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Conclusion: The Backup Series

written by: Joli Ballew•edited by: Bill Bunter•updated: 5/5/2010

To finalize this 15-part series on backing up your SOHO, business, or home office data, learn the advantages of purchasing a UPS to protect valuable data, access links to other articles in the series, and maintain good backup habits.

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    Protect with a UPS

    Although a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) device is technically not a device that is used for backing up data, it is a device that can save you from losing data. A UPS device protects PCs, printers, external hard drives, home theater equipment, and fax machines when a power outage occurs by offering electrical current to them when the electrical service is interrupted. For a PC user, this means the PC will not shut down when the power goes out; hence, the user will not lose any data. Most UPS devices also protect against electrical surges and sags, just as an expensive surge protector would. This offers additional protection.

    There isn’t much to setting up a UPS. Just plug it in for a day or so and let it charge, and then attach your devices. Almost any UPS will offer at least a 10- to 15-minute battery backup, which will give you time to safely shut down your equipment. UPS devices can also contain the following:

    * Electrical outlets for connecting peripherals and PCs

    * Protection from brownouts, blackouts, and surges

    * Network and phone line surge protection

    * Power management shutdown options that save and close all open files and applications and provide an unattended operating system shutdown.

    * USB connectivity

    * Audible alarm

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    Summing Up

    In this series of articles you learned a lot of different ways to back up your data. You learned that CDs and DVDs are a good option for most people, that external drives make for easy daily backups, and that Microsoft backup utilities can be used to create full or system state backups and can perform those on a schedule.

    You also learned that only creating one type of backup is not a good backup strategy. If you use Home Server for instance, you should also create manual backups on CDs and DVDs, in case the server is damaged. You should consider storing copies of delicate data on Internet servers or e-mail that data to yourself as needed. Your backup strategy should contain at least two backup types.

    You also learned that although backing up is one task, organizing backups is another. Backups should be organized by date; CDs, DVDs, and files and folders should be properly named and dated; and backups should be stored off-site or at least in another room to protect them from any disaster that might also befall the PC.

    Finally, you learned how to restore using various types of backups. It’s easy to restore personal folders from CDs, DVDs, and external drives, but it’s a little more complicated to restore mail, Internet, and application data.