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Computer Backup Programs for PC and Social Networks

written by: Sylvia Cochran•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 6/29/2011

Computer backup programs provide the vital function of protecting all data against a sudden system shutdown that might lock the user out of the computer for good. A lot of programs come at a cost, but others are free of charge. Some even backup social network data.

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    The Logic behind Computer Backup Programs

    Whether the user opts for an online computer backup program or an external data backup tool, the importance of this step cannot be sufficiently underscored. Carbonite reveals statistical evidence that shows annual irretrievable data loss by 43% of computer users.

    Whether they are part of the 13% of computer users whose hard drives fail during its first year or they are the 97 out of 100 laptop theft victims whose machines are never recovered, the amount of information that is lost can set back the student as well as the small business owners.(1) Data loss is also not only a very real possibility due to hard drive crash and theft, but there is also the possibility of virus attack and accidental user deletion.

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    Backup Tools for the PC and Beyond

    Norton Ghost 15.0 for $69.99

    Norton Ghost supports Iomega Zip and Jaz drives as well as CD-ROM and DVD-ROM drives. It can handle FAT16, FAT16X, FAT32 and FAT32X file systems. This backup utility includes the system, its settings, all applications and also files. As an added bonus, the user can restore the data even when a system restart is impossible. In addition to the Windows backup on the machine, Norton Ghost also provides remote FTP backup.

    Comodo Time Machine, Free

    In his article entitled “Comodo Time Machine Review,” Bright Hub’s Jeremy Bost outlined the easy installation process that puts this program on the user’s PC. The strength of this backup program is its ability to take and save snapshots of the entire computer system throughout daily use. At the moment of a system destabilization- especially in the wake of a faulty new program install- reverting back to an earlier snapshot restores the computer to working order. The downside of Comodo is easy to see: while it may backup email and application data, it does so internally and if the hard drive crashes beyond retrieval, so does Comodo.

    Temporarily Free Backup Through BackUpiFy

    This is an easy backup utility that takes a look at the data a user may have placed on social networking sites. While it does not back up a user’s PC, it does a backup online and saves data posted to Twitter, Google Docs, Gmail, Wordpress, Zoho, Facebook, Photobucket, Basecamp, Flickr and Delicious. The avid photographer or freelance writer with a professional presence online will appreciate this utility that augments at-home PC backup. It allows for an immediate restoration in case of data loss and hack attacks. Until January 31st the program offers free accounts, thereafter it runs a little less than $5 per month. The data is stored on the Amazon web services system.

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    Feature Differences

    Even simple computer backup programs come with a number of similar options, but there are also some functions that not all programs support. For example, a differential backup function is part and parcel of most utilities, but not NTI Backup Now and AIS Backup. Hard drive image restoration is not offered by NTI, Turbo- or Power Backup. Shopping around for the right features and solutions is a must before deciding on a backup utility.

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    Resources/Downloads