It’ll be fine, he said. And without a second thought, that critical document was saved to the hard drive of their PC. When the PC crashed, suddenly it wasn’t fine, and with no backup copy, it meant that the document, along with everything else saved locally, had to be rewritten.
But is it such a risk? Do we really need to get into a routine of backing up our files? IT experts at Bittitaivas explained why this quick and easy habit could save huge amounts of stress and time should something go wrong. Here are their top tips to help you keep everything safe and secure.
What Exactly do You Mean ‘Backup Files’?
If you’re not entirely sure what’s meant by backing up your files, then it’s pretty hard to be able to do it! So, let’s start at the very beginning and explain what we mean.
When you backup your files, you create an exact copy of the data save it in a location separate from your PC. That could be on an external hard drive or a cloud storage service such as Google Drive.
Why Is it Important to Backup Files?
Most of us now have a whole range of files stored on our computers. From work documents through to family photos and videos, losing them might be a hassle or completely devastating for those files with a strong sentimental value.
It’s essential to recognize that even the most reliable of computers will, at times, have problems. From failed hard drives to a complete meltdown, it might be possible to retrieve your files, but there are no guarantees; hiring a professional to try and salvage your data might be an option, but this can be an expensive process.
Options For Backing Up your Files
There are several different options you can use to back up data, depending on how many files you have and their value. It’s also not unusual for people to utilize multiple methods for critical files that need top-level protection. Here are some of the most common ways you can use to keep your data safe.
External Hard Drive or USB Stick
This is a quick and easy method if you have just a few files to backup. The external drive usually connects to your computer via a USB port, and then you can simply copy and paste the files across.
Disadvantages of Using an External Hard Drive
The downside of this method is that it can be time-consuming, especially with larger files. It’s also mostly a manual process, and so that means that you need to remember to do it! One final consideration is that external hard drives can have problems just the same as your computer, and again you risk losing all of your backed-up files.
Not long ago, all you needed to use online storage was a web browser to access whatever files you decided to store there for easy sharing with others. However, cloud services are constantly evolving, and now, many of them offer their own dedicated desktop app that can do much more than just give you an internet browser view of your files.
Some cloud services will even sync your data folder on your local computer with the one in the cloud so that if something happens to it (say another program accidentally deletes some important pictures), your photos still live somewhere safe up in the sky! The next time you log into your account, it will find those missing files and put them back where they belong before you even notice there was a problem.
May cloud services run in the background, and you need to do nothing other than the first-time set-up to schedule when and how often the backup takes place.
Disadvantages of Cloud Storage
It might seem obvious, but to backup and access your files, you’re going to need internet access. Now that’s usually not a problem in most situations, but there may be times when your service goes down, and you’re not able to access important documents.
Storage Limits of Free Services
Most of the free services will have a maximum storage capacity. After that, you’ll need to upgrade. While the space provided may seem pretty big, it doesn’t take too many video files to suddenly realize that you need more space.
Monthly Subscription Fees for Paid Services
Now, it has to be said that you can get great storage for a very low cost, but it’s still important to consider what the service is costing you over the period of a year. Do shop around but make sure you sign-up with a reliable and professional service
Hard Disk Cloning
For many people, backing up their files is a selective process. They decide which files or types of files that are important enough to ensure that they are protected. If you opt for hard disk cloning to back up your files, then you’re going to be copying every last bit of data that sits on your computer’s hard drive.
This then means that if your computer dies, then you can use the cloned data to produce a replica of your old PC on your new machine.
Disadvantages of Hard Disk Cloning
When you clone a hard drive, it’s going to need a large amount of storage. That’s because partitions are immediately created on the target disk, which means that it’s not an option to compress or encrypt the data.