Last Updated on December 1, 2023 by Daniel Osakwe
How to Backup Your Computer Data
In today’s digital age, safeguarding your data is more critical than ever. While hard drives may not crash as frequently as they used to, the risk of data loss still lurks around every corner. From corrupt files and frozen applications to the dreaded ransomware attacks and accidental file deletions, your data is constantly at risk. This article will guide you through the best practices for data backup, ensuring your peace of mind.
Table of Contents
Protecting Your Precious Data: A Comprehensive Guide on How to Backup Your Computer Data
The Three-Two-One Rule
Before we dive into the various backup methods, let’s start with the golden rule of data protection: the Three-Two-One Rule. This rule dictates that you should keep three copies of your important data on two different types of media, and store one of those copies offsite. With this rule in mind, let’s explore different backup strategies.
Backup to External Hard Drive
One of the simplest forms of data backup is to create a copy of your data on an external hard drive. You can achieve this by acquiring an external USB drive and connecting it to your computer. Then, copy your important files and folders onto the external drive. While this method is straightforward, it’s essential to remember to perform regular backups. Fortunately, Windows users can take advantage of the built-in backup tool, available in Windows 10 and Windows 11.
See the list of our best external hard drives in the market
To set up backups on Windows, follow these steps:
- Right-click on the Windows icon at the bottom and select “Settings.”
- Navigate to “Update and Security,” and click on “Backup” on the left-hand side.
- Under “Backup using File History,” click “Add drive” and select your USB drive.
- Configure backup frequency (hourly, every 10 minutes, daily, etc.) and retention (how long to keep backups).
- Select the files to be backed up and click “Backup now.”
Once set up, your backups will happen automatically as long as the external hard drive is connected.
Network Attached Storage (NAS)
If you have multiple computers and devices that need to be backed up, it’s time to consider Network Attached Storage (NAS). You can achieve this in two ways: by repurposing an old computer or purchasing a dedicated NAS device, such as those offered by Synology.
Using an old computer:
- Utilize devices like TrueNAS to create a system that automatically backs up data from all your devices on the network.
Purchasing a NAS device:
- NAS devices are specifically designed for data storage and backup. They offer software and data management advantages and can set up automatic backups for all your devices.
The key advantage of NAS over external hard drives is that it can back up multiple devices without the need to manually transfer drives between them.
See our list of the best NAS devices in the market
How to Backup Your Computer Data Offsite
No backup strategy is complete without offsite storage. Storing all your backups at home puts them at risk in case of a catastrophic event, such as a fire, flood, or theft. To mitigate this risk, consider these options:
- Cloud Storage: Services like Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox offer convenient and secure cloud storage solutions. Windows 10 and Windows 11 provide built-in integration with OneDrive. If you already have a Microsoft Office 365 subscription, you get one terabyte of data storage included.
- Physical Offsite Storage: If you prefer a tangible backup, consider keeping one of your external hard drives at a trusted friend’s house, a family member’s place, or even in your car. Diversifying the physical location of your backups ensures their safety.
Remember that trusting a cloud provider with your personal data is a big decision. Be sure to explore encryption and security measures to keep your files safe from prying eyes.
By following these backup strategies and implementing the Three-Two-One Rule, you’ll significantly reduce the risk of data loss and ensure that your important files and documents are safe and secure. Don’t leave your data to chance – take action today to protect your digital life. If you find this guide on how to backup your computer data helpful, kindly hi the share button so others can benefit too. Cheers!