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One More Time!1

One More Time!!
by Gary Woods

I've written before about backing up your computer, so why do I even bother bugging you people one more time? Because it's IMPORTANT that's why!

Specifically today we're talking about Online Backups and there are a number of companies that you can employ. I thought today what I'd talk about is some of the things to look for in an online service. The first question is how much space is provided? Some services actually provide unlimited space and others provide as little as 200MB. Second, does the service provide Encrypted Backups and if so, other than you, who holds the encryption key to unlock the data? The thing to remember here is if you lose your key no force on earth is going to be able to get your data back.

Third, does the company offer the ability to save copies of your data to DVDs? It's always nice to have more than one copy of everything so being able to backup your data to DVD is a good thing.

Fourth, does the service allow you to have backups from more than one machine? I've got 4 PCs scattered around my house so it would be nice to be able to back them all up for one price.

Fifth, does the service provide you with an emergency restore disk? This is important because I know when I've had a disk drive go bad all I'm looking at is a little blinking prompt which means I have no way to get to the internet to get my stored data back.

Finally, what kind of support does the company offer? Some service will swap emails with you and other have someone sitting there 24/7 to talk to you directly. Hmmmm, which one would I want?

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc