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Stop Making Excuses For Not Backing Up Your Computer

Stop Making Excuses For Not Backing Up Your Computer

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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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

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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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