Data Backup options for Faculty and Staff

  • Faculty & Staff

Data security and backup on a laptop or desktop computer is an essential need for everybody.  Having at least one credible backup of data is extremely important and highly recommended to protect from hardware failure, damage, or unintentional loss of data. 

But which form of backup is the best option for you?  Luckily, Penn has some suggestions and options available to all Faculty/Staff!


CrashPlan Pro (Automatic Cloud Backup Service) –This automatic, cloud-based backup service is “unlimited” and available for $4-5 per user, per month (includes up to 4 devices).  The University has a license agreement with Code42 and can be provided through your LSP.  NOTE: The previous cloud backup method, Mozy, was shut down in December 2019 and has been replaced with Code42’s Crashplan Pro. Contact your LSP for more information.


Penn+Box (Online Storage)- Not a true backup service!  Penn+Box is similar to Google Backup & Sync or Dropbox, where folders and files are uploaded/downloaded from/to your computer and the cloud.  If a file is removed from the computer or the cloud, it will be removed in all locations, and historical data is not retrievable.  Data stored in Box is encrypted and FERPA compliant.  More information can be found here.


Windows Active Directory (AD) Share Drives/U:'s - Provided by the University, Share Drives/U:'s can be accessed anywhere through mounting a Windows AD drive.  For more information about Windows AD/U: access, please click here.


Time Machine (Mac only) - MacOS provides a software option to backup to an external hard drive.  This option automatically backs up based on a timeframe already set by MacOS.  You can find more information here.


3rd party software included with External Hard Drives - Many external hard drives come pre-packaged with software you can use to backup your data.  How exactly they work and how to set them up would depend on the Make/Model of the external hard drive.  Check with your LSP if you think this is your best option.


Having multiple redundant options for backups is ideal to prevent any data loss.  Get in touch with your LSP to discuss your options and what will work best for you based on your needs.