Podcast: Play in new window | Embed
Victor asked: “I’ve got two computers, both run Windows 10. A desktop and a laptop. The laptop goes with me on the road. The desktop I use to do all my business at home. The other way it went down and I had to reinstall Windows. What’s the best way to sync those computers together so that if one goes down again, I can still do my business on the other one. I do use Office 2010. My daughter is trying to get me to upgrade to the newest version. Don’t know if that’s necessary. Also – when I’m on the road I use a Jetpack. I like it better than truck stop wifi. Are they pretty safe?”
Victor, if you do get on the latest version of Office, you should have access to Microsoft’s cloud, which will allow you to keep your documents synced on all of your machines.
Having said that, you don’t need to do that, you can just store your documents on a folder synced to a free service such as Microsoft’s OneDrive, Google Drive, or Dropbox and your files will be accessible on the web, and can be set to automatically download to both of your computers as well.
The real answer to your question is: store your files outside of your computer as well as in it, whether you do that with an external hard drive or a cloud service, or both, is up to you, but modern cloud services make it very easy and free (at least until you hit a data cap, but that would be a lot of Office documents).
As for using your Jetpack on the go, yes it should be safe. It’s as safe as using any other mobile internet access, such as with a smartphone. It should be considerably safer than using public WiFi, where other users may be able to sniff out data you’re sending to the router you’re sharing with them. If you don’t mind keeping it charged and paying for the service, it is a safer alternative to shared truck stop WiFi.
One thing we ought to note is that the amount you pay for a cloud storage system big enough to hold probably every file you have is really about the same. Google Drive charges $9 per month for a 1TB cloud, Dropbox charges $99 a year for their 1TB Pro version, and Microsoft gets $99 per year for an Office 365 subscription that comes complete with, yep, you guessed it–a 1TB upgraded OneDrive. All three services offer lesser amounts of storage at no cost.
There is one final note worth mentioning. If you are using Office 365 and Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage system, then you can actually edit the files in place, in the cloud. With Google Drive or Dropbox, you’d have to sync a folder to your computer’s hard drive and edit the documents there. It’s not a huge difference, perhaps, but it does mean you can also edit files on OneDrive using the iOS or Android mobile versions of Office, when you’re not near a computer.
Google’s G Suite also includes web apps for creating all kinds of documents, and these work quite well, but your question implied that you’d like to stay with Microsoft Office, so that’s the approach we took.