Information Technology Reference
In-Depth Information
you your own capacious partition on a server hard disk, you'll have less
control over your data than if you backed it up to local media, and you
risk bogging down the network (for all users).
Hardware You (Probably) Shouldn't
Consider and Why
I've said that hard drives of one kind or another are your all-around
best bet as a storage medium and that online storage is worth
considering as an easy, secure alternative to rotating physical media
offsite. But those two categories don't include every kind of backup
hardware, and I want to head off all the “yeah-but-what-about…”
inquiries. Let me give you a quick run-down of hardware I think you
should probably not consider:
Optical media: The various flavors of recordable CDs and DVDs
are collectively known as optical media . As I pointed out earlier,
Apple is rapidly phasing out support for optical drives in Macs, and
even if your Mac does have an optical drive, it'll be slower and have
a smaller capacity than a hard drive. In short, optical media is not
a good long-term strategy. If you used optical media in the past, I
strongly recommend moving to hard drives for backups right now .
If you happen to have a Mac notebook equipped with an optical
drive, using optical media for quick backups of essential files while
traveling isn't a terrible idea, but personally I'd opt for either online
backups or flash drives (see the next point) in that situation.
Flash drives: You can buy USB 2.0 or 3.0 “thumb” drives that
will store as much as 512 GB in a very small space. These drives
are handy for moving data from place to place, and they're fine for
making quick extra backup copies of truly critical files as you work.
But for regular backups, the cost per gigabyte is still way higher
than even a high-end hard drive, making them unattractive as the
primary storage medium for full backups. The same goes for higher-
speed SSDs packaged in USB and Thunderbolt enclosures. If you
have money to burn, knock yourself out. On the other hand, I think
flash drives are an increasingly logical choice for partial backups
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