Four Things You Need To Know About Backing Up A Computer To An External Hard Drive

Four Things You Need To Know About Backing Up A Computer To An External Hard Drive

Backing up a computer is critical for your company’s success. If you permanently lose data, you could wind up suffering severe financial costs and experiencing extended downtime that kills your productivity and turns customers away. Data loss can come about in many ways, including employee errors and powerful malware (such as the WannaCry ransomware that popped up in 150 countries).

Backing Up A Computer

There are a number of options for how to carry out data backups. Among them is the use of an external hard drive. When choosing an external hard drive as a backup solution, what are some considerations you need to make?

Number of computers. The needs of a small business with multiple computing devices is going to be quite different than, say, those of an individual at home who has to back up a single laptop. When operating a business, consider a network attached storage (NAS) device that can perform automatic backups on multiple devices and offer you a greater storage capacity.

Speed. How quickly can your file get backed up on the external hard drive? This is an important consideration, especially if the files you want to transfer are large ones, such as high-definition videos.

Security. Some simple external hard drives are just straightforward storage bins for your data. You want to carefully look into various security features. For example, you can encrypt the data on your drive and use password protection as an extra safeguard.

Checking that the process worked. It’s possible that there’s a defect on the external hard drive and that some portion of your data didn’t get backed up. It’s important to doublecheck that your backup process is working and that your external hard drive remains in good condition. Even if the backups are automatic, include some oversight and periodically check that the process is working.

For additional questions and for assistance with setting up your external hard drive(s), please contact us. Businesses will often rely on multiple backup solutions. External hard drives can be a good choice depending on the kind of data you’re backing up.

Do You Know How Avoid Being Hit by Ransomware? Learn Now!

Do You Know How Avoid Being Hit by Ransomware? Learn Now!

Ransomware is hitting the headlines more and more lately. Just recently, thousands of companies and institutions, including hospitals, lost access to their data after being hit by a global ransomware attack and were forced to pay a ransom in bitcoins to regain access to it. Being proactive will help protect you from losing your data due to an unsuspecting hacking. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

ransomware

Back Up Your Data

This is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself against ransomware. If you have a copy of your data, you’ll be able to restore it without paying any ransom. Do daily backups if possible. Remember that hackers can encrypt your hard drive or your cloud storage if they are connected to the internet, so remove the hard drive with the backup from your computer.

Update Your Software

Windows is constantly releasing important updates that help secure your computer. Always install an update as soon as it’s available; enable automatic updates to make things easier. There are other things you need to keep updated as well, including your browser and its plugins, as well as your antivirus and any other program installed on your computer.

Be Careful and In the Know

Being careful about what you do online is probably the most effective way to protect yourself against any kind of virus or malware. Don’t click on links or open emails that you find suspicious. Only download programs from a trusted source.

For help with keeping your computer and data safe and secure, contact us today!

Do You Know the Fastest Way to Backup a Computer? Learn Now!

Do You Know the Fastest Way to Backup a Computer? Learn Now!

It’s an all-too-common scenario: your computer has just crashed and you have not taken the time to back it up. Or perhaps your building caught on fire and destroyed some computers. Maybe you simply spilled water all over your laptop and now the computer will not turn on. In many situations, the data is recoverable, but it is a real risk that the data will be gone forever. Why risk it? This scenario is definitely avoidable, as long as you know how to backup a computer.

Backup a Computer

Backing up a computer does not take as much time as you think, in fact, it takes no time at all, other than the time to set it up. So, how do you do you accomplish this? Automated software to backup a computer is the answer.

We provide Disaster Recovery and Backup Plan services for businesses. Whether you just need a stand-alone service or a complete IT support plan, we have your back. Small businesses or large business, we can provide a solution for you. Once we have your backup set up, it will be out of sight and out of mind. Your backups will continue on a regular schedule and we will be able to monitor them for any changes or errors.

You need the piece of mind that all of your data is safe during an unexpected disaster. As a company from South Florida, we are very familiar with the damage large storms can create. Contact us and we can help you backup your data in a safe and reliable manner to prevent future catastrophes.

Learn How To Free Up Hard Drive Space On Your Business Computer

Learn How To Free Up Hard Drive Space On Your Business Computer

It’s an all-too-common problem: your hard drive is out of room and your computer is running slowly. Often it sneaks up on you, and now you have to figure out how to free up enough space to keep working efficiently. There are a couple of solutions to get you back on your feet, as well as stay ahead of the problem in the future. Here are some tips to free up hard drive space.

Free Up Hard Drive Space

Begin by running Disk Cleanup, this application is built-in to all Windows computers. You can easily find this application by searching “disk cleanup” in the Start Menu. Disk Cleanup lists a couple of examples of data that you can delete from your computer with a single click. Maybe you still have the data of an old installation of Windows still on your hard drive. Or, if not done regularly, your Temporary File directory could easily be the culprit. File sizes are conveniently located next to each description so you can see what is hogging the most space. Select what you want to remove and click Delete files. Most likely, this will fix your issue. But how do you keep from running out of hard drive space in the future?

There are many free tools available that help you visualize what types of files are taking up the most hard drive space. For Windows, your best option would be the free WinDirStat application. This app helps you easily visualize what files and folders are taking up the largest space, with a multitude of sorting options and percentages for perspective. For a Mac, your best option is a similar offering known as Disk Inventory X, also free. Checking these applications periodically will help you identify storage issues before they affect your productivity.

Contact us for a more in-depth look at freeing up your hard drive space.

Investing in Network Cable Installations Will Save You Money and Avoid Future Costs

Five Key Tips for Network Cable Installation
network installation

When we pick up a phone, we expect an immediate dial tone. We rarely think of all the hardware and technology behind that dial tone. Similarly, when our users and customers access our data and voice networks, they expect immediate service, high-speed access with low latency. That is where network cable installations comes in.

The general news media often comments on Moore’s law which essentially declares that chip speeds will increase every 18 months or so. Computer users will replace their devices every five years or so and in businesses with the capital to do so, every three to four years. The network infrastructure equipment such as routers and switches will see similar replacement strategies. Cabling, however, is often overlooked. After all, it is behind the wall, under the floor, above the ceiling tiles. Copper is copper and who bothers to think about metal?

Good cabling installations are an essential component of a powerful, reliant, fast network. They allow devices to be connected to the network from disparate locations within a facility. They are fixed in their locations and rarely break. When they do, they can be difficult to identify as the problem, more difficult to locate and time-consuming and expensive to repair. Identifying a single cable in a bundle of 25 or more and replacing it from the IDF or MDF to the local jack takes time.

Cabling of a facility is usually a one-time event that is expected to last 10 or more years, but what about the changes that have occurred in technology and computer use during that time? The advent of the Internet has now moved to the advent of cloud computing. We often concentrate on the uplink and downlink speeds while neglecting to look at the data transfer rates from our routers to our MDF switches to our IDF switches. These can choke the data transfer speeds of the best internet connections.

Modern Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony that travels on your data network adds to the equation as quality of service concerns can be created through bad cabling or cabling that has aged. Cable installations that were done many years ago may not take advantage of advances in fiber optics and gigabit speed capabilities.

New facilities that are being planned have the opportunity to take advantage of current best in class technology and planning for future technologies and expansions. Proper planning for these activities by knowledgeable professionals can help to ensure that expandability, documentation, and best practices are applied.

Existing facilities with ongoing business operations can apply the same principles of design and implementation as new facilities to future proof their design. A few considerations should be discussed in the design phase:

  • Will you be integrating new wiring into the older design, if so what effect will that have on performance?
  • If you are creating a new installation how will you handle the cutover period?
  • Do you plan on doing cable abatement (removing the old cable)?
  • Will you introduce a new network schema at the same time?

A full service IT support organization with a strong cabling and network architecture practice can help guide you to the proper architectural design, implementation, and installation to ensure that your new cabling helps to provide the five nines reliability of the POTS model that is inherently expected by your customers.

If you are in the Miami/South Florida area contact 4 Corner IT, for information about current cabling practices, network cable installations and any other IT support needs.