Backup your PC

How to Backup your PC Locally

Anyone who’s ever lost all their data to a computer crash or a fire knows the true value of periodic backups. You don’t have to wait for such a disaster but can start backing up your data now, so that you can work with complete peace of mind, assured that your data is safe.

What are the files that need to be backed up?

For most people, the obvious answer to this question will be documents, project files, financial documents, videos, music, photos and the like. But in addition to these, it is also recommended to backup the files of your mail client as well as your browser bookmarks and settings.

Another important backup is of your drive, also known as disk imaging. An image is a complete replica of all the data, programs and system files. This is very useful in the event of a crash, since you can restore your system to the way your computer was when it was backed up before the crash, similar to a reset. This is ideally done on a Boot CD or a flash drive, so that your computer can be restored almost immediately.

What is a local backup?

Backing up your PC is basically copying files and data to another location outside your PC. This could either be an external hard drive or storage device connected to the computer or a remote location on the ‘cloud’, where the data is transferred via the internet by a third party service provider.

Why should I choose local backup over cloud backup?

Cloud backup or Online backup provides many facilities such as offsite backup and relatively less work for the user. It is also safer against vandals or natural disasters in your area like fire and floods.

However, cloud backup comes with its own risk – what if the third party service provider ups and leaves? An unexpected company shutdown could spell disaster for your backed up data. Also, there is a limit to the amount of data that can be transferred over the internet; large sizes can also impair speed, particularly if your internet connection is shaky. And even though data transferred over the cloud is encrypted and secure, for extremely sensitive data, it is still suggested to keep your backup close. In such situations and for large enterprises with huge amounts of data, it is recommended to use local or offline backup. Offline backups are also said to restore faster.

What methods do local backup systems use?

On a very basic level, local backup or archiving can be achieved by using windows explorer and simply copying files to your external storage device. Of course, doing this action manually is inconvenient, not to mention high chances of simply forgetting to backup making it an unsustainable method.

To overcome this problem, you need specialized backup software, which schedules backups at regular intervals and also possesses several other features like knowing

Exactly what files to pull for each backup? These are also essential for making images of drives which cannot be done manually. Software like this also makes recovering specific files a lot easier.

Windows and Mac come with their own inbuilt backup mechanisms. Windows has the wizard-style ‘Backup & Restore’ and Mac machines with OS X (Leopard) and above have the ‘Time Machine’. Other software solutions are also available – some are free and some come in combination with a storage device.

The working is usually in this fashion – install the hard drive and the backup software, while specifying the drives to be backed up. Run the first backup. Then leave the device connected to the PC and let further backups happen in the background at intervals set by the user. To create a recovery system, it is better to use a CD/DVD/Flash drive.

What devices are ideal for local backup?

While local backup can be done on CDs and flash drives, they aren’t usually advised. What is recommended is a drive with twice as much space as your computer, so that it holds everything in your PC and more. Drives that connect via USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt are faster than conventional USB 2.0 drives. They are easy to use, available and affordable.

Another option is using NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices. These can be connected to multiple devices on a network and facilitates backup without having to move or plug/unplug the device every time.

Apparently, 43% of computer users lose their music, photos, documents, and more every year. Going by the world’s current population, you can imagine what a large number that is. It goes without saying that every smart computer user should definitely set up a backup system in place. As discussed above, offline backup has a lot of advantages over the online version, but it has a major disadvantage in being susceptible to external problems like vandalism, fires and floods. Your best bet is to have two backups – Backup 1, which is a backup of your original data, and Backup2, which is a backup of Backup1. Backup1 should ideally be in a safe but accessible fireproof place, whereas Backup2 should be at a distant location, safe from any disaster that might strike your area.

The article is written and shared by the World well known Digital Marketing expert Gloria Philips and she recommends you to read my pc backup reviews and get helpful tips about PC backup.

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