Backup to USB Flash Drive / USB Key / USB Stick
A USB flash drive is a compact, light and portable storage medium and ideal for easy transportation of data and backup archives with simple plug&play functionality. It is available in various sizes and capacities up to 64 GB. A USB stick with 1 GB costs only about 5 US$:
- easy to use, like a normal drive
- very small and convenient to carry
- easy to lose!
- Not suitable as the only backup method!
If you want to use a USB flash drive for backups, you should get a high quality device from a well-known manufacturer. Cheap deals from discount stores are not suitable for backups, because fast, reliable and premium quality flash memory has its price.
USB flash drives were designed primarily to transport data! It should only be used as a secondary backup medium where the primary medium is a tape or external/removable hard drive. If the daily backups are created on an external hard disk, a USB flash drive is handy to take the data back home – a reliable method to protect yourself from data loss through theft, fire, water, overvoltage, and whatever else may happen at your company site while you are away.
Testing USB Flash Drives
We have tested USB sticks from several manufacturers for mean data throughput, which is most important for fast and reliable backups. The flash drives we used had 4-8 GB memory. The clear winner is the Data Traveler HyperX from Kingston.
You can test your own hardware with the tool Dr. Hardware!
Danger of Losing Data – Who can access it then?
The strong encryption feature of Z-DBackup enables you to protect your confidential documents from access by unauthorised persons!
Backup to External USB Hard Disk
Backup to External USB Hard Disk (2.5'' or 1.8'')
If you thing about a backup in the range of several GB, hard drives are an obvious option as a backup medium. Available notebook hard disks are a bit slower and offer less capacity than PC drives – but they are robust, unobtrusive and light.
- Very small, very light and robust
- fast and simple
For easy use, the power connection should be integrated in the USB connection. This feature is supported by most 2.5''/1.8'' drives. These discs are also plug&play compatible, which means that you can just plug them in and out of the computer without restarting; a disc can be used with Z-DBackup mere seconds after it was connected to the PC. For large data sets, the maximum data throughput plays an important role:
- USB 1.0 und 1.1: 12 Mbps
- USB 2.0: 480 Mbps
- USB 3.0: 4.8 Gbps
These speeds promise a very fast data backup. However, these peak values can only be reached with optimal interaction of USB device, your computer's USB adapter, and a good USB cable.
It is risky to use the same USB hard disk for backups every day. Better are two or more devices which you can use in a round-robin fashion. This protects you from hardware faults and allows you to keep several versions of your files. Always take on of the drives back home or keep it separated from the others to protect yourself from theft or natural catastrophes (fire, water, overvoltage...).