Types of Backup

There are 3 main types of backup - full system backup, file backup and application backup.

Full System Backup

A full system backup will take what is called an "image" of your hard drive.  This is an exact copy of everything on your computer that can be restored to a "Virtual PC" so that if your computer dies, you can run an exact copy of it inside a program on a new computer.

Full system backups require special software that needs to be kept up to date and monitored, so it is best to rent it through a managed services agreement.

The latest version of Microsoft Windows provides a free full system backup, but because this can only be restored to a computer with the same parts as your dead computer, it should be treated as a file backup.

File Backup

There are two types of file backup - a local backup to a USB flash drive or hard drive or an online backup to a secure server located in the north island.

Online Backup:
This is the most reliable backup method (providing you have a reliable internet connection) but is usually limited to your email and most important documents due to the cost of cloud storage.

USB Flash Drive:
Flash drives are a cheap & convenient method for backing up a small amount of data.  You can copy and paste, or talk to us about setting up a backup script or application to make the process faster.

USB Hard Drive:
Windows Vista and Windows 7 make backing up very easy - just plug in an external hard drive and your computer will ask you if you want to run a backup to it.  When you run out of space on your backup drive, check out our backup technical page for information on how to fix this problem.

Don't forget to store your backup drive somewhere safe after the backup has completed.

Application Backup

Some applications (such as QuickBooks, MYOB and Ace Payroll) require an additional backup to be run from inside the application.

These applications usually contain your most important data and check that it is not corrupted (full system backups are unable to check for corrupt databases,) so it is very important to follow the best practices outlined below:

USB flash drive backup:
This is the most common method of backing up applications.  The best practice for this method is to use 3 to 5 different flash drives (make sure you label them) and use a different drive for each backup.  After you have used the last drive, start again with number 1.

It is very important to take the latest backup home with you in case of fire, flood, theft or earthquake.  Also make a copy of your software install discs & take them home, or make sure you will be able to obtain a copy from your accountant if required.

Online backup:
If your software includes a built-in online backup, then you will have a very reliable backup & will only need to worry about protecting your software install discs.