Saturday's Quotable Traveler
The Photo Escape

Plane Crashes - Laptop Data Saved

The plane headed for the crash landing and the passengers braced for their lives. Pilot "Skully" Sullenberger skillfully landed the US Airways aircraft and all 150 passengers and 5 crew safely departed. Minutes after the "miracle" landing, one passenger wanted to get his briefcase off the plane before it sunk. All his documents, personal and business, were on the laptop and he hadn't backed up.

 It shouldn't take surviving a plane crash to motivate you to back up your data. However, so many us of put it off until something catastrophic happens, like our laptop crashing, or getting lost or stolen. The passenger who hadn't backed up was out of luck, but another passenger using an on-line back up service had his laptop completely restored within four days.

The "out of luck" passenger lost both computers he had on board, about 250 gigabytes of data from his employer Computer Associates. He had been good about backing up his data from sharing the contents of one hard drive to another. This trip was unusually because he was traveling with both machines due to a business assignment. He lost everything.

Fellow passenger Paul Jorgensen had a better story to tell. He had used a service called Mozy that his employer, Epocrates, provides to back up the night before. The software runs in the background and automatically backs up data while on the internet. He is grateful for the on-line service that helped him retrieve all his data simply and quickly.

The two key players in online back up services are Mozy and Carbonite and, offering peace of mind through online automated back up services for personal and business users. The basic principle behind backing up is to protect data from disasters and the best security is to have multiple versions of the data stored in an alternate location. Most businesses have systems in place; however, vulnerabilities in the processes still exist. Remote backup or off-site data backup allows users to back up data to a remote, off-site location using existing internet bandwidth. Additionally, this less cumbersome approach allows for quicker restoration of data.

The service that booth Mozy and Carbonite offer is software that back ups your files to their servers in the background when you are connected to the internet. Mozy offers unlimited back up for $4.95 per month for home users. For commercial use, see their web site, Mozy Pro. 2 GB of free online back is the promotion they are featuring. The process is like insurance for your data; stored, secured and encrypted in a remote location for safe keeping.

Carbonite Online Backup offers one year unlimited backup for $54.95 for unlimited backup and boasts important files can be recovered anytime, anywhere. The software runs in the background, backing up files as you work. The encryption service protects your data and their web site offers a 15 day free trial.

 Passenger Paul Jorgensen's positive experience with Mozy was exceptional because he had all his data back on his new machine within four days. He had no excuse not to get back to work; even after a surviving a plane crash on the Hudson River. In addition to catastrophic plane crashes that destroy your machine, less dramatic incidents like accidental deletions, drive failure, theft and breakage could set you back. Therefore, an on line back up service like Mozy or Carbonite may be a good choice.