The Basics of Data Backup

Backing up data is very important. Unforeseen computer malfunctions and crashes can cause you to permanently lose large amounts of data. This isn’t only frustrating, but it can also set you back significantly if you are working on a project for work or school. Even if the data you have on your computer is only related to entertainment and leisure, it’s still important to back it up. Take, for example, your kid’s fifth birthday party pictures. If these were lost forever, that would be very sad.

Many data backup systems are free. Take Google Drive or OneDrive for example. While there is a storage limit, you can still store an adequate number of documents, photographs, videos, etc. on these programs. This type of data backup is called cloud backup, and it’s currently one of the most popular ways of backing up data. Big name cloud backup services are not only free, but they’re also generally pretty secure. While there have been some notable hacks of cloud backup services, you are probably better off using cloud backup than some of the other options that we will get into. Finally, cloud data backup is convenient because you can access your data on multiple devices. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, etc. are all examples of devices that you can use to view and edit your data. Note that you only need to upload the data to the cloud from one device in order for it to be accessible on all of your devices.

If cloud isn’t for you, there are other data backup systems. Consider a flash drive for small sized backups or an external hard drive for larger backups. The disadvantage of these systems is that copying your data onto a flash drive or an external hard drive doesn’t make the data accessible on all of your devices. Additionally, someone can steal one of these items, or you could simply lose them. With the cloud, someone would need your password (as well as additional information in some cases) in order to access your information. There are encryption methods available for flash drives and external hard drives, but encryption can be broken and sometimes the process of encrypting is difficult.

It is worth mentioning that no backup method has unlimited space (not even the cloud). For example, after you get past a certain number of gigabytes on the cloud, you’ll either have to delete files or pay for additional storage space. Sometimes people view the cloud as infinitely large, but it’s only as big as the amount that you are willing to pay (once you get to the pay threshold).

One final way of backing up data is a bit unconventional, but it can be useful. You can actually backup data using your e-mail. Simply create an e-mail account and e-mail all of your information to that address. Make sure that the e-mail doesn’t auto-delete your inbox and you’ll be set.