Importance of Backing Up Your Data – Part 1

If you have a computer or laptop, one of the most important things you can do is setup a backup system. There are several methods to complete this task, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. We’ll discuss each in a multipart series.

CD / DVD / Blue-Ray: This is one of the oldest forms of backup. CDs can hold about 700 MB of data, DVDs 4.7 GB, and Blue-Ray 25 GB. You will need a computer with a the appropriate type of disk burner / writer, depending on which type of disk you choose. You can use the disk burning software that comes with most modern Operating Systems or you can install writing software.

The advantages to using this method are:

1) It’s portable – You might be interested in sending a photo CD to a loved one. You can also easily load photos from CDs at photo kiosks for printing.

2) It’s compatible – Using the right software you can burn images, music, and even video to play in a variety of devices, including DVD players, MP3 players, and of course CD and DVD playback is compatible with almost any computer, PC, Mac, or Linux, by default.

3) It’s creative – If you’re the artsy type you may want to send grandma a slideshow of photos and videos with a lovely soundtrack. Using software like movie maker you can easily do this and burn it to a CD / DVD to play in their DVD player or home computer. Basically, they make great gifts for Mother’s Day, Birthdays, or even Christmas!

Some of the drawbacks are:

1) CDs/DVDs/Blue-Ray all have a lifespan. That is, the data on them will begin to deteriorate after so many years and can become corrupt. We recommend if you do use this method that you buy high quality media. Don’t go cheap, unless they are only to be used temporarily.

2) This method is more time consuming than others. It takes time to load and to burn the data if you have a lot.

3) Disks are also susceptible to damage. Scratches from improper care, extreme heat or cold, etc. can all damage the disk and make it unreadable.