With all the documents and personal information that is saved onto desktop and laptop computers these days, it is extremely important to back up files. Many people work from home and create documents in Word and Excel, personal pictures to cherish memories of friends and family, and financial data for tax filing and more are crucial reasons to have a backup available if the unimaginable happens to the originals. There are many options available for creating a backup point periodically or to save individual files are they are created. Some of these choices are; an external drive, an online data backup subscription, burning to a DVD, and a system snapshot.
An external hard drive is a popular choice because it offers the safety of saving the files to an extra location and the convenience of its portability. Externals drives come in a variety of storage sizes, from just a few GB’s to over a TB. These drives are fairly easy to use and many do most of the work themselves, after being plugged in to a power source and the computer system. When an external hard drive is first connected to a computer system, a screen will come up asking what you would like to do, with create a backup as one of the options to click. After your initial backup is created, you can then save files on your own by selecting that drive as well when saving.
Online data backups are extremely convenient but some can be costly. The point of these services is to offer a backup solution where you can basically set it and forget it. Once signed up for a subscription, which usually begins with a free trial, you can set the day and time that you would like the backups to occur and your system information will be saved at that time. These online backup services are more of a periodic alternative to routinely backing up information rather than saving documents as they are created. Example – mozy.com, idrive.com
Another option is to burn a DVD with the files you want to ensure will be available to you in the event your computer crashes. A downside to this method is that DVD’s do not always offer the ideal amount of storage for large files or a large amount of files. Pictures take up more space than most documents, and videos even more, so DVD’s might not be a good choice for these files. A DVD would not be a good option for saving as created files because files might be much smaller than the space available on the DVD. This option is more for an intermittent backup solution.
Finally, a system snapshot is yet another of the many options available. It is a program that creates restore points for the computer system utility. It can be arranged to start when Windows starts and also to automatically create a restore point at a recurrent date and time. There are also different ways to personalize the program by adding the tray icon for user generated backup points and also a description for the restore point.
Whichever option chosen, make sure all factors are considered; the extent of your system, the amount and size of files to be backed up, how you want the backups performed, and of course, the price range you have.