WHO NEEDS DATA BACKUP?
Have you considered what would happen if you suddenly lost all the data on your computer, laptop or phone? Years of family photos, taxes and bank documents, personal videos and even your iTunes account could be gone in an instant. Many of us have already experienced the displeasure of an unexpected hard drive failure or a computer that simply can't be fixed, and it can be frustrating. With automatic Cloud file backup through IDrive, our preferred data backup solution, you can rest easy knowing that your files will never be lost, all for less than five bucks a month.
But what is the Cloud, anyway? To simplify the concept a bit, the Cloud is simply someone else's computer. Storing your data in the Cloud means you are uploading your data to servers that are publicly available to the Internet and owned by a corporation or government. This means you can access your files anywhere you can find an Internet connection. Unfortunately, it also raises certain (easily avoided) security concerns, but we'll talk about that a bit later.
"I don't really care about my personal files."
-No One, Ever.
WHAT IS IDRIVE?
IDrive is just one of many data backup software solutions, but it is the program of choice here at Colorado PC Pro. For around $50, you get 2 Terabytes of data storage (That's 2,000 Gigabytes, more than almost anyone needs), file encryption during data transfer and storage, the ability to sync files between multiple computers and more. The robust user interface and plentiful options allow you to customize a plan specific to your needs, such as backing up all photos, documents and videos while skipping your folder full of martial arts movies. This allows you to maximize your storage space and keep data transfers to a minimum.
It should come as no surprise that I actually use IDrive on my personal computer. At Colorado PC Pro, we practice what we preach. We give you the programs we use at home, only install Smart Home devices we have personally tried and we treat you like family. We are not affiliated with IDrive or any other software company -- we simply believe in this product enough to offer an annual subscription of IDrive automatic online file backup with each computer maintenance plan we manage in Colorado Springs.
IDrive delivers a clean, user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate. Large tabs labeled 'Backup', 'Restore', and 'Settings' are self-explanatory and direct you to the features you are looking for quickly. If you can navigate folders in Windows, you can use IDrive, which uses the same process to select files and folders. There is also a backup scheduler built into the main menu. Once you have completed your initial upload, you can set IDrive to check for new files to update at any time -- preferably in the middle of the night, when the excess Internet usage won't slow down other services.
WHY YOU SHOULD USE IDRIVE
Aside from the obvious benefit of never losing your important files and data, IDrive is pretty darned cheap. There are constant promotions on IDrive's homepage, so you can usually pick up a software license for around $50 per year. That's less than $5 a month -- a fantastic price for data security and peace of mind. You probably wouldn't think twice about buying a $5 soda at the movies, so why turn data backup into a painstaking decision? We are here to make it easy for you, and we can even come to your home to set up your IDrive account the way you want it, on your terms, and fast.
Do you frequently transfer files between computers, laptops and other devices in your household? Do you ever e-mail documents to yourself so that you can access them from anywhere? I know I do. IDrive's sync feature is easy to overlook if you're only focused on online data backup, but it can be extremely useful. Instead of going through your self-created hassle, just set up a single folder on your computer designated for IDrive file sync. All of your computers can share your IDrive account, and they will all sync that folder as often as you tell them to. Want the folder updated every time you add something? Done, and instantly accessible from any of your other computers.
Persistent data backup is becoming more and more important every day. Take, for example, the recent introduction of 'ransomware' to the Internet. Ransomware is a new term used to describe a computer virus that holds your computer hostage. Specifically, ransomware encrypts your computer hard drive and only provides you with the decryption key once you have paid a huge sum of money, typically around $500, to the scammers. If you don't pay, your files are permanently encrypted with no chance of recovery. With IDrive, you know that your files are always backed up, current and safe from hackers. While ransomware would still be serious, it would not be impossible to recover from.
For everything IDrive does, it doesn't do the best job explaining to the casual computer user how it all happens. That's what we're here for, and we know you have questions. If you can't find your concerns addressed here, call us at (719)345-2345 and we'll do our best to keep you informed.
As I mentioned earlier, Cloud storage means that files are accessible from the Internet, which is usually considered a security risk; however, IDrive uses the 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) to transfer and store your files. That means that even if your files were sniffed during a routine backup or outright stolen from IDrive's servers they would be nothing more than encrypted, garbled nonsense to hackers. This is considered better than industry-standard data protection.
The next main concern is the time and data it takes to upload your files to the Cloud. In my case, I selected only my photos, documents, school and work documents to be backed up. Since I have decades of digital photos, the total size was 60 Gigabytes. Keep in mind, you are allowed to store 2,000 Gigabytes with your IDrive subscription. To upload my data, it took almost a week straight of running IDrive overnight. I may have forgotten a night here and there, but that is still a long time. If you have much more files than me, say, over 250 Gigabytes, uploading over the Internet is simply not a realistic option.
Thankfully, you can actually ship your data to IDrive. If you don't want to upload an enormous amount of data or simply don't have the time, you can request a hard drive be shipped to your house, back up your data onto it, and ship it back to be stored on the Cloud. For advanced users, you can connect IDrive to a Microsoft Exchange or Oracle server for streamlined home business operations.