As a computer repair expert and network admin I know how important it is to have a  small business backup plan in place.  My company servce many small businesses and in almost every case none of them had a backup solution in place.  Once we explain to them how cheap it really can be to get something going, we have never had a small business say no to setting one up for them.

We will cover a few simple steps in this guide to solve your backup problem.

This is a guide for Smal Businesses only that do not run on a domain.  If you have a domain server then you should consider buing the Symantec Backup Exec software.  This is built for servers and the computer conected to them.

If you are like most small businesses then we have a far simpler and cheaper way to proceed.  The total cost will varyy but you can get set up for under 300 bucks.

Small Business Backup Software for one computer

If you only use one main computer to house our files then your best solution is to use Acronis backup software with an external USB hard drive.  Acronis is one of the few programs that actually does not only a data backup but a full image back up your computer.  You can schedule it to be done once a week or every night.  It is importnat to backup not only your business files but the ENTIRE DRIVE.  This way if the hard drive fails you can simply have a new hard drive installed and then use the latest image backup to restore the computer.  Using an image is great because all your software, printers, files and custom settings will be the exact same.  You don’t have to re-install a thing or re-setup anything.  As far as you are concerned you will not even know a difference except the past knowledge of how smart you were to make the purchase of Acronis.  Perhaps the best part of this is the cost.  True Image Home 2009 is only 49 dollars.  The cost of a USB backup drive will vary depending on size bu for 120 gigs it should be under a 100 dollars and a 500 gig drive you can find for as little as 179.   Check out www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage for more information on Acronis.  Besides being easy to use they offer great customer support. The full image of your computer is why we use this software.  Another thing that is great is you can password protect your data backup image.  That means if someone steals the thing it is useless to them.  They will not be able to see your backup data. If we get enough requests we can post a video on how to install and set this up the right way.  Just leave a comment below so we know you are interested in a video.

Business Backup Software for more then one computer but no Server

We know many smaller businesses have more then one computer.  If this is you the right solution will depend on prefferences.  You can allways follow the above guie and have the same setup on all computers.  However there are other options to consider.

For many small businesses we usually setup a workgroup.  Read support.microsoft.com/kb/813936 for more information on what a workgroup is and how to set one up.  In a nut shell you just make it so all computers are on the same network and they can talk to each other.  Once setup you can have all your workers pull files from just one computer.  This way all the important data will only be stored on one system and you can setup Acronis with a USB external drive and call it a day.  This works great for many companies because the cost is much lower then having a server and just makes sense as a small business data backup solution.

Sweet Little Tip For You

One thing to consider is purchasing 2 external USB drives that are the exact same.  The reason for this is so you can swap them out each week and take the one that has all your data on it home on Friday.  The purpose behinf this is to be able to have a backup of your data offsite in case of theft, fire or water damage.  This can save your business so I urge you to consider this option.  After all it’s onl a few more bucks.

Like we already stated we are willing to make video on how to set up Acronis unless we get comments asking for one.  This software is very easy to use and holds your hand the whole way through so a video may not be needed.

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