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Backup and Storage Drives

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It is always a good idea to keep a copy of your important digital information. Accidents happen and there's nothing worse than seeing days of work, or weeks of valuable financial data vanishing in moments. When it comes to storing your work, backup drives are an excellent solution.

Do you find you need to transport large files between work and home, or back and forth to the print bureau? In that case you will find that many backup solutions are great in this role too.

Backup drives come in all shapes and sizes. When you are considering the cost of a backup drive, remember that you are not only looking at the initial purchase price but also the ongoing cost of the consumables, the disks.

Here we will look at some of the most popular backup and storage solutions used by many businesses.

Network Backup

The way many networked companies work is to set up an automatic backup so that all computers on the network back up to a central server at regular intervals, say once a day. The consolidated backup is then written to a removable backup disk.

CD and DVD Drives

If you want to store selected information of up to 700MB, then a CD-Recordable (CD-R) or CD-Rewritable (CD-RW) drive is a good option.

CD-R disks are cheap, costing less than a pound a disk, but once you've recorded something onto one it can't be changed or added to. CD-RW disks are only slightly more expensive and with them you are able to erase information you no longer need and record new data in its place.

You also get DVD-Recordable (DVD-R) and DVD-Rewritable (DVD-RW) drives. DVDs look the same as CDs, except that they hold much more data. DVD-RW disks come in two sizes, 2.6GB and 5.2GB and will cost you between �10.00 and �20.00 each. They're great for storing and transporting large amounts of data or entire digital projects.

CDs and DVDs are a convenient storage medium, and with the latest drives you can copy 700MB of data in moment. Note though that the disks tend to be vulnerable to scratches.

Tape Drives

The larger hard drives get, the more you have to lose if something goes wrong. When it comes to backing up your entire hard drive, it will take a considerable number of CDs or DVDs to copy everything over and the process will be slow.

For backing up your entire hard drive, tape drives that store information to cassette-type cartridges are the tried and tested answer. Tape drives are fast and versatile and the disks you get are huge, starting at 1GB or 2GB and going up to and beyond 60GB. The consumables are also relatively inexpensive.

Tape cartridges wear out eventually, so consider this solution for backing up, archiving and storage rather than as a solution to move files from place to place.

High Capacity Replaceable Disk Drives

Disk drives with a large capacity, such as Iomaga's Zip and Jaz drives are used by many businesses to save and transport information. Jaz disks come in 1GB and 2GB sizes. They'll set you back around £75.00 per disk and are excellent for storing and transporting files like digital video, DTP or CAD layouts and multimedia presentations.

Zip is Jaz's more diminutive sibling. Zip disks come in 100MB and 250MB sizes, cost between �8.00 and �15.00 per disk and because of their size are for the large part used for transporting files rather than storage.

Zip and Jaz may not be the most affordable option, but the disks are reliable and will be around for a long time because they don't wear out quickly.

Web Backup Services

These days there are various online backup solutions available, such as the Web backup service offered by the Data Vault Corporation. Here you can purchase 1GB of online data storage of the price of $101.95 a year and set your systems to back up to Data Vault’s secure offsite data storage facility each night.

Find out all about backing up your data with help from Small Business Server, as well as how to back up your Outlook data.

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