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The fact that a majority of people lose data at some point in their lives while using technology is both scary and real. Recently, the global technology scene was rife with firms’ data being held captive by ransomware. Apart from on the corporate scene, you could also lose your data through the damage of hardware. The worst part is that some of the data you lose could disappear forever if you had not backed it up elsewhere. That could be one of the most frustrating scenarios. Backups, however, do not necessarily have to be confusing and challenging. There are a few straightforward methods that could get the job done. Before we can review what methods are most effective, however, we need to understand the types of data we need to back up.
The focus on personal data
The primary types of files you need to create a backup for are your personal ones. Why? Because you can always reinstall an operating system or download lost programs back to your computer from the internet. Personal data, on the other hand, cannot be replaced in such an easy and straightforward way if it gets lost. In most cases, the data cannot be replaced at all. That said, back up all your personal data first. This includes photos, videos, personal documents and even contacts. In case you have spent significant amounts of time ripping CDs or DVDs, by all means, back up those as well. The backup process is to make things as convenient for you as possible. With that in mind, you can also back up your programs or operating system if you have the space to do so. In case you usually make modifications to your system’s registry and tweak the code on some of your programs, a full system backup is likely to serve your needs better. This is because any errors or mistakes in your changes can be rolled back to a previous backup date.
Backing up your files: Your choices
There are many different ways to back up your data. We list some of the most convenient ways below.
1. An external hard drive
You can back up your data on an external hard drive or USB using your computer’s built-in backup features. If you use Windows 8 or 10, these features are available on File History. In case you use Windows 7, simply go to Windows Backup to gain access to these features. Are you a Mac User? No problem. Use Apple’s Time Machine feature to back up the data on your computer. You can connect your storage device to the computer from time to time so that it can back up all your features. Alternatively, you can leave the device connected anytime you are home for it to back up automatically.
Having your data backed up in this way is cheap and fast. However, your storage device can be stolen or damaged, and this could make you lose all your data.
2. Internet-based backup options
There are an array of backup services across the web that you can use to back up your data. One of the most popular service providers in this file is CrashPlan. For a fee as low as $5 a month, online data backup firms will ensure all your information is stored and kept safe for you. Other alternatives to CrashPlan include Carbonite, MozyHome, and BackBlaze. In case your data ever gets lost, you can regain it by downloading it off their web storage space. Some services like CrashPlan even let you back up your data onto another person’s computer or another one of yours. Backing up online is safe from all sorts of natural disasters. However, they could end up costing a lot. The time taken in the initial back up could also be significantly long especially when you have numerous files.
3. Using cloud storage
Technically, this is not a way to back up your data. However, it serves the same purposes of convenience and safety. Rather than saving your data directly on your system’s storage, you can use features like DropBox, Microsoft One Drive or Google Drive for storage purposes. These devices will then sync these data to other PCs where your account is signed in. In case your hard drive gets damaged, copies of your information will exist on other devices. Since this method uses web-based storage, it is protected from all sorts of natural disasters. It is also free in most cases, and is a fast method to execute. Unfortunately, you most cloud storage providers only provide a few gigabytes of space. That means the method might not be convenient for large backups.
Ideally, you should use a combination of these methods for your best benefit in the retrieval of your data. Using both offsite and onsite methods means you are less vulnerable to data loss. You can also automate your data backups to prevent losing information just in case you forget. Stay safe by backing up your data today.