When was the last time you made copies of all your important data; your contacts, your emails, documents, images, files that were a result of your hard work? Regularly copying them to another medium is surely the simplest, as well as the cheapest way of protecting this kind of data. Although this may end up as an action that you may never need, if it does happen, you will be really grateful that you had done your backup.
Backup is a process in computing that relates to the creation of copies of data from the original source in case the original source of data gets damaged or lost. Data can be files and/or programs. Big companies, that place a great importance on data safety, as well as uninterrupted and regular system operations, often use different backup strategies.
The mere principle of backups is very simple. Namely, data is copied to another location – a disc in a RAID system, backup server, or a high-capacity portable media – and brought back if needed.
According to some research, over 80% of PC users are well aware of the significance of regularly backing up their systems. However, in reality, the percentage of those who actually do so is much lower. However, it is encouraging to see that many people are becoming more and more aware of the importance of backups and data recovery.
How often should you do backups? The answer to this question can be quite individual; it all depends on the function and purpose of your computer use (work or leisure), and how much time (a couple of hours a week or every day) you spend on the computer. However, it's safe to say that a good recommendation would be to back up your files at least once a week; so that in case of any problems, you would lose data that are a week-old at most.
The first step is obviously to choose the data you want to back up, but you should also be aware that there are different methods in which you can do backups. There are two most popular ways users usually choose for protecting their valuable files.
The first one is the so-called external backup. This implies the use of an external medium unattached to your computer. This can be a DVD, USD port, but most often, it's a portable hard drive (due to its capacity).
The other option is a cloud backup system. In order to back up your files to a cloud, your computer has to be connected to the Internet. In this case, your files are being kept on a server far away from your PC, so that in case of an emergency, no damage threats related to your PC could reach it. There are numerous options to choose from for cloud-based backup options, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, Carbonite, etc.