Real-time Backup

Written by Serena Berger
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Real-time backup software is the only way to ensure that the latest version of your files will be available if you lose your primary copy. Using any form of backup software or backing up manually at regular time intervals will provide you with a working copy of your files. This version, however, will not be as recent as it could have been had you used real-time backup software, and you may end up losing a significant amount of progress.

One way to back up your files in real time is to mirror them. Backup programs with mirroring capabilities run in the background and can be configured to save a copy of your files automatically to another location every time that they are changed. It's worth pointing out, however, that if you are using another hard disk as your storage location, this will overwrite the file continually and therefore not allow you to recover yesterday's version once you have saved work today.

Combining Real-Time Backup with Scheduled Backups

If you want to have multiple copies of your files, using real-time backup may not be the best course of action because it will create a new copy of the file every time that you save it. Rather, you should couple real-time backup with backing up files at regular intervals. This will allow you to have one copy that is a recent backup of the latest version as well as additional copies that are older so that you can backtrack if necessary.

If you can afford to have an additional computer, one option for you is to back up your files in real time to a second computer. Should anything happen to your primary computer, you can just start working on the other one. The same principles apply to backing up your servers. For small companies, however, this may be too costly and a more reasonable alternative is to use tapes, discs or another hard drive as the location of your backup.


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