3-2-1 Backup

If you’ve been using computers for any period of time, you must be familiar with the idea of backing up your documents and other important files, but have you ever heard of the 3-2-1 method for accomplishing this? No, it doesn’t prescribe any specific software or services to be used but provides a robust framework that will give you some additional protection.

In short, the 3-2-1 method advocates for 3 total copies of your data, 2 storage media (tape, cd/dvd/blu-ray, hard drive, SSD, NAS), and 1 copy should be off-site.

To unpack this a little more. Having 3 copies of your data would entail your working copy and two additional copies. Some people use an external hard drive or solid-state drive (SSD) to store the second copy of their data. 

When it comes to the offsite copy of your data, there are many ways you can accomplish this. If you use two external hard drives, you can keep one at home for a given week and then swap it with another external drive you keep at your office or at some other location. The biggest problem with this solution is that of human nature. People forget to rotate the drives, and in case of disaster, they are left with an incomplete backup to work from.

Online backup is another option. There is typically a cost involved in this, but when you compare the cost of losing data and/or having to recreate your data, it sounds much more reasonable. Some services can at only $5/month when you find a sale or discount.

If you need help setting up a backup procedure, or advice on how to narrow down the choice of online backup providers, feel free to make and appointment by filling out the form on the Technology Resources page or calling the Library at 517-663-0950.

Happy Computing!

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