USB sticks are not to be trusted! In 2018, I have seen nine USB sticks/thumb drives fail. In addition to their internal drive failure rate, they break easily in handbags, pockets, and furry friends’ mouths. People also tend to break thumb drives in laptops when they are plugged in the side.
External hard drives are another backup method I’m not thrilled about, but they do tend to fair better than USB sticks—until you drop them. However, in the first quarter of 2017, 35.88% of a certain model of Seagate hard drives failed, according to BackBlaze. While this rate is very high, normal rates are a few percent. This is still not acceptable.
For the money and security, I prefer to use a cloud-based service like Carbonite, and we recommend this service to our clients. When I do need to use an external drive, I try to always use one that is an SSD. Not only are SSDs faster, they are more reliable due to their lack of moving parts. Modern SSDs have very low failure rates.
Simple Trick: Put a 2.5” SSD in a $10 external enclosure, and now you have a backup device you can play catch with.
Bottom line: I recommend not using any drive for more than 3-4 years without an aggressive cloud-based backup plan. Cloud-based backups, such as Carbonite, are around $60/year. Is it worth not being REALLY backed-up?
Call me at Tech Authority if you need help or advice on backups! – Phil
- 3 Dec, 2018
- Tech Authority
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