It used to be the case that you would backup everything on your computer with floppy disks.  Today, when one sound or graphics file can easily be larger than the capacity of a disk, it would be impractical to back up even you documents on floppies, let alone your applications.  Luckily there are better options including Zip disks, CD writers, tape drives, external hard drives and even online backup services.  You can also compress your backed up files so they take up less space.Read the following tips and you will be able to find the media that is best suited to your needs.

1) Determine the approximate quantity and file sizes you will be backing up.

2) Calculate the quantity and file sizes of any documents or applications you want to archive permanantly to a backup device or removable media.

3) Plan for that amount to grow considerably in the future.

4) Calculate your budget for a backup storage device and removable media to use with it.

5) Consider if you plan to archive photographs or scanned files, need portability of the media or the drive itself, wish to record music for playback on other equipment, or require ease of use.Weigh these factors against your need to back up your files.

6) Work out the cost per MB of media for each drive that you are drives themselves are relatively cheap but the disks aren't.

7) You may want to consider buying a 100MB zip drive if you need limited storage capability (less than 1GB).An external parallel port or even USB Zip drive will provide versatility as well as portability.Consider buying a 250MB Zip drive if your storage requirements are moderate (a few GB). 

8) Buy an internal zip drive if you will only use the drive for backup and you are able to install it by yourself (installation fees add up).

9) Consider buying a CD-RW drive if your storage needs are more moderate and you will regularly back up more than 500MB of data.

10) Consider buying a Jaz drive or perhaps even a tape backup drive if you will be backing up large amounts of data regularly.

11) Buy an external hard disk if you will need a lot of space, wont be keeping old backups and dont need portability.

12)  If you require additional security, data protection and the ability to recover your data quickly then online data backup should be a serious consideration.

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