One question I get more than most here at Frankenstein Computers is, ‘Should I be backing up my stuff ’ or ‘How do I back up my stuff ’.
So I thought today we could look at the few different ways our computers have of backing our things up on our computer. There are three main ways of back up files on your system. Manually backing up, automatic local back ups, and automatic online back ups. One thing to keep in mind is that backups should always be done to a device other than your computer. Often I will see customer’s comment that they have backed up their files to a specific location on their computer. This serves no purpose, as the goal of backing up is protecting you should something ever happen to your system.
The first way of backing up your data would be the manual way. This would be done by connecting an external hard drive (or a USB or a flash drive if there is not that much data) to your computer, finding the data you want to back up, and copy the file or folder (via right click) and navigating to the device (via My Computer) and pasting (again, via right click) the data onto the drive. The advantage of this is that you know what is defiantly backed up as you have done it yourself, however when manually backing your files up the biggest downside is human error such as forgetting a file or doing it improperly.
The second most common way of backing your data up is the automatic local back up. Many external hard drives you purchase will come with backup software on the actual device. Most external hard drives will proudly proclaim this feature on the products box so you should easily know if yours offers it or not. If you are unsure, you can simply plug your external hard drive into your system and, if so, some software will start asking you to set them up. If not, Windows offers its own automatic backup method in the control panel. The only downside to automatic backup software is need for connection. When it is time for your scheduled automatic backup you will need to make sure that the system is on and that your backup device is connected.
The third option, online backup, is the easiest of the options, but of course will require a fee. The most common is Carbonite, an online automatic backup service which costs around $60 for a year and once setup, it can and will take care of itself. There are also other available online backup programs available, however, at the moment Carbonite is our favorite.
Its ALWAYS a good idea to have solid backups. Better to be proactive than reactive! You never know when a hard drive could fail, viruses damage your system, or something physical happens! And, of course, if its just simply not something you want to deal with, let Frankenstein Computers help!
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