Did you know that 113 smartphones are lost or stolen every minute worldwide? Moreover, viruses infect 10% of all computers worldwide. To worsen matters, 30% of people have never backed up their data using ESXi backup solutions or any other means. According to these scaring figures by WorldBackupDay, all the information stored in these lost, stolen, or infected devices could get lost if they were not backed up.

So, are you among the vulnerable 30% or one of 70% of people who have backed up their valuable data? Well, we don’t mean to scare you with statistics. Instead, we intend to show you the gravity of the data loss challenges we face. Fortunately, you have different options to use in backing up your information. You can start from physical to cloud backup solutions.

Here are the options you have to back up your data. We have arranged them from the oldest and least effective to the latest and safest. Eventually, you will be in a better position to choose what suits your backup needs better.

Printing

Printing may sound an “archaic” backup method for those who value the digital technology we enjoy today. However, it’s still a backup option. This method is ideal for storing the most critical documents an organization might need during a prolonged power outage.

Pros

  • It’s not subject to the power and technical failures. Thus, you’ll never lose data due to a network failure or power outage.
  • Once locked away safely, it’s hacker-proof (at least for cyber-criminals).

Cons

  • You can’t use it to store multimedia files, such as videos. Only textual information or spreadsheets may be printed out and possess some value as data storage media.
  • Hard to manage effectively; just imagine those heaps of papers you will need to look through for finding the necessary document!
  • Beneficial for short and urgently needed documents
  • It’s not a “green” storage option. You’ll need to spend too much paper for printing out all the vital business information, killing several trees in the meantime.
  • Printed data may still be lost in case your office suffers a flood or fire.

USB Flash Drives

USB flash drives are another option you can use to store your data. These devices are smaller and more comfortable to carry around. Fortunately, their storage capacity has increased while their cost nose-dived.

Pros

  • Cost-effective. You’ll need around $10 for an affordable USB flash drive able to store lots of data.
  • Highly portable. These are indeed pocket devices you can carry in a wallet or on a keychain.
  • Readily available; all you need to do for accessing your data is plug the USB flash drive into a USB port on your device.

Cons

  • Very easy to lose due to their small size. If not encrypted, the USB flash drives become an easy source of data leakage.
  • They aren’t durable. Many USB flash drives go out of order for no reason, becoming a useless accessory from which no data can be restored.
  • Not suitable for long-term storage. Again, because of frequent failures, USB flash drives are unreliable.
  • They have limited capacity. A standard size of data they can store hardly exceeds several Gb, while storage of 1Tb of data and more requires the use of more powerful devices.

External Hard Drives

External and portable hard drives are another option for storing your data. They are ideal when you want to access your data following a data crash. Moreover, modern ones come with wireless options, thus offering you greater convenience. Also, the latest drives are programmable; hence, you use software to program their backups.

Pros

  • Easy usage – similar to USB flash drives, they are plug-and-play devices.
  • They’re less risky. Hard drives cost more but are more reliable in terms of durability.
  • Appropriate backup software can assist you to schedule backups.

Cons

  • They can fail and leave you stranded. Still, even hard drives are not immune to failure.
  • You will need to store them in a different location if you want to enjoy their backup. Holding all backup devices in one place may compromise data safety in case of a natural disaster or fire.
  • You pay more to get more storage space. Hard drives are also limited in memory space, so getting more space requires buying more hard drives.

Time Machines

These storage machines are designed for Mac users seeking to store their details on external hard drives automatically.

Pros

  • Their automated nature saves you data loss forgetfulness causes.
  • Frequent backups guarantee that you’ll recover the most recent data and files.
  • They back up entire drives, ensuring high-quality, comprehensive protection.

Cons

  • They’re costly, especially if you want to use a dedicated wireless one
  • They’re confined to Mac machines, so Windows and other OS users won’t benefit from them in any way.

Network Attached Storages

This method is another viable storage option for your information. It’s becoming more affordable and convenient because you spend less effort backing up your data.

Pros

  • Its automated nature saves you data loss forgetfulness could have caused you.
  • A wireless system can also work with mobile devices like smartphones.

Cons

  • It’s costly, so not all users can afford such a solution.
  • It’s challenging to set up and maintain – a technician is required.

The Cloud

From the ground, we land on the cloud. This method is the safest and surest of all the options we covered. It offers end-to-end encryption. Also, the cloud gives users more storage space economically. You can access your details from anywhere in the world as long as there is an Internet connection. Don’t forget that it’s accessible on both desktop and mobile devices.

Pros

  • Greater security is guaranteed by off-site data storage.
  • Larger storage for less money (many cloud providers give access to space on a pay-as-you-go basis).
  • Such services are accessible worldwide.
  • Data is accessible on the go from a variety of devices.

Cons

  • Cloud storage gives limited space for free subscriptions.
  • You can’t access your data during an Internet outage.

There you have it. Now you can make an informed decision that suits your data storage needs.