Dave Moore

Dave Moore

Last week, we discussed how the threat of ransomware is changing the way we backup our files. The standard ways we’ve used since computers were invented just can’t cut it, anymore. As such, I’ve decided to stop recommending people try to do it by themselves; we need help.

File backup services are generally aimed at three groups: large, enterprise-class businesses with hundreds/thousands/millions of employees; small/medium sized businesses; and home office/individual users.

File backup services are, in essence, insurance policies. Computers crash, hard drives fail, and the loss of important files can be terrible, disastrous and downright catastrophic.

Internet crooks using ransomware, affecting Apple Macs, PCs and phones alike, have made proper file backup more challenging. File losses that can make an individual or family merely sad, such as the loss of irreplaceable family photos, can be devastating to a business.

Be prepared to spend some money. It may be a little, or it may seem like a lot, but nobody is giving away good ransomware-proof backup services for free, just like nobody is giving away good insurance policies for free.

Let’s look at a few of the top backup services for individuals and businesses from IBM, CommVault, Dell, Acronis, Backblaze and Carbonite.

IBM Spectrum Protect is geared towards large business/enterprise environments. IBM’s services, are extremely thorough, high-end services, backing up servers and end-user computers for entire businesses.

There are multiple options available, suited to different situations. Be prepared to spend many, many thousands of dollars. You’ll also need an entire IT army to keep things working the way they should.

The same goes for CommVault Intelligent Data Management and Dell EMC Managed Services for Backup. Dell also has some items aimed at small/medium businesses, such as their PowerProtect DD3300, starting at around $12,000.

Adding services and options will quickly raise the price upwards to $20 thousand, or so. That may sound like a lot of money, but when protecting a business worth hundreds of thousands, or even a few million dollars, it’s really not.

Aimed at the small/medium business and home market are Acronis, Backblaze and Carbonite. They all are good, and I would be happy to see my customers using any of them.

Acronis True Image for individuals starts at around $80 and covers three computers. There are versions for PCs and Macs, with features including local backup (to hard drives you own) and cloud backup. That covers all the bases, including antivirus options.

Acronis Cyber Protect is aimed at small businesses, including features like “imaging,” which makes a cloned copy of your hard drive, protecting against complete hard drive failure. Cyber Protect offers various editions for various situations, covering everything you could want.

Small businesses will want to consult with a cybersecurity expert to help decide which version to get, and to provide ongoing maintenance. Prices start at $60 for bare-bones, one-computer protection, and go up from there.

Backblaze PC/Mac, cloud-based “Unlimited Backup,” $6/month unlimited storage, backs up external drives, too. No local backup option, so you’ll need to take care of that part yourself, using an external hard drive in tandem with File History on a Windows 10 PC, or Time Machine on your Mac.

Carbonite has backup solutions for personal and business settings, with the personal service starting at $6.99 per month (on sale right now for a ridiculously cheap $41.99 per year/1st year).

I have used and recommended their Carbonite personal basic service for years, and have many customers who have been saved because they had Carbonite in place when disaster struck.

Carbonite has plans aimed at businesses that include every computer on the premises, including servers, drive imaging and local backup. They also have versions that will help businesses be compliant with FERPA, GLBA & HIPAA regulations.

All the products described here are good products. Take a look, consider your options and get one today. Consult with a security pro if you need advice, but just get one. They are cheap insurance, and will make you a hero when the ransomware hits the fan.

Dave Moore has been fixing computers in Oklahoma since 1984. Founder of the nonprofit Internet Safety Group Ltd., he also teaches Internet safety community training workshops. He can be reached at 919-9901 or internetsafetygroup.com.

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