Simple Solutions for Backing Up Your Digital Data

A power surge, a hard drive crash, a distracted press of the Delete key and suddenly three years of tax returns, tomorrow’s big client presentation, innumerable family photos, and your entire playlist is gone. The best way to cure a data catastrophe is to prevent it from occurring in the first place.  PC backups are now easier than ever with a variety of inexpensive and automated solutions.

What is a Backup?

A backup is simply a copy of your digital files stored on another device that you can use to replace lost files due to hardware failures, viruses, natural disasters, or user error.  Ideally, you should have two backup copies: one stored locally for easy retrieval if you accidently deleted a file, and another copy stored offsite in the case of a natural disaster, such as a flood or a fire.

System Backups and Personal Backups

There are two types of backups: system backups and personal backups. You can back up your entire system, which is your PC’s operating system, all your installed applications, and your personal files, and/or you can back up only your personal user files, such as your documents, spreadsheets, photos, music, and videos.  You should consider backing up both. System backups can help get you up and running if your PC crashes or your device is stolen. Personal backups help you easily replace an accidentally deleted file.

System backups don’t need to be performed as often, but personal files should be performed frequently on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis depending on your needs. You want to backup anything you would hate to lose.

Four Ways to Back Up Your Data

Back up to an external storage device. An external device is a device other than your computer, such as a CD, DVD, or a flash drive. These devices are inexpensive, easy to use, and are easily stored. The only problem with this method is that it is dependent on you taking the time to manually copy and move your files to discs or drives.

Back up to an external hard drive.  External hard drives can store more data than a CD or a flash drive, and you can automate the backup so you don’t need to think about it if you keep the drive connected to your device. You can use backup software already installed on your computer or purchase another product to schedule regular backups according to your needs.  Although external hard drives cost more than flash drives, they are still relatively affordable depending on the amount of storage capacity.

Back up to a Networked Attached Storage (NAS) drive. These drives are similar to external hard drives, but with more storage capacity. You can use these to back up multiple computers in your home as NAS drives are integrated into your home network using a router.  You can automatically back up all of your family’s computers and devices in one spot.

Back up to a Cloud Storage Service.  Cloud Storage services are offered by third party companies to back up and store your files off site on their servers using an Internet connection.  You usually pay an ongoing fee for their service.  This solution allows you access to your files anywhere at any time with an Internet connection.  This is useful if you use multiple computers and devices. To maintain the privacy of your files, choose a service provider who encrypts your data and provides you with an encryption key.

Schedule Automatic Backups

Taking the time to manually back up your files is the reason we don’t perform backups.  This is the drawback of using CDs, DVDs, and flash drives. However, with external hard drives, NAS, and Cloud Services, you can schedule the backups to be performed automatically so backups occur regularly and consistently.

With so many easy and affordable backup solutions available, don’t leave the safety of your digital life to chance. Contact Cyberscapes Systems for help setting up the best data backup system for your household or business.