“Make sure you back it up!” is not just a mantra for commercial computer users, it’s one that should also be used in home computing. Essential data could be made up of many things you don’t want to lose if your computer unexpectedly crashes. Precious photos of the family, important work documents, copies of letters or even entire websites – these all need to be backed up securely. Here are three suggestions on how to go about it: –
1. Back up to discs or USB sticks
If your essential data is quite small in size, you could probably fit it onto a rewritable DVD or USB stick. The advantage is that you don’t need to have a great deal of technical knowledge – anyone who has saved a file on a USB stick is able to back something up onto it. However, if you have a lot of data, such as home videos or other large files, this may not be for you.
2. Back up to an external hard drive
This is a more secure option as it means there’s no chance of deterioration (in the case of DVDs) or getting lost (like a small USB stick). The cost of external hard drives drops every year and now most home computing data can fit onto one drive. Often, these drives also come with software to help you through the backup process.
3. Back up to the cloud
This is the best option for people who still need frequent access to the data that they back up, such as work documents or important office spreadsheets, for example. There are many free cloud data services that will let you have a free account to start with, such as Google Drive or Dropbox. A copy is automatically saved online as well as on your computer, so you don’t need to remember to run a formal backup.
Backing up is a good habit often ignored in home computing. If your computer does fail but you’ve backed everything up, rest assured that PC Callout can help you restore your data quickly and effectively.