All computer users should realise the importance of backing up data. Whether you primarily use your computer for personal, business or academic reasons, data loss can come when you least expect it. Hardware failure, malicious viruses and intrusive spyware can all be responsible for corrupted or deleted data, and the consequences are often irreversible. By simply taking the time to routinely backup your data, you can ensure that your personal files and data are safe no matter what happens to your computer.
1: Create CD or DVD Backups
Burning files to a CD or DVD is one of the easiest ways to backup data. Most desktop PCs and laptops have an optical drive which is capable of creating CDs or DVDs, and in most cases it’s simply a matter of dragging and dropping files to a blank piece of media and waiting for the burning to complete. Although DVDs only have a capacity of around 4.7GB (and CDs a much smaller 700MB) and they are therefore unsuitable for large files like high definition videos, they are very easy to store and keep safe. CDs and DVDs are also a relatively cheap backup solution, so multiple copies of data can be created at little expense.
2: External Hard Drive
With an external hard drive you can quickly copy your data whenever you need to, and the portability of the drive means you can easily recover your files on any other USB compatible device. With a large capacity external hard drive you can even backup your entire operating system, so you can preserve and restore your system files and personal configurations ensuring you always have an up to date backup available. This is one of the most practical methods of backing up your data because it’s quick and affordable. Some people choose to back up their data on a partitioned drive, the problem with this approcah is that if your drive fails you have lost both the main and backup copies. In this situation a specialist hard drive recovery company like Easy Recovery who have branches throughout the UK would be the best option for recovering your data.
3: USB Flash Drives
USB flash drives are a very simple and convenient storage solution. Most flash drives are very small and will fit on a key chain, so you can easily carry around your backup and transfer it to other devices. Their small size also means they are very to easy to physically store, so you can carry around several flash drives in just your pocket or a desk drawer. Newer pen drives have much larger capacity than older models and they can store data up to 32GB of data, so they are suitable for different types of backup requirements (although you will still probably need several drives if you have a lot of files to backup).
4: System Utility Backup
You can schedule your operating system to run a backup routine (which includes system settings and programs as well as personal data), so you don’t have to worry about remembering to backup yourself. Using this scheduler, your computer will backup all your chosen files as often as you like, and it will automatically run in the background and complete the process for you. You can choose to create a backup on your hard drive, but if you’re worried about hard drive failure you can also backup to an external drive or to blank media. By backing up your system files and keeping them up to date, you can restore your operating system if it ever gets damaged and have your system quickly up and running in no time.
5: Cloud Storage
Cloud storage is an emerging technology, and it is one of the few backup solutions which supports devices like smartphones and tablets. When you register for cloud storage, you can upload all your files and data to a server. It is a completely secure and safe way to backup your data as only you have access to your personal files, and you can backup data from other devices which have an Internet connection. Many companies offer free cloud storage of around 5 to 10GB in space, but you can pay if you need more storage. Cloud storage makes for very straight forward and easy data recovery should anything go wrong. The only real negative is that you are depending on the reliability and solvency of the company providing your cloud storage!