TRI Newsletter August 2019
Hello again! We’re back with another quarterly newsletter today, with some new topics that we have been getting a lot of questions about lately. We’ll be going over backups, end of support for Windows 7, and tips for choosing the right portable computing solution.
The best method to follow is the 3-2-1 Backup Rule. The 3-2-1 backup rule is an easy-to-remember acronym for a common approach to keeping your data safe in almost any failure scenario. The rule is: keep at least three (3) copies of your data, and store two (2) backup copies on different storage media (external hard drives, optical disks, or a cloud backup service,) with one (1) of them located offsite. To clarify, let’s take a look at each point of this rule.
Keep at least 3 copies of your data.
Even a trivial event, such as a fire alarm triggering the sprinkler system could literally wash all your data away. Countless other incidents could bring about the same outcome – therefore, having one backup isn’t enough, especially if it is stored in the same location as the primary data and on the same type of media. Obviously, the more backup copies you have, the less chance you have to lose all of them at once. Thus, the 3-2-1 backup rule states that you need at least three copies of your data, meaning the primary data and two backups of this data.
Store 2 backup copies on different devices or storage media
We must remember that any storage device will fail sooner or later. Hard drives fail over time, whether because of a defect or simply wearing out. Two devices of the same type have a much greater risk of failing around the same time than two devices of different types or two different storage media. Thus, the 3-2-1 backup rule says that if you keep your primary data on an internal hard drive, store your backup copies a different way – for example, using an external hard drive, optical disks, or a cloud backup service.
Keep at least 1 backup copy offsite
As it is obvious that a local disaster can damage all copies of data stored in one place, the 3-2-1 backup rule says: keep at least one copy of your data in a remote location, such as offsite storage or an online cloud backup service. Examples of an online backup service would be BackBlaze or Carbonite. An example of offsite storage would be to rotate 2 external hard drives between home and the office, achieving an offsite backup of your data.
While storing one backup copy offsite strengthens your data security, having another backup copy on-site provides for faster and simpler data recovery in case of failure.
Verify your backups
Lastly, it’s best to verify your backups from time to time. When viewing your backups, verify that you can see current documents, photos, & other important items that are critical to have backed up. All too often techs come across backups that have been failing for months or years, making the recovery of data from a failed device cost thousands of dollars, if not completely unrecoverable depending on how damaged a device is.
End of Support: Microsoft Windows 7 on Jan, 14 2020
You can continue to use Windows 7, but once support ends, your PC will become more vulnerable to security risks. Windows 7 will operate but you will stop receiving security and feature updates.
If you are moving to Windows 10 should you do an upgrade or get a new computer?
If you want TRI to do the upgrade for you.
Software: Windows 10 Home is $139 or Windows 10 Pro is $199.
Labor: Between $90-$250 depending on what needs to be done and where it’s done.
The biggest factor on upgrading your computer to Windows 10 is, does your computer’s hardware meet the requirements? If it does is it cost-effective to do the upgrade?
Microsoft has a quiz for this.
If it is an older or slower computer then get a new one.
Notebooks vs Tablets vs Laptops
Reasons you would buy a laptop
Laptops have some fairly obvious advantages over the other two formats, including the following: productivity, having a keyboard, ports for monitors and other devices, having a full software package for doing some number crunching, ability to create presentations & documents, having the full functions of a computer in a mobile device, larger screen for research and shopping, and getting the desktop version for websites vs. the mobile version.
Reasons you would buy a notebook
Notebooks are best for those that want the compatibility of a laptop and the flexibility of a tablet. A lot of notebooks come with an HDMI port, Ethernet port and multiple USB ports.
For artists having a convertible notebook or one with a detachable keyboard is great. Just connect the e-pen and start creating. For students it makes taking notes with the keyboard attached easy or remove it for surfing the net or streaming video.
Reasons you would buy a tablet
Tablets are the ultimate in portability with the smaller screen size and lightweight design. Tablets also have a better battery life and higher density displays. They work great for reading a book or watching a video. Also good as a child’s first device, as they don’t have to be able to read to use it.
Notebooks, tablets, and laptops are all fairly similar in their capabilities and size. However, each is built for different consumer needs. Before making a purchase consider several things about the intended user, including the following:
- History and Function: What tech products has the user gravitated to in the past? Do they have any brand loyalty?
- Interface Experience: What devices does this user interact with and/or already own?
- Mobile Friendliness: How mobile does this user need to be while using this device? Where will this device travel on a given day?
- Device Compatibility: Will this device need to be plugged in or connected to another for presentations, projects, etc?
- Customization: Does this user need access to special software/accessories (like e-pens for artists, HDMI cables for those who have projectors or external monitors, or Augmented Reality (AR) capabilities for VR gamers)?
Back to school shopping
If you want to purchase a laptop or tablet for a family member, it may be best to surprise them with a trip to a computer store, or a gift card, instead of buying them the device beforehand. That way they can pick out a device that looks and feels comfortable for them. Also, they will know what sort of features they may or may not need for class, work, & recreation.
James, Chris, Clint, Brett, Adam & Suzi