The era of the PC as sole repository of documents, photos, and multimedia is long gone.
With our data shared among various digital devices, new mobile gadgets make moving and sharing even easier.
The wide range of products reviewed below covers the gamut from Wi-Fi-enabled flash drives and hassle-free, cloud-based, PC-backup systems to wireless, Net-connected printers that accept print jobs from anywhere — not just from your local Wi-Fi network.
Back up a PC to the cloud in hours, not days
The logic of backing up your PC to a cloud service is unassailable. Your local backup drives are just as vulnerable to fires, floods, earthquakes, theft, and such as is your computer. That’s why the best backup practices have always included offsite storage. At one time, that might have meant sending floppy discs to your cousin; now, it’s simply connecting to the Internet.
Unfortunately, good logic does not necessarily mean efficient execution. Depending on the amount of data you have, uploading a full backup can take days — and possibly add unwanted extra fees from your ISP.
While there’s no shortage of online backup services, IDrive might have a unique solution for the upload problem. It sends out a 1TB external hard drive to IDrive account holders. You simply connect the drive to your PC and back up your data (see Figure 1). Once that’s completed — typically in hours instead of days — you send the drive back to the company in a prepaid Priority Mail box; your data is then loaded onto IDrive servers. Thereafter, you can upload incremental backups that are less time- and bandwidth-consuming.
If disaster strikes and you need a full restore, IDrive will download your data to an external hard drive and ship it to you. (If you need your data quickly, it’ll cost $99.50 to receive it within 48 hours.)