Do you have all your family photos on your computer? Do you have unreplaceable documents in your files? Don’t lose all that info if the computer crashes, because IT WILL. Maybe not today or not this computer. The average person will have at least 1 computer crash in their lifetime. You don’t want it to happen to you if you don’t have your data backed up.
WAYS TO BACKUP
- External Hard Drive
- Network Attached Storage (NAS)
- Cloud Backup
External Hard Drive
The cheapest way to back up your data is to buy yourself an external drive and backup all your information to the drive. You can do this manually or use the built in backup software in Windows or MacOS.
When you look at buying an external drive get one that is at least the size of the hard drive on your computer. External Drives are cheap, you can get a 2TB drive for about $65 here
Simply plug in the hard drive to any USB port on your computer. Then on a Windows 10 computer, type backup in the white search box at the bottom of your computer screen.
Then choose Backup Settings. Then click Add a drive.
Choose your new external drive. This is usually the letter of the alphabet furthest along. Usually E: or F: but can be any letter that your computer assigned it. If you are unsure, unplug the drive and see which letter goes away. Then plug it back in and choose the one that comes back.
Once this is selected the computer will start to back up all your Photos, Documents and music to the new hard drive and you are protected from a computer crash.
On a MacOS computer you want to use the Time Machine application to set up your backup in much the same way. Go to your applications and choose Time Machine and follow the directions.
Network Attached Storage (NAS)
If you have more than 1 computer you want to back up at your location you can get what is called a Network Attached Storage or NAS device. This hard drive is attached to your network, usually right next to the router. Once this is set up you can backup all the computers on your network to the same location, instead of having an external drive for each computer.
These are nice because you can also use them to share documents and photos between the computers on your network. Each NAS is a little different so you will want to follow the directions provided by the manufacturer to get it connected and running. After it is connected you can use the same process as the external drive to get your computers backed up. Just choose the network drive as the option for where to backup. A good model to look at is this WD My Coud
What if your house or office burn down or flood? How do you protect your data then? That is where Cloud backups come in. These are backups that are off site and are internet based. This protects you from any disasters at your home or business. They allow the option of even going to the library and logging into their website and accessing your information so you don’t lose anything.
There are many options out there to choose from. You can use Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, DropBox, Carbonite or a host of others out there.
Microsoft OneDrive gives you 5GB for free or 1TB if you have Microsoft 365 subscription. Comes preinstalled on your computer.
Google Drive gives you 15GB for free then charges for more, all you need is a gmail account. Google Drive
Dropbox starts at $10/month for 2TB of storage. You can start here Dropbox
Carbonite (my personal Favorite) is $72/year per computer but has unlimited storage available and has a great automatic feature that saves your data every time you change it so worst off you lose the last thing you were working on if something happens. Get started here carbonite
These are the best options to keep you safe and your data backed up on a constant schedule so you can be at ease about your photos and documents. If you would like help implementing any of these options please reach out to me and let me know.