Many people have been new to remote work thanks to the pandemic and thanks to my own technology issues, I realized there’s something that is not being discussed: backups. Not just data backups, but technology backups too.
Of course you have to keep your computer’s data safe. This is even more important if you store any of your work on your home computer, whether it is personal or a business machine. IT can’t come to your place to resolve anything and they might not be backing it up for you during this crisis.
Some options include Google Drive, Backblaze, Microsoft OneDrive and more. Just make sure it fits the policies of your company before using it.
I typically use Google Drive for my working files and Backblaze to backup my entire computer. Between these two services and my local on-site but off-computer backup, I feel like data loss would be difficult for me at this point and that’s a great comfort during these trying times.
If your laptop or desktop breaks or has issues, how quickly could you get set-up again? Do you have a backup machine you could use? I highly recommend making sure you have extra technology on hand as the shipping times to receive replacement parts is very long right now.
Purchasing an inexpensive laptop, a well featured tablet, or a secondary desktop computer can mean the difference between being able to continue work, and wasting vacation time waiting for new parts.
You can and should find a backup computer to do a good portion of your job at most budgets, and when it isn’t being used as the backup computer, you can use it to help backup your work locally, so you are always ready to go should your primary computer fail.
I recommend spending around five hundred dollars on a backup device every three to four years and make sure you use it from time to time to confirm it is working well and set-up with the programs and access you need to do your primary job tasks.
If your internet connection goes down, how long until a technician can come and sort it out? Make sure you have ideas on how to get around this issue as it might be a while until someone can fix certain issues.
I recommend talking to your cellular company and make sure they allow you to do tethering on your plan. This way you could connect your phone to your laptop and use your phone’s data plan to move forward on work tasks during an outage.
Another idea, if you have the budget, is to get a second Internet connection. It doesn’t have to be fast, but if your area allows you to set-up a second connection, it could be very helpful in case of an outage.
Previously, when I had two connections, I used a software tool to bond them together allowing me to use both connections on one computer. This was a great advantage to me as one connection had a fast download speed and slow upload speed while the other had a slower download speed but a faster upload speed. For those wondering, it was an early version of Connectify’s Speedify.
Currently, I have around twenty gigabytes of data transfer between my cell phone and my wife’s which should be more than enough for me to do critical work during any outage of my primary connection. I have a fiber optic Internet connection that is pretty rock solid though, thankfully.
In the end, I hope that all new or seasoned remote workers never have to use their emergency backups, but it is still wise to plan for the worst and hope for the best.
If you don’t have any backups in any of these categories, why not? And if you have a tool that you love, let me know about it as I’m always looking for the next great service to protect my data, my computer hardware, or my connection to the Internet.