A complete guide to creating a data backup for your PC: Our world lies in our PC or Laptop. Think about the precious moments of your wedding or the birth of your child and everything else that means life to you. All the photos, videos, and files are stored on your PC. It is not just about the personal files. If you run a business or work in an office, there must be files that are very important and you cannot afford to lose them. Overall, your data is valuable, whether it is your personal data or the official data. Thus, it is extremely important that you need to your data backup properly.
A complete guide to creating a data backup for your PC
Most of us think that we are not going to lose our data until that that actually happens. The fact is that there is always a threat of losing data at some point of the time. There are many events that that may trigger loss of data. Hard drive crash is the most common event but there are more such ransomware attack, virus attack theft, fire and more. Fortunately, there are some easy options to create a backup before it is too late.
Decide what needs to be backed up
An important step before starting to back up your data is to identify what needs to be backed up. Sometimes when we have a limited backup space, you need to decide whether you want to give priority to personal data or programs or operating system. The first thing that needs to be backed up is your personal data. The reason is simple. You can never get your personal data back at any cost. The programs or operating system files can always be downloaded. The other official files are also important and must be backed up at the highest priority. They occupy very little space and thus there is no harm in backing them up. Programs and operating system files can be huge. Thus, consider backing them up only if you have a lot of space.
Available options to backup your data
Basically, all the different available options can be classified into two broad categories. They are online storage and offline storage. Let us first look at the different offline storage options where you can backup your data to an External Drive.
Backup your data using an External Hard Drive
Every operating system, whether it is Windows or Mac, offers an inbuilt program to let you create a data backup. If you are using Windows 8 or Windows 10, you can backup your data using the option of ‘File History”. Windows 7 users will have to use “Windows Backup” option. Incase of Mac PC, you will find this option as “Time Machine”. In all the three options, you just need to connect an external drive and your operating system will do the rest. One of the best things about this method is that it is fast and cheap. You just need to invest once in an external hard drive. However, it is not the most reliable options as your external hard drive is also vulnerable to failure, theft, fire etc. Thus, you need to look for the online storage options.
Online storage Options for Data backup
There are some reliable services such as CrashPlan, BackBlaze, Carbonite etc. that offers you to data backup your data in the online cloud. These services work in the background and automatically backup your data over the internet. The best part of these services is that your data is stored in a safe location from where you can always recover your data. They charge you a small amount on the monthly or yearly basis. However, you need to pay the charges forever. Unlike the first option, these are recurring charges. Also, you need to be always connected to the internet for availing these services.
If you do not want to bear the charges, you can manually backup your data in an online cloud. There are various cloud storage services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive that offer free storage space. However, you need to sync your hard drive or a folder on your hard drive to the online cloud manually. Now, every file that you store in this folder will be automatically stored in the cloud. The biggest limitation of this service is this method is that you get only a limited free storage space of a few Gigabytes. Thus, this method is only applicable if you want to store just a few important files. It cannot be considered as a proper option to create a data backup. Storing your data is a cloud is usually slow depending on the speed of your internet connection.
Choosing between Online and Offline Storage Methods
When you are choosing between the options of online cloud and an external hard drive to create back, you need to set your priorities. If cost is your priority, the best option is to avail the option of free cloud storage services. You can combat the limitation of storage space by fragmenting your data and storing each fragment in different clouds. This will allow you at least some extra space without spending any money. If you already have an external hard drive, you can use it to store all important files without any expenditure. However, you must always keep in mind that it is always vulnerable to failure. Thus, most of the experts would recommend you go for professional online storage services for the complete peace of mind.
We have discussed all the different data backup options. Each has its limitations. Thus, it is not a bad option to create a hybrid backup. Just like we have RAM and hard drive on our computer, you can use the combination of the online and hard drive. The files that you need to access frequently can be stored in both the locations. This will ensure that they are quickly accessible as well as stored safely in the cloud. The larger files and less frequently used files can be stored exclusively in the cloud.