The Basics Of Computer Backup
One of the most important things you can possibly learn about your computer is how to use it to back up your data. Once you’ve created documents, folders and files, you’ll want to be sure that you will never find yourself faced with a situation where you can no longer access any of them. There are many different computer backup options available, each one with different advantages and drawbacks. So which should you choose and how can you get started?
Manual Backup Devices: External Hard Drives, CDs and Servers
The traditional way to back up your data is to buy a storage device, such as a USB stick, external hard drive or CDs on which you can burn your documents. You can also buy a second computer and use it as a server on which your data is stored and other people can connect and access it. It’s relatively cheap and you can make sure they’re on hand so that you can hand files you want to share to other people, but there’s no inbuilt security and, if your office space is broken into or hit by fire or flooding, it’s vulnerable to damage in much the same way that your hard drive is. It must be done manually and regularly to be effective, which means you need to rely on your memory to work out when it should be done and what needs backing up. It also gets increasingly expensive the more you need to store and USB sticks have a tendency to get lost.
Unlike its manual counterpart, online backup comes at a steady monthly cost and doesn’t require extra hardware to manage. Through a web browser or special software, you can upload all your data to a dedicated storage space and then access it from any other computer or device. You can also grant access to other people, which means you can work simultaneously on a file with someone all the way across the world or you can share your wedding photographs with a family member without having to send them all by email. You can even restrict access to certain parts of your storage.
Online backup has other advantages. It’s not vulnerable to the same damage that might damage your original files because it stores your backup in a different location and it doesn’t rely on your memory, because you can set your online backup to create backups of your data at regular intervals automatically.
Do I Need To Back Up My Data?
We cannot stress enough how important it is to keep your data backed up – once it’s gone, it can seldom be easily replaced. For the most secure and advantageous data backup options available, we recommend opting for online storage – and we’ve included a comparison table below to help you get started.