Where should you store your backups? You have three choices, depending upon the backup program or service you select:
- Local drive
- Network folder
- Cloud (online)
Locally-stored backups have the advantage of quick backup and quick restoration. Network folders can be accessed from local or remote locations, but backup and restore times can be significantly slower than with local drives, especially over Wireless-B, Wireless-G, or Fast Ethernet networks. Cloud-based backups can be restored to any computer with an Internet connection, but can take days to backup, days to restore all data, and aren’t designed for bare-metal disaster recovery image backups. For more information about cloud-based backup, see part 2 of this series.
You may want to consider a hybrid that combines two or all three backup locations.
Now, it’s time to take a look at the backup software options available to you, starting with freebies.