A rule of thumb when using a personal computer is to always backup your data. Anyone can lose data at some point in their life; it could be because of an operating system crashing, hard drive failure, a ransomware holding the files hostage, or a software bug deleting all your important files. Creating a backup of your files is crucial as it reduces the risk of losing your data as a result of the aforementioned threats. The good news is, there are plenty of backup methods you can use for backing up your data. You can manually make quick copies of your files, or automatically backup your files as you do other stuff. Below is a guide on safest ways of backing up data.
1. Using External Hard Drives
An external hard drive is a hard disk similar to the one in your computer. They come in numerous shapes and sizes; some larger models often require a mains power source, and other lighter more portable drives connected to a computer through a USB cable, that draw power from the USB port. Hard drives are one of the cheapest choices for backing up data, and also very popular.
How do you backup? You simply connect the hard drive to your computer through the USB cable. You can then copy or drag and drop the files to the hard drive from your computer’s hard disk. Once all your important files are on the drive, you can keep it away in a safe location. If anything happens to your computer, you are sure to restore the backed up files from the external hard drives.
A potential drawback to using external hard drives is that they may fail for many different reasons. It is a rare occurrence, though, for new hard drives and most of them can last for years.
2. Using DVDs or Flash Drives
Flash drives are tiny, extremely portable, and often not longer than a stick of gum – also referred to as thumb drives. While DVDs are a cheap method of backing up data. Flash drives come in a variety of designs, with different storage capacities and can be attached to keychains. They are similar to hard drive method but uses flash memory.
How do you backup? You plug a flash drive into your computer through a USB port. A DVD is inserted in the DVD drive. You can then copy files to the flash drives, or burn data to the DVD using a disc burning software. The drawback is that DVDs have limited storage space, and can snap easily if not stored well. Flash drives can also break over time, or become corrupted.
3. Using Cloud Storage
This method involves storing your files on a server in a data center, away from your computer. You get the storage space by renting from a cloud storage company.
How do you backup? Once you have created an account with the cloud storage company, you have an option of uploading files using a desktop application or through the company’s website to your rented space. Its advantages; through the internet, you can view, edit and add your files any time you want, through any device – mobile or computer.
The drawback is that cloud services can be hacked and hence a breach of data. The cloud storage company might go out of business without notice. If you have a slow internet, files may take long to upload or download.