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IT: Data Backup

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Just finished that really important assignment and ready to print it in the morning? Just thought of doing a bit of surfing before going to bed... what’s that... a horrible destructive virus has just been downloaded to your PC and wiped everything ‘OR’ your laptop just went fizz as your celebratory red wine flooded it? Thought about external backup?

Ok, it happens, PCs, laptops and even Macs(!) can have problems, we’ve met the students who’ve lost major parts of dissertations and reports due in the following week. So what’s the solution? From the title of this article you’ve probably guessed. Backup. Make sure you always have a backup of your data. Your PC’s operating system can nearly always be recovered (unless the Operating System backup is on the hard drive- please make sure you burn them to DVD when asked), programs reinstalled, but data... well that’s a lot harder and very costly unless you know what you are doing. The University provides you 2GB of data storage on the PWF and you can access that from the web via https://dsfiles.ds.cam.ac.uk/. There are also other free, cloud based storage options that are available to backup your data: In no particular order and these are only a small sample.

Microsofts Windows Live Onedrive @ https://skydrive.live.com

5GB of storage, password protected sharing, automatic sync of data and it’s easy to use.

IDrive @ https://www.idrive.com

5GB, PCs, Macs, iPhones, Android phones, versioning of files, automatic sync between computer and storage, sharing of file with friends.

Spideroakhttps://spideroak.com

2GB storage, all data encrypted prior to uploading so no chance of any employees at the company being able to view your files, Mac, Windows, Linux compatible, versioning of files.

Want an alternative? Get a large USB memory stick or USB external hard drive and backup to these. Just be aware that if anything happened to your room then you may lose both copies and external hard drives and USBV sticks are still liable to die without any notice. Netstorage/cloud is more resiliant and netstorage is backed up by the university. So backup that data to netstorage and sleep soundly.

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