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Backing up a PC should be something that everyone learns, especially a PC gamer. Imagine you’re completing a bunch of games simultaneously and your PC encountered a problem where are files were lost. This would mean all save files would also be lost potentially leading to hundreds of hours worth of gaming down the drain.
Backing up your PC might seem pointless if you’ve had a system for years that hasn’t encountered a single issue. However, you never know when a virus or problematic malware will find its way into your system causing you to restore the system to factory conditions. Alternatively, your hard drive might get corrupted due to prolonged use – there are a number of ways that personal data can be gone out of your reach for good.
There are different methods that files can be backed up. So take a look at each one in turn and determine which one best suits your requirements and is within your budget.
One of the simplest ways to backup your PC that can be understood by just about anybody that owns a PC is using an external hard drive. You buy an external hard drive such as Seagate Expansion 2TB Portable External Hard Drive, and plug it in via USB.
You can transfer files to the external hard drive manually, or use the Windows automated backup features where periodically data is transferred over to the external drive. The advantage of using an external drive when backing up your PC is that they are fast and cheap. Also you can make use of more than one external drive to back up different types of data onto different drives.
The disadvantages of external drives is that they can also get corrupted and break down. Also such drives can get stolen or lost, which also equates in the personal data being lost.
When selecting which external hard drive to buy pay attention to the amount of data storage it offers. The more data it can hold the more it will cost. Therefore, assess your needs and buy one accordingly. In the event that you run out of data you can always purchase more external drives down the line.
There are a bunch of internet based backup services such as BackBlaze, Carbonite and MozyHome. Each of these requires a monthly fee that’s fairly low, around $5, and in return you can send your files over to their storage devices. In the event that you lose all your files, then you can login to the service you’re using and download all of the files that you need.
This removes the hassle of having to buy an external drive, but there are a few disadvantages. First of all the cost is going to be higher. That’s because over time the subscriptions fees will add up and be bigger than the cost of an external drive. Furthermore, you need to send your files over the internet, which means the speed of the transfer is going to be limited by your internet connection – this might be fast or slow.
On the positive side backing up your PC via the internet means that you are outsourcing the responsibility of your files to a trusted company. They have the experience and technical equipment to ensure that your data is kept safe for as long as you need it to be.
Make sure to do your own research about a backup service before selecting them. Read reviews and testimonials to find out how trustworthy and capable they are. Blindly jumping into a service might disappoint you down the line.
A number of cloud based services exist such as Google Drive, Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive. You can use these to store data, and for a limited amount of GB’s the services are free of charge. If you only have a limited amount of data that is precious enough to backup then these services are perfect as you won’t need to pay a dime. On the other hand, if you need to backup a lot of data then paying for the extra storage is required.
The way it works is that you create an account at one of these cloud based storage solutions and your account is sync up to their storage devices. The advantage of such a service is that is accessible by anyone, and you probably already have an account that can be utilized such as a Google or Microsoft account. It’s also a plus that these services are free up to a limited amount.
You can even use all of the cloud based services that you can find to backup data to their free limits. This way you can backup reasonable amounts of data for free. However, you’ll need to keep track of where all the data is stored.
The negatives of such services is that it can be expensive when you decide to store large amounts of data at a particular service. Also the speed of file transfer is limited by the speed of your internet connection. If your internet connection is slow then you’ll be waiting a while to download large volumes of files.
So which type of backup system should you choose? Consider your requirements and after evaluating them it might be the case that only one of these solutions actually makes sense. For instance, if you only need a few gigabytes of storage space then a free cloud based storage solution is the way to go. On the other hand, if you need a storage solution that you can physically take with you then an external drive is the one for you.
Furthermore, there is no reason why you cannot make use of a few different backup solutions. Trying each one out gives you the first-hand experience to decide which one is perfect for your needs.