Why do You Need Data Backup?
Whether you are working on your office computer or your home laptop, all those data, files, and information you accumulated or stored on the hard drive are the fruits of your labor. Present day computers are more reliable, but they do fail without a prior warning. There’s no point crying over spilled milk if you don’t have data backup and management process, as it is impossible or rather expensive to retrieve the lost data. So it’s wiser to have duplicate copies of your important information saved in a remote location, where it will be kept safely in case your computer crashes or there are other kinds of unforeseen mishap. Just as you buy insurance to protect your homes and businesses from disasters, you can consider data backups as your data insurance.
Online Data Backup is a Necessity
Online backup of data is a safer and more effective method of securing files. Files stored online are safe and if something goes wrong with your machine, the money, time, and effort you put in to create those data will not go down the drain. You can quickly and easily restore the data from a secure online server.
FTP backup is one of the most secure and reliable ways to backup your data. Storing files on a remote, dedicated, backup server ensures adequate protection against hardware failures, natural disasters, theft and other causes of data loss. FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is the standard network protocol used to transfer data from one host to another. You need a FTP backup software and FTP connection to store data on a remote computer or device. Usually the user is given access to a secured, remote FTP server through a logging in process and this server is the remote backup destination for all your important files.
Types of Backup
There are several ways to backup your digital content. Here is a gist of some of the methods:
– Full Backup
Full backup is a method of backup where all the files and folders selected for the backup are backed up. For subsequent backup runs, this entire list of files is backed up again. The advantage of this method is that the process of restoration is faster and easier as every time the complete list of files is restored. The disadvantages are that the process is time consuming and more storage or memory space is required every time a full backup is executed.
– Incremental Backup
Incremental backup is a backup of the changes made since the previous backup. With incremental backups, one full backup is done the first time and subsequent backup runs update the previous files with the changes made since the previous backup. This restoration process may be slower, but this method saves time and space.
– Differential Backup
Differential backup is a backup of all changes made since the last full backup. With differential backups, one full backup is done the first time and subsequent backup runs update the changes made since the last full backup. This is less time and spacing consuming than a full backup, and even though restoration is slower than a full backup, it is usually faster than an Incremental backup.
– Mirror Backup
Mirror backups create exact copies of the original data. But in this case the files are not compressed in zip files and they cannot be protected with a password.
– Local Backup
Local backups are backups maintained in close by, local locations, may be in the same building as the source. The backup can be taken on a second hard drive, an external hard drive, CD/DVD, ROM drive, or on Network Attached Storage (NAS). Local backups protect digital content from hard drive failures, virus attacks, and accidental deletions, buy may not save the data if the storage device is damaged due to theft, fire or other natural calamities.
– Offsite Backup
When the backup storage media is kept at a different geographic location from the source, it is called an offsite backup. It provides the same protection as that of a local backup, but an offsite backup provides additional protection from theft, fire, floods and other natural disasters.
– Online Backup
These are backups typically done on a storage medium located offsite. Connection to the backup source is done through a network or Internet connection. The backup may be an automatic process done continuously or periodically.
– Cloud Backup
Cloud backup is a form of online, remote backup. The data is backed up to a service or storage facility in the cloud through the Internet. With the proper log in credentials, the backed up data can be accessed or restored from the stored facility through an Internet Access.
– FTP Backup
This kind of backup is done over the Internet on an FTP Server using the File Transfer Protocol (FTP). Typically the FTP Server is located in a commercial data center away from the original data source being backed up. If something goes wrong with your machine or data, you will have remote access to your information from any computer with an Internet access. This means you will be able to quickly and easily restore the files to your computer from a secured online server.
Some commercial web hosting providers provide FTP server backup when you sign up for their web hosting service. Though may allow you to keep backup of your web hosting files, all of them may not allow you to keep backup of your local files. Also some of these service providers may delete your backups without prior intimation and so you must verify with your service provider before you use their servers for FTP backups. Otherwise there are several other companies who offer FTP backup services and you can choose from their different service options and payment plans.
Once you have identified and signed up for an FTP server you can use, you need to install a backup software utility that supports an FTP backup. The steps for the backup process are quite simple. Type in the web address of the FTP server and use the login username and password provided to you to use the backup utility.
Pros and Cons of FTP Backup
Since the backup FTP server is located in an offsite location, it offers protection from fire, floods, earth quakes and other natural disasters.
It is possible to connect easily and access the backup data through an Internet connection.
With a reliable FTP backup you won’t panic under any of these circumstances:
- Aggressive malicious viruses corrupt your files or disable your computers.
- One of your careless employees accidentally deletes some important files.
- Sudden failure of a hard drive causes painful loss of irreplaceable files and work which were generated over few months and years. The effect can be catastrophic if you have a close delivery or deadline to meet.
- This type of backup though reliable, is costlier than local backups.
- It can also take longer time to backup and restore the data. The backup and restoration time will depend on the reliability and speed of your Internet connection.
Next time if viruses corrupt your digital data, or your computer technician advise you to wipe the hard drive to remove the virus, or your kids delete important files from your family computer while making space for their video games, you can sit back and smile if you have a reliable data backup. Backups can be a life-saver in events of data loss and essential for data recovery. FTP backup is one of the most convenient methods of data backup and is being extensively used by individuals and companies to survive disasters during data loss.