What is the Difference Between Data Backup and Data Recovery?

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What is Data Recovery?

We store data in secondary storage, storage media, drives. When these data become unreachable to the user then a process is used to retrieve the data from the drives which is known as data recovery.

Why is data recovery required?

The data recovery process is used when the data becomes inaccessible due to internal damage, i.e., logical damage or external damage, i.e., physical damage to the drive or data gets accidentally deleted. Some situations can be like when the storage media is not working properly due to accidental damage, malfunctioning of the storage device, and data need to be transferred to a different drive or new storage media. Another time when we are required to recover data is when data is not easily read from the media devices then logical changes are required to be done. Lastly, data needs to be recovered when the data has been accidentally deleted in the storage medium by the user if data is not overwritten by other files.

STORAGE DEVICE: It helps in storing or retracting data onto a storage media or medium.

STORAGE MEDIA/MEDIUM: It is the device that holds the data.

DRIVE: It helps to store and reading information. IT helps computers to store data.

Phases of data recovery

How data will be retrieved from devices depends on the way how data was lost.

If the hard disk drive is not working properly then repair the HDD so that at least the data can be retrieved.

A secondary of the data will need to be created by creating an image of the HDD if HDD fails. Using a failing HDD will result in the loss of more data.

After retrieving the remaining data which was not corrupted, now the other remaining data which was corrupted will be retrieved with the help of the cloned HDD. Cloned HDD will help in accessing the cause of logical failure.

After the corrupted data is retrieved, now the data will be made readable.

What is backup storage?

Data backup is a term used to describe storing a copied data from the computer so that it is accessible in case of an emergency. Then the device is stored somewhere else which will be used to restore the data in its original form. It involves copying data from a primary location to a secondary location. Moreover, this method is also useful if data or information needs to be preserved.

Why is backup storage required?

It is a step that will help the company in the future in case of an unfortunate event. When a company starts to grow, its enemies grow as well. These enemies then try to attack the company’s data by planting ransomware, thieves try to get a hold of the company’s trade secret to sell them at high price, enemies can be the employees who would look for a moment to get your company’s data. Now even the hacking of the data can be done from being far away from the physical location of the company. To avoid losing data, it is better to keep the data saved somewhere safe.

Following are some ways through which you can back up data:

  • Removable media can be used.
  • Set up an additional hard drive.
  • Use an external hard drive.
  • Use software-based backup services.
  • Use cloud-based backup services.

What is the difference between data recovery and backup storage?

Data recovery is done when data has been lost and the lost data needs to be retrieved from the same device in which it was stored whereas, in backup, the original is copied and stored separately.

Data recovery involves retrieving corrupted or lost data to readable data whereas backup data is already in the form in which it was originally stored. Hence, having data in the backup will be less expensive compared to data recovery.

Back up data involves making a replica of data and recovery involves retrieving lost or corrupt data. Therefore, with backup, data is store as a copy to refer to in case original data is lost and in recovery, there is no copy to rely on in case of loss of data.

Advantages of tapes as backup storage

Every company creates data and it is important to keep them secured from being hacked, from losing data due to accidentally deleting the data, or to have the data already with the company even if the original data gets corrupted as the data was already stored in its original form.

Backup capacity

Yes, tapes are known for providing a huge capacity of storage. Therefore, a single tape will be able to hold big data in one place. Day by day, the capacity to store is also increasing in tape medium.


Tape media are already sold at less rate compared to other storage mediums. Along with this benefit, in time of emergency, when data is already lost due to an accident, the company will not be required to depend on a professional to get the corrupt data to be first transferred to a different drive or media and then be made into a readable format.


In case, the storage capacity has been used up, an additional tape drive will be required to increase the capacity. In the case of using a disk drive, a separate disk drive will be required to acquire more storage.

Long-term use

Tapes also provide the data to be accessible even after nearly three decades. As a result, companies will be able to use tapes to retain critical data and providing stability to the company.


Apart from using tapes as only a medium to store data, tapes can also be used to archive data.

ARCHIVE DATA: In this feature, data that is not being actively used but if required then can be brought back into service.


Tapes are portable. Tapes can be moved from one place to another place and due to their compact size, they do not require any huge amount of manpower. As a result, they will be easy to transfer in case of an emergency. Since tapes are also capable of storing software, which will help the company in installing the software in its other branches or even to transfer data, files, the data will not be required to go through a server. Also since they are portable which means that the data will not be in contact with a server, nor will it consume energy. Due to this benefit, data will remain out of reach of malware or ransomware.


The above features are what make the tape protect the data from ransomware or malware. As it can disconnect itself from the server, tape secures the data from attacks through servers. Since the tap is not connected through a server then cyber attackers will not be able to reach the data in tape and tape offline. Another reason why tape is security because to access the data inside the tape will require authorization. Data are encrypted to prevent unauthorized access. Without authorization, data can’t be accessed. Even if data gets deleted in a tape drive, data can still be retracted after the END OF DATA MARK but it will require expensive equipment.


Although tape can be a better option due to its portable feature, the tape will need to be kept in a very secure location that will only be accessible to authorized personnel. Also to avoid incorrect transfer of data to tape, it is advised if the process of transferring data is done by a professional who can either be hired when required or personnel from the company can be designated with the work. If by chance, the process of transferring data is not carried out properly then there might improper transfer of data. At the time of transferring it is necessary that when transferring the tape physically, a trustworthy employee or employees are assigned to carry out the task otherwise there could be a chance of data being leaked easily which would otherwise have taken time if it were done by a complete stranger. Although buying the tape drive or devices can be cheap but maintain them will add up to its cost.

Despite its disadvantages, having data in the backup is like taking a precaution. It is better to have data in backup so that in case of an emergency, like logical damage or physical, in the meanwhile time when the backup will be put into use, the drive or storage media can be repaired. Also, the company won’t be worrying whether the data will be retracted in its original format or not. Also, there is a chance that if the company or the user didn’t know about the damage and overwrite the disk then, retrieving data will not be possible. Therefore, choose what is necessary and affordable for the company.