Anyone who has used a computer for any length of time knows that technology can fail from time to time. A computer can lock up, causing you to have to reboot, without any notice whatsoever. Computers are also susceptible to viruses, worms, or other intrusions that are designed to disrupt operation. What this means to you is that you should take precautions in order to protect your data. Backing up your files is a no brainer–the only question is how to go about it. Following are a few tips on how to back up files on your home PC.
Manual Backup Is a Surefire Method
There are a number of ways that you can back up your personal files. Manual backup is the most common. Doing it yourself is the best way to make absolutely sure that your files are indeed backed up. Instead of trusting the backup to an automated system, you use your mouse to copy the files you want to save, and then highlight the destination folder, whether it’s on your own hard drive or an external drive.
Flash Drives are Convenient
A good way to save your personal data that has been around for a few years now is a flash drive. Sometimes called a memory stick or a jump drive, this convenient device slips into a handy USB port on your computer. You simply highlight the files you want to back up, copy them, and then paste the files on your flash drive.
CD’s and DVD’s Work Well
If you’re looking for a way to back up the files on your home PC that can be used on other computers, then CD’s and DVD’s work well. Information is written onto a CD or DVD. The information is formatted in such a way as to be usable by other computers, so if you want to use your files on another computer, all you have to do is ‘burn’ the files onto the CD or DVD and then slip the disk into a different computer.
External Hard Drives Hold Lots of Files
Many people who have a lot of photos or videos that they need to back up will opt for an external hard drive, which is a separate piece of hardware that connects to your computer, usually through a USB port. The external hard drive can run off an electrical cord plugged into an outlet, or draw its power from the computer through the USB hookup. The means of transfer is the same as other external devices–highlight the files, copy them, and then paste them in a predetermined location on your external hard drive.
Online Backup Is the Modern Method of Backing Up Files
A somewhat new method of backing up files is to make use of the Internet to store your files. This method doesn’t require you to have a physical means of backing up the files, because they’re electronically transferred from your computer to a designated location on the Internet. Generally referred to as saving to ‘the cloud,’ this is a service that many companies are now offering. It is extremely convenient, because there is no need to have a physical device to transfer files to.
Try Automatic Backup
Although manual backup is regarded as extremely safe, because you’re in charge of when and how your files are backed up, many people now use automatic backup to save their data. With this method, you can set up your system to automatically back up your files to a predetermined location, at a preset time. Automatic backup is available for external devices, as well as through online service providers.
Save Your Files with Windows Backup and Restore
It is also possible to use your own computer to backup your data automatically. You can set up the backup and restore on your PC to save your files automatically to an external device of your choice. Most new computers offer this option and will continue to pop up until you either go through the set up process, or disable it.
Use a Separate Computer
A safe way to back up the personal files on your home PC is to use an external device to transfer the files from your PC to another computer. Many people use their laptop computer as a backup for their home PC. The files from your home PC can also be transferred electronically over the Internet to a separate computer.
Guest post from Bailey Harris. Bailey writes for InsuranceCompanies.org.