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  • The Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce is hosting the Chamber Classic Golf Tournament at Loyalist Golf & Country Club on Thursday, June 24, 2004. Visit kingstonchamber.on.ca for details.

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Back-UP Your Business

article by: Matthew Fair

Most businesses are protected from catastrophic loss by insurance policies but very few businesses protect their extremely valuable data with the same care. If your place of business is subject to massive fire what will you do? Where do you store your backed-up data? I'll bet that most small businesses store their backed-up data right next to their computers and in the case of fire, that is a poor choice. If possible you should protect your data by storing off-site so that even in the case of fire, or theft, you still have the ability to recover from the loss. With the sole exception of mass destruction, caused by natural disaster, your data should remain safe when using off-site back-ups.

The key to making back-ups successful is to schedule them so that they happen automatically. Getting data off-site, automatically and on a regular basis, has been extremely expensive in the past. So much so, that the cost usually exceeded the value. Now, the cost of wireless-networking devices has dropped dramatically and the quality of wireless-networking devices has been improved on the same scale. It is now possible to send your backed-up data via a local wireless-network to a building or structure separate from yours without experiencing the super slow speeds and high expense of using the Internet to carry such large volumes of data. For any successful small business, this now means that they can afford to protect themselves the way many much larger businesses do with off-site back-ups.

So, now you know that it is affordable but what do you need to get it going? Here is a quick shopping list to get your small business protected with off-site back-ups:

  • One spare desktop computer with a very large hard drive(s) and an operating system that will let you administer it remotely (Windows XP Pro). I managed to find a computer, hard drive, and operating system combination for $200 at a local used computer store.
  • One wireless router. $100+/-
  • One wireless network card. $100+/-
  • Back-up software. You can either use the back-up programs provided by your operating system or you can purchase third party software to manage the back-ups. Dantz makes a really nice program called Retrospect. dantz.com
  • $200+/-

And there you have it. For $600+/- dollars you can significantly protect your business against a catastrophic loss of data. How much is your insurance premium?

Matthew Fair is a web developer and Owner of Inter Kingston Web Design