There is no need to argue for the importance of making backups of the files on your computer. After all, everything happens and it can be tomorrow when your hard-drive fails you. Every single one of us has a story about losing personal data because of a hardware malfunction or malicious software. So, it is absolutely certain that a person should always prepare a backup of their files. A few other questions arise however.
What should I add to my backup files?
The short answer to that one is every piece of personal data that is located on the hard-drive of your computer. This may include a wealth of options such as:
- Home videos
Most of your software might not need to go into the pack up files, because you can always download them again and activate your copy via the license number you have acquired through purchasing the programs in question. If you have ripped video and music files from hard-copies (CDs and DVDs) on your computer, it would be a pity to lose so many hours of hard work due to a hardware malfunction, so it might be a good idea to back those files up too.
What’s the best way to back up my files?
Now there are several options available. All of them come with the respective pros and cons.
- You can use an external USB hard-drive to make hard copies of your backed up files. Windows has a very efficient tool that will enable you to make a back up on an external hard-drive quickly and without much hassle. The tool in Windows 10 and 8 is called File History and Windows Backup in Windows 7. If you are using a Mac, you will have to search for the Time Machine If you leave the hard drive plugged in the computer when you are using it, it will automatically up-date the backup data. The good thing about this option is that it is relatively cheap and secure. If something happens to your house however – like, if you are robbed, or there is some natural disaster – a flood, a fire etc. – you will lose your backup along with your computer.
- Another option is to use an internet service for your backup. CrashPlan is a good example of an online backup storage space, but there are many other alternatives. Usually you will be required to pay a fee (anywhere between 1 and 5 pounds/USDs a month) for being protected from data loss due to failure, theft, natural disasters, and everything in between. The negative side is that you will have to pay the above-mentioned monthly fee regularly, and the initial preparation of the backup can potentially take a long time, depending on the size of the files and your internet connection.
- Alternatively, you can use a cloud service (DropBox, Google Drive etc.) to store files both on your computer and online. Even though that is not a pure backup, it might turn out to be pretty handy, because most services of this kind offer immediate synchronization between your off-line folders and the online account. The bad thing is that most cloud services offer a limited amount of space for free, so you will either have t pay for more gigabytes or seek alternative solutions for storing larger files.
Since all of the options that we have presented you here come with the respective pros and cons, the best thing that you can do in order to preserve your peace of mind thoroughly is to consider using multiple methods for building your backup library.