Letter: Cheaper alternatives to data protection

Dear Editor

I suggest an alternative approach to data protection to that proposed by Dr Auty in his article (GP, 10 February).

Rather than spending £40 to £50 on partitioning software, a cheaper course is to obtain superseded partitioning software from a computer magazine cover disk.

As long as the partitioning software is not more than four years old, it will be fine.

A more data-protective course is to buy an external hard drive for your back-ups. These operate from the now-universal USB ports of the computer.

The external drive has the benefits of being portable to another location and offering protection against theft, fire and flood directed against the parent box if the drive is locked away and/or stored off-site when not in use.

Tapes are too slow and unreliable to use as a back-up medium. There is a bit of a question-mark about the long-term reliability of rewritable DVDs. The write-once variants seem fine but are a bore to use compared with an external drive.

Dr Fraser Hadden, Ipswich, Suffolk.

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