Information Technology Reference
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if you decided against them in the past. Conversely, if you've been
using online backups and find that your data has grown at a rate
your broadband connection (or budget) can't keep up with, maybe
it's time to switch services, or explore other forms of offsite storage.
Are you relying more heavily on cloud storage and
syncing? If you use Dropbox or a similar service for your most
important documents, you already have a safety net of sorts, at
least for those files. Although it's not quite the same thing as a real
versioned backup (see the sidebar Dropbox, the Almost-Backup
Service ) , it might make restoration easier, leading you to rethink
which backup tools you prefer. And if you're using iTunes Match,
you might decide it's not worth backing up all your music separately
(see iTunes Match and Music Backups ) .
Is it finally time to ditch optical media? If you chose optical
discs (recordable CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs, or whatever) as your
storage media, do you feel less secure in that choice knowing that
optical technology is rapidly on the decline, at least as far as Macs
are concerned? Even if your discs remain viable for decades, your
next Mac might not have a way to read them, and this fact might
make you think twice about continuing to rely on optical media.
Are you responsible for protecting more people's data? If
there are more people in your household or office, and if they rely
on you to keep their data backed up, be sure your current system
can scale to accommodate their needs. If not, it may be time to look
into client-server backup software (described in Network Backup
Approaches ) and expandable storage (see Drobo Storage Devices ).
Likewise, if your child once used an old laptop for games and Web
browsing, but now uses it to write essays and book reports for
school, it's time to start backing up that laptop in a significant way.
Has your budget changed? If you've been fortunate enough to
earn more recently, perhaps you should consider investing in larger
or faster storage devices, or fancier software. Conversely, if you
need to economize, it might be time to scale back on significant
recurring expenses, such as high-end online backup services.
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