In recent times, computers have become a necessity for every individual. You can use computers for different purposes from work-related things to entertainment purposes like music, games & movies. Typically you store all your data and files like photos, videos, projects, etc on your computer’s hard drive. Unfortunately, having all your data in one place (your computer) is not safe at all. You can easily lose your precious data forever due to natural disasters, theft, malware or accidental deletion. Thus, you need to implement safety measures, which as creating backups regularly. There are several ways to create a secure backup and using multiple methods will significantly increase your data safety.
A computer backup is nothing but a copy of an original file. If you ever lose your valuable documents or files, you can restore the lost data with backed-up data. It is also important to note that you should store your backups in a different place than the original file. If you store them in the same place, you have a high risk of losing your data. Hence, using the 3-2-1 rule in computer backup is a wise decision. The 3-2-1 strategy means 3 copies of your data, 2 on-site but on different mediums, and 1 offsite. Here are some of the best ways to back up your data:
A clone is a bootable drive that helps you retrieve your lost files immediately when your bootable drive is dead. This type of backup is not a permanent solution but it can be really helpful in many situations. If the files on your main drive are important, the clone will have all those files until the point when you last updated the backup. So if there is ever an accidental deletion of files, you can restore your files from your clone. The clone will also have all your settings saved from your main drive. Needless to say, clones are most effective when they are frequently updated. If you choose the cloning method but don’t update it frequently, you will lose files since the last backup.
Therefore, you should clone frequently and it is most effective when working with small data size. It is also a good idea not to use the computer while cloning your data.
External drive backup
The next method of backup is an external drive. An external drive is different from a clone in a few ways. First, it is not meant to be a bootable backup & secondly, it is not limited to a “snapshot” of your entire drive at one point in time. Instead, it only backups new files created since the last backup, better known as an incremental backup. Backup is performed in small data increments as new files build up. It can solve problems like insufficient storage, virus attacks, malware infection, computer system crash, accidental deletion or data overwrites, etc. As external drives are also very portable, they allow access to the data anytime and anywhere you want.
After using the drive for a long period, it might wear out and eventually, you may have to move your data from that external drive to somewhere else. Thus, it is also essential to take care of the health of your drive.
The final and probably the best method to back up your files is cloud backup. While having a physical backup or two is a good practice, they are still prone to damage or theft. To prevent that, you need to have a backup on a place somewhere else. Cloud backups are the easiest to create and maintain. Start by choosing a cloud backup platform like Google Drive, Microsoft’s Dropbox, Amazon Web Services entirely that fits your needs. Then, create an account and customize your preferences. After the initial setup and backup, you don’t need to do anything else. The software will automatically backup your data when your computer gets internet access.
Some promising cloud services like DropBox offers 2GB, Google Drive offers 15GB, SugarSync offers 5GB, and SkyDrive offers 7GB of free online storage. These cloud storage services will only require creating an account using a valid email address for confirmation and login information. Once your account is verified properly, you can access their service freely and exchange data between your computer and the backup service at any time, anywhere. This also eliminates the need to take care of the data like you would if you opted for a physical hard drive backup. Keep in mind that in cloud backup data you are connected to the internet so you are still vulnerable to hackers. So don’t be careless about your internet security. Another problem for some users might be the time taken to perform a cloud backup if they have large files to export and a slow internet connection.
In conclusion, all the ways mentioned to back up your computer are all excellent. However, different people have different requirements. Thus, a certain backup method might fit better to one than another.