As we become more dependent on technology to help accomplish our everyday tasks, we tend to forget how easily the information stored on our on our different gadgets can be lost. Imagine what would happen if your computer was misplaced, damaged, or even stolen. Would you lose any important music, documents, photos, or other files?
While it may be possible to repair or recover your computer, the files could be lost forever. You can protect your files from accidental loss by creating a backup offline using an external drives or using online backup service. Should anything happen to your computer, you can rest easy knowing your files are still safe and secure.
Here are top ways tools you should to backup the files on your phones and PCs.
External Hard Drives
An external hard drive is a hard disk drive just like the one inside your computer, where you can store any kind of file. Many are often small and portable, making them easy to stow away in a desk drawer or carry with you. Others are much larger and are designed to sit on your desk.
External hard drives come in many sizes and storage capacities. If you only have a few files and photos to back up, a 500GB or 1TB drive will more than suffice. A 1TB drive can hold up to several thousand documents. If you have more files than that to back up, look at 2TB and above.
Flash drives are tiny, highly portable drives. They come in a wide variety of designs, and most can be attached to a keychain. This method is very similar to using a hard drive, but it uses (a storage chip that can be erased and reused) instead.
Flash drives are smaller than external hard drives and thus offer less storage space. The biggest drives you can typically buy have 256GB of storage space, enough for a few thousand documents or photos, depending on file size. They are best suited for people with just a handful of files to backup.
Even if you back up your files regularly on an external hard drive, it’s still possible to lose your data. For added security, you can also back up your files using cloud storage. When you store something on a cloud-based storage, it’s saved online to servers instead of a hard drive. The main advantage of cloud-based storage is that your files are much less vulnerable to risks like theft or accidental damage.
Here are the most popular cloud-based storage services below:
- Dropbox is a simple way to back up your most important files online. Dropbox offers 2GB (gigabytes) of free storage and allows you to share files and even entire folders with anyone you choose.
- Google Drive is a cloud storage service from Google, offering 15GB of free storage. From Drive, you can also access Google Docs, which allows you to create, share, and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more.
- OneDrive (previously called SkyDrive) is a cloud-based storage service from Microsoft, offering 15GB of free storage. You’ll also have access to Office Online, a free online version of Microsoft Office that includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.
When to backup?
First, the best way to ensure that you do not lose important documents and photos is to not rely solely on one backup method.
Make sure to store copies of files and photos on your computer and in two or more of the methods listed above. You can even keep copies on a secondary computer, if available. The more backups you have, the better, but two to three should be fine for most.
Get in the habit of backing up files on a regular basis, every week or month or whenever you get new important documents and pictures. Anything can happen and you can lose all your data in a second, but backups will keep your important information safe.
Also, beware that physical storage solutions, like external hard drives and flash drives outlined below can break down over time. You’ll need to replace them after several years or so to ensure they don’t fail, destroying your files in the process. Anything can happen and you can lose all your data in a second, but backups will keep your important information safe.
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