Backup is very important, and getting more so. The more your life become digital, the more important your backups become. There are many ways to achieve this. Here are a few:
External hard drive:
The most common way is a set of external hard drives. Often in pairs, so you can exchange them daily and keep one off site. We recommend drives with some level of toughness, because they should be moved to & from your office on a daily basis. The illustration is our favorite drive, a Freecom “Toughdrive”
Of course, you will need software to actually perform the backup. Windows 7 / 8 & Server 2008/2011 have backup software built in that might be suitable. Otherwise you will need to purchase something that matches your needs.
A “Network Attached Storage” (NAS) unit is a popular for of backup. The most useful ones are RAIDed so that hardware failure is less of an issue. They are fast and effective (once setup). BUT they remain on-site, so unless you have them physically secure & fire/flood proof they don’t fulfill one of the key requirements of a robust backup strategy.
Along these lines, “Windows Home Server” (don’t be put off by the name) is a very useful tool to backup key systems.
On-line / Cloud backup:
Online / Internet / Cloud backup has come of age. Obviously you need a good Internet connection, but it mostly it’s a “set and forget” service. The system is (obviously!) off site, deals with multi-generation backups and the service provider will back-up your backups.
There are a couple of downsides. If the provider goes out of business then your backups are gone. You have to be careful of the Data Protection Act. And recovery can be a time-consuming business.
But, over all, it’s probably the best solution in many circumstances.