Everyone at least once in their lives would have lost their data. Even tech-savvy guys who fiddle with hard drives, format file systems or converting partition table with ease fail to successfully restore partitions and tend to lose data. There are different ways to backup a PC and can be confusing which one to choose. This article will help you with the various options available to backup your PC in a simple and easy manner.
Why to Backup?
Data loss is inevitable. Your hard drive could fail, your computer may become victim to malware, or a software bug might delete all your important data. If you don't back up your PC regularly, you would probably lose them forever.
How to Backup?
Backing up your PC is not hard, it's easy, simple and fast. But you should also know what to back up and what not. The computer's Operating System and programs can always be reinstalled or download them, it's the personal data like photos, home videos, documents etc. that need to be backed up first. If you lose your personal data, they can never be replaced.
Different Methods of Backup
There are many options available to back up your data. External storage drives to backing up data on cloud services. Let's look at some options and their pros and cons.
Internal Drive: File History is a backup utility available in Windows 10 and 8. This tool has limitation. It only backs up data that are placed in your user account's libraries. In order to backup, you need to create new libraries and add folders you want to backup in these libraries. And make these libraries appear in File Explorer. Once done, Windows will automatically create a backup of these files which can be restored if you lose them ever.
Pros: Its free and easy to back up.
Cons: Since backup files are stored on the internal hard drive itself, you'll lose all your files if something goes wrong with your hard drive. Unless you have backup the backup on an external drive.
External Drive: If you have an external drive like USB drive, external HDD etc. you can take a backup of all your important personal files to the drive by using your PC's inbuilt backup feature. Use File History on Windows 10 and 8 and Windows Backup on Windows 7. Once in a while, connect the USB drive and leave it plugged into the computer. Use the backup utility, and it will automatically backup the data.
Pros: Its cheap and easy to backup.
Cons: The possible drawback is that; the drive may get corrupted or fail over time. If any of this happens, you won't be able to access your files.
Cloud Services: Technically this isn't a backup method, but definitely will serve the purpose. Instead of just storing your data on your computer's hard disk, you can use services like Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, or other cloud services. This will sync to your other computers and your online accounts automatically. If there's any problem with your hard disk, you'll still have your copies of data stored on the cloud and other PCs.
Pros: Since it's online, it is easy and fast to store and can be accessed from a mobile or any computer.
Cons: The major setback is; you cannot access your files without the internet connection. Also, most of the cloud storage has limited free space. You have to buy extra space in order to store huge data. In addition, there are good chances of your account being hacked and files stolen. Then, restoring missing files from Dropbox or other cloud storage services might be difficult.
Multiple Backups: A Good Habit
Rather than just relying on only one backup method, it's always good to have multiple backups in at least 2 to 3 storage devices mentioned above. It's the best way to safeguard your important files. You can even store in secondary PC, if available. So, even if one backup gives up, you'll always have the copies of your personal files stored in other backup storage.
An Ending Note
Ensure your files are backed up in multiple locations all the time. Make a habit of backing up your PC regularly, like once a month or whenever a new data is added. As long as you are aware what needs to be done when your PC breaks down, there shouldn't be a thing to worry.
Senior Editor, Content Analyst and a fan of exceptional customer service. John develops and publishes instructional and informational content regarding partition management, Windows hot-fixes, data management and computer troubleshooting.
As a tenured data recovery specialist, John shares exceptional insights and blog posts about data loss and data recovery across any storage device. With 8+ years’ experience in writing for Data Recovery for both Mac OS and Windows OS computers, he is an avid learner who always wants to polish and simplify the data recovery process. John passes his free time playing Chess and reading Science Fiction novels.