How much storage space do I need to purchase?

First, decide what you want to backup. Do you want to back up everything, or just certain files? Your focus should be on files that would not be recoverable if your computer was damaged or stolen, such as email, customer records, inventory, accounting system, word-processing documents and spreadsheets. Virtually all files that you have purchased, created or modified should be backed up. If you have any custom software, you should back that up as well. If losing the data will disrupt business operations, then it should be included in your backup. Having important files backed up may be crucial to the survival of an organisation.

Windows users should open My Computer to determine how much space is currently being used on the computer. Right click on each disk drive to get the drop down menu. At the very bottom of the menu, click on Properties. In the pie graph, you can see how much space you have used. Some of this space is taken up by Windows and other programs. If you have the installation disks for these programs, you can choose not to back them up. However, in the event of the need for recovery, you will have to reinstall the software and any updates.

To ascertain the space needed for select files, open each disk, choose the files you wish to backup, and look at file size in the properties of each file. You can also use Windows Explorer to see how much data you have stored in the libraries on your computer. In Windows 7, these libraries are Documents, Music, Pictures and Videos.

On a Mac, open your user's Macintosh HD. At the bottom of the window will be displayed the remaining disk space. If you subtract this number from the total capacity of your computer, the result will be the amount of space you are using. You can also right click on a file or folder, select "Get info" to see the space used.

Write down the size of each library or file that you want to backup. Add up all the bytes of data that you want to backup, remembering that 1024 KB is equal to 1 MB and 1024 MB is equal to 1 GB. One GB can hold 200 to 250 mp3 music files, 500 2MB images, or 11,000 Word or Excel Documents. To your grand total you need to add a cushion for the new data you will be adding with each backup. We recommend that you choose a plan that offers at least 30% more than you need for your current files.

If you would like some guidance in determining your storage requirements, we can access your computer remotely and recommend the ideal plan for your needs.

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