Imagine leading a webinar and all of a sudden your internet connection quits. Panic sets in and you’re hoping that everyone on the webinar doesn’t hate you. That happened to me and instead of panic, my mind asked, “What are my options to get back online?”
Luckily, I had backup systems ready to go. I have an iPhone app that directly connects me with my webinar service. The webinar system I use is Adobe Connect Pro … Boy, am I glad that I had downloaded their app to my iPhone. The app allowed me to get back on the webinar quickly so that I could both view the PowerPoint presentation which I had previously uploaded (so I didn’t need my computer) and could continue leading the class. Phew. I fell in love with my iPhone after that.
Yes, I’ve had my iPhone for over two years, but really didn’t appreciate it until it saved the day. I also had booted up my laptop when my internet connection went down, because I also knew that I could tether my iPhone to my laptop. Had I been really prepared, I would have had the laptop on ready to go. This is what I’ll be doing from now on. I will also let all students know at the beginning of class that on the rare chance I get disconnected wait about five minutes to allow for me to get back on should I disappear.
How Important Are Backup Systems?
Too many people fall victim to technology failures. Well, as one beloved IT consultant has drilled into me (hence all my backups), “It’s not a matter if your computer, cell phone and/or internet connection will fail, get lost or die, it’s simply a matter of when.” I’m not sure why people don’t “get it” and plan for these times. Having a few simple backup tools and systems will save so much time, unavoidable headaches, and you’ll gain incredible peace of mind if you just put these things in place.
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Stay Productive With These Basic Backup Systems
Here are the things I recommend doing for having your backups in place so you don’t waste time when systems fail and you remain productive. If you have critical information that needs backing up, please consult a recommended Information Technology Professional:
- Please, please, please… have your cell phone contact database (phone numbers, email addresses, mailing addresses, etc) synched to Outlook or on the Mac iCloud. This will make changing cell phone devices and computers very easy. If your phone gets lost or dies you won’t have to bug your friends and tell them you “lost” their numbers.
- Want peace of mind even if your hard drive crashes? Back up to BOTH an external hard drive AND to an online backup system like Carbonite. My IT guy recommended Acronis to backup my hard drive.
That being said if your internet provider service goes down and you rely upon it for your work or daily communications, you can always call your cell phone company and find out the options for either tethering your cell phone to your computer and/or getting their hotspot device. By the way, both of these options may allow for other wireless users to join in on your hotspot and get internet access using the cell phone system.
Have more than one way to get on the internet. First, have your main computer hard wired to your internet. You may also want the ability to use your internet wirelessly, so getting a router with wireless capabilities set up would allow you to use the same internet connection with devices like iPads, Netbooks, laptops wirelessly.
- Have a laptop in addition to your desktop. Synch your important docs to your laptop. I use Windows Live Mesh (free) to do this. I understand Apple also makes this easy with their iCloud system. However, using “cloud based” systems is not my panacea. In fact, there is a security risk you take in using the cloud. Hackers are getting into the most secure sites. So you may not want to place your most sensitive documents on a web based server. Secondly, what if you’re on an airplane (without wifi) and you want to work on your documents? The only cloud you’ll be able to see are the ones outside your window.
What are your favorite backup systems and tools? Share in the comment section below!
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