Natural Disasters and Data Loss

Many people take steps to backup important data by storing the information on an external hard drive.  Although not a perfect solution, it is certainly better than not backing up any data at all.  It reduces the risk of catastrophic data loss from an internal hard drive failure and many of the newest external drives have terabytes of space capable of storing entire movie collections, large photo albums, or years worth of business transactions.  The problem with backing up data this way is that it does not account for the one of biggest reasons contributing to data loss in the first place.  Earthquakes, fires, floods, and hurricanes can all destroy both internal and external storage drives in a matter of seconds.

One only has to watch the evening news to see a story about some building fire or other disaster.  Although it may not be reported, many of these households and businesses have computer systems with on-site backup equipment that is destroyed.  Imagine for a moment that you are a small business owner.  You have a small network with a storage device attached and some filing cabinets where you keep all your paper copies.  After a fire, all this information will be gone.  No paper copies to work from and no information stored on the computer.  You would be hard pressed to conduct business at all and information necessary for taxes and other financial tasks may be gone forever.  Unfortunately, even the best computer repair technician cannot restore data from a hard drive that has been melted, flooded with water, or crushed by the weight of a collapsing building.

The only way to protect your data from this type of catastrophic loss is through an online backup service.  Online backup is easy, cost effective, and your data is stored off-site.  No matter what might happen to your home or business computer, your information is safely stored on a server somewhere else and can easily be recovered after the disaster.

What if the server where your data is securely stored falls victim to a natural disaster or catastrophic failure?  Believe it or not, your data is still safe thanks to a process known as redundancy.  All reputable online storage providers store your data in multiple places.  Even if one data center is destroyed your data remains safe on one of the many other data centers operated by the service.  Not only does this technique protect against damage from natural disasters; it also protects against more mundane (but just as devastating) hardware failures.  Although the hardware typically used by these companies is of a much higher quality than the consumer grade equipment sold in stores, there is still a risk of failure due to manufacturing defects or improper maintenance.  Redundancy protects your information from all these threats automatically.

Waiting until a natural disaster is imminent is not the time to start thinking about offsite backup solutions for your home or business.  You may only have hours to evacuate to safety if severe weather is en route.  Some disasters, such as earthquakes and fires, do not give any warning at all.  Just as you purchase insurance to protect your assets you should purchase an online backup solution to safeguard the integrity of your information.  A little effort now will save you from headaches and unnecessary expenses after a disaster threatens to destroy everything.