietary formats, so if the software stops working (perhaps after upgrading to an unsupported version of Windows), you lose access to your backup. Both Windows backup tools use their own format, as does Macrium, Backup Buddy and Viivo (as part of protecting backups through encryption). So make sure one of your backup plans duplicate your files in their original format to ensure you have one easily recoverable version of your files.