Backups are a vital, yet many of us don’t bother to make them till we have had at least one disaster. Really, though, there are only two reasons people don’t make backups – complacency and laziness. The decision shouldn’t be about whether to back up, but which systems and media to use.
For those working from just one computer, an external hard drive remains a compelling solution. There are lots of options to choose from, many small and neat and easy to carry when you want to take your backup away from the computer.
I’ve been making daily automated backups for years. I used to use a brick-like external hard drive from Seagate, but more recently switched to a Verbatim Executive 500GB portable hard drive. It is small and comes with a drawstring style pouch for those times when I need to carry it.
Verbatim’s latest offering, the InSight portable hard drive is also a 500GB offering.
It is slightly more blingy than the Executive model, having a piano black outer casing, but it is again thin and light. This model has a small always on LED display which tells you how much space is free and also shows its volume label. The display is on when you take the drive out of the box for the first time, at which point it reports 465GB of free storage space. If you use several external hard drives for different purposes the display may be useful in differentiating them, if you have narcissistic tendencies and like to name your drive ‘My Backup’, well, it’ll display that instead.
The InSight is plug and play and does not need an external power supply. Like the Executive model it comes with a soft, drawstring carrying pouch.
I tend to prefer the look of the Executive, which has a rubber coated surface and a rounded design. I have in a black version, though it is also available in red, blue and white.
Both drives have a two year warranty and both come with a copy of Nero BackItUp 4 essentials, but there is nothing at all to stop you using any backup software you prefer, or simply file copying.
If I have a complaint it is that Verbatim ships with a USB cable that is just 54cm long. Many people will want a longer cable.
Pricing is around £70 for the InSight and around £80 for the Executive. More details here. It isn’t a lot to pay for peace of mind.