By PowerBuy // 1 March 2013 // Related Categories: Tips

It concerns us that many small businesses use USB drives to back-up important files from the work server and PCs. Here’s why we suggest you don’t use them for work:

 1. They are easily lost
Portable USB drives are easy to lose – in fact hundreds of drives are left on our trains every month. Thumb drives (aka USB keys) can be inadvertently dropped or even put through with the laundry (or in my case my two-year-old flushed it down the toilet).

2. They are easily damaged
You should click the “eject” button on your screen before you unplug it or your data may be corrupted. USB hard drives can fail if they are always being carried around and most won’t work again if dropped from over one metre.

Thumb drives have a limited life with some wearing out after 3,000 uses. It is also very easy to break the connector port when connecting or removing the memory stick – resulting in lost access to all of the data stored on the drive.

3. There is only one disk
Murphy’s law denotes that your drive will fail just before you try to recover your back-up. RAID is a feature in more advanced back-up devices (and servers) that protects against drive failures because it copies your files across multiple disks so it doesn’t matter if one fails. USB drives are usually not capable of RAID because they only have one disk, so if your drive fails then you’re in trouble.

4. No back-up software
Backing up just your documents might not be enough. You need to be able to quickly recover your operating system, programs and system settings as well as your work files. Very few USB drives come with software that can effectively back-up and restore everything which means it could take a long time to restore your system back to working order.

So what should you do?

USB drives are great for storing your non-critical files but we don’t recommend them for work. If you would like to know more about the best back-up technology for your work then please contact us.

Have you had any experiences with USB devices that you can share? Do you like them or would you recommend against using them for work?

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