Picking the Right Backup Medium

The first choice in backing up your computer is picking an appropriate backup medium. Just about any data storage device can be used for backups, but some devices are more appropriate than others. Typically, the greater the capacity of the medium, the better—although for some purposes (such as backing up individual projects), a low-capacity medium may be just fine. I break backup media into three categories: tapes, removable disks, and optical media (CD-R and related formats).

Note Chapter 2, "Improving Disk Performance," includes a rundown of many specific media types. Pay particular attention to the "Moving Data via Sneakernet: Removable Media" section and especially Table 2.5, which summarizes many of the choices in specific products.

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