In my first article in this series, I discussed the importance of data backup and sync, and what data you should consider backing up. It ranged from files to browser preferences, credit cards to business data, and emails to your tweets.
So, now that you know the things you need to address, let’s check out some backup and sync tools that’ll get the job done. Data backup is an industry in itself and there is no dearth of software to get it done. But we don’t need to worry about all of them. I’ve chosen certain tools which should be more than enough for the average computer user or a small business owner.
The tools are categorized into different sections depending upon what they are used for primarily.
Files, Folders and General Data Backup
Probably the hottest tool in the backup and sync scene at the moment, Dropbox boasts of some incredible features. It can backup, sync, works online and offline, is easy to use, and does much much more.
While Dropbox is limited to 100GB of backup per account, Mozy goes beyond that and has options for both individual users and businesses. Mozy has been one of the foremost online backup services for a pretty long time.
Carbonite is head-to-head with Mozy in terms of features and premium offerings. It is another trusted brand when it comes data backup on the cloud.
4. Windows Backup and Restore
Windows backup and restore is a comprehensive backup and sync utility for Windows Vista and 7 users that helps them effortlessly backup their hard drive data on an external location.
5. TimeMachine in Mac
TimeMachine is Windows backup and restore center’s Mac counterpart. It facilitates data backup and sync with an external drive for Mac users.
Bookmarks, Password and Other Browser Stuff
If you want to keep your browser bookmarks backed up and synchronized, Xmarks is a must-have tool. Here’s a guide that gives a step by step explanation of bookmarks backup and sync using Xmarks.
Lastpass is a brilliant tool for creating and storing your passwords securely on the cloud. It also helps you fill forms, save secure notes and generate a one-time password to use on public computers.
3. FEBE for Firefox
Firefox users are likely to find the FEBE (Firefox Environment Backup Extension) quite useful. It can backup your complete Firefox data: passwords, profile, bookmarks, history–everything. You can schedule the backup to run every day. If you happen to do a clean reinstall of Firefox, you can quickly restore your original settings using FEBE.
Social Accounts Data
If you’re heard of the stories of Facebook accounts getting locked up and users losing data overnight (it does happen), and want to create a personal backup of the stuff you share on Facebook, then ArchiveFB or ArchiveFacebook for Firefox can help you do that.
Backupify provides a complete social media data backup solution that includes your Facebook, Twitter and WordPress.com accounts as well as Google apps like Gmail, Picasa, Docs and all. It offers both basic and premium features.
Emails, Credit Cards and Business Data
1. Gmail Backup Techniques
Gmail has become the defacto email solution for professionals all around the world. It is important that you keep a backup of your Gmail, which you can access in the nightmarish scenario of your Gmail account getting compromised. The CybernetNews blog has a detailed article on various methods you could try out to backup your Gmail account. You could also use Backupify mentioned above as your Gmail backup solution.
2. Outlook Backup
If Outlook is your preferred email application then you can use the Microsoft Outlook Personal Folders Backup tool to backup Outlook data like inbox, contacts, calendar, etc. I am not sure though if the tool works on the latest version of Outlook. See this article by Microsoft and Outlook 2010 backup guide for more on this.
3. Website Backup Tools
If you own a blog or a website, make sure you back it up regularly. Whether it is by downloading the server files on your computer or backing them up to a cloud service like Amazon S3, you should have a backup of the most recent files which you can use in case of an emergency.
4. Credit Cards and all
It’s good to keep a backup of personal data like credit and debit card numbers, bank account information etc. You can save it in Lastpass (mentioned above) or store it on an encrypted note on your computer. Another way would be to have them printed out on a plain sheet of paper and keep it in a safe location. You never know when you might need it.
That was about the various data backup and sync tools. Next article would focus on Dropbox, the best personal data backup and sync solution in my opinion.