Stop making excuses for not backing up your computer. The reasons may not be obvious as these things run and run don’t they? Well, unfortunately computer components fail. And if your hard drive happens to be one of the things to go wrong then all of your precious data might go with it. This article will do its very best to convince you to start backing up your computer today.

Expect Failure

You’ve got to expect failure when your precious files, photos and videos are stored on a computer hard drive. It may come as a shock when it does happen but the blow can be lessened by knowing that you have a recent copy of your data. Your computer’s hard drive might last for years and you should enjoy the good times, but when it does fail you need to be prepared.

If you are reading this because you hard drive has started making funny clicking noises then do not delay. Make sure you get a full backup as quickly as possible – your drive is close to death and there may be data that you cannot access, but salvage what you can before it’s too late. Seriously.

Human Error

If you’ve been lucky enough not to experience hard drive failure you’ll probably know how it feels to accidentally delete something. It’s all too easy to delete important files either on purpose or by accident. It’s only afterwards that you realize that you’ve deleted something you need and recovery is at best difficult and at worst impossible.

Theft

No one likes to think that he or she is going to fall foul of a laptop theft but it does happen. If you have a backup that runs when your laptop is at home then at least you have something to fall back on if this horrible thing happens to you.

Backing Up Your Computer Is Easy

Whether you have an OS X Mac or Windows PC, it is easy to set up a backup procedure which will make sure that your data is safe. As a bare minimum you should have an external hard drive set up to keep a regular copy of data stored on your computer (laptop or desktop). For less than $100 and around 30 minutes setup time you can have a first line of defense. Follow these guides to get yourself going:

Mac OS X backup using Time Machine
Backup Windows machine using Windows Backup

Backup To The Cloud

There are a multitude of services that will back your computer up to the cloud. These services take copies of your files over the internet and store them on servers that are not in your home or business. Services such as Drive, OneDrive or Dropbox allow you to sync copies of files and store them in the cloud. These services are great for having a copy of your crucial files offsite in case your computer hard drive and external hard drive fail at the same time. The services all have free plans which can get you started, and when you hit the buffers you can upgrade and gain more space. Google has recently dropped their prices so you can now get 100GB of cloud storage for less than $2 per month. This is a very cheap and easy way of making sure that your files are safely stored offsite.

Another cloud-based option that you should consider for backing up your computer is one where all of your files are backed up to the cloud. These can be set and forgotten about as they will upload when files are updated. Carbonite provides plans for individuals / small businesses and they do not limit how much data is backed up. If you have a lot of data it can take weeks to get the first full backup. It’s also worth considering whether you have a monthly cap on your broadband connection. Check the terms of your broadband connection before signing up for one of these services as you do not want your backup to take you over a limit.

Backups Are For Everyone – Including You

Backing up your computer truly is for everyone not just tech geeks. If you use a digital camera (or smartphone camera) and store these files on a computer, then your special moments captured may be at risk. This is not just me trying to worry you, this is an inevitable fact. Even if you don’t take digital photos, documents that you have created and edited on your computer are at risk. I cannot emphasize enough how crucial setting up your back up is. If you couldn’t stand losing your data then make sure that you have an onsite backup for all files and offsite storage for everything you couldn’t be without.

Featured photo credit: Jon Ross via flickr.com

Love this article? Share it with your friends on Facebook