Backup The Backup Basics
The single most important thing you can ever do when you own a computer is backing it up, and in turn backing up the backups. Backing up your personal data like pictures, files, music, or any other personal files and their folders is a very important thing to do.
But when it comes to backing up data, we typically fall short of taking the time to get it done before its too late. With today's technology, there are many option to backing up your information. We are going to go over a few of those options.
Remember, If your hard drive fails in your computer and you have not backed up all of your important data, you lose it all. So backing up this data is very important because a hard drive is one of he most likely devices to fail on your computer due to the nature of its job.
If your hard drive does fail, you will lose your Windows Operating System, as well as any installed program. There is a way to secure those as well, but we will get to those in a later lesson. For now we will learn the basics of backing up your personal data.
Please be aware, backing up to one external device will only assure your data is safe x1. To assure you never lose your data, backup the backups to more then one device and often to avoid losing your important data.
External Hard Drives
An External Hard Drive is simply the same hard drive you would find in your laptop of desktop, but the difference is that it is within a plastic case for protection. External Hard Drives come in different sizes physically as well as well as storage size.
The two physical sizes are simply the difference in a a portable size that you can easily travel with or take with you anywhere you are going, and the desktop size which is for sitting on a desk or on a shelf in a home or business office.
The two also defer in size because like desktops and laptops, the portable version uses the same hard drive as a standard laptop, and the desktop version uses the same hard drive as a desktop does, simple as that. The only other difference is that a desktop external hard drive requires an ac adapter for power, and a portable does not.
The other factor in size difference is the storage size, which determines how much data that can be stored on the hard drive.
This is like any other hard drive and goes from 320GB (Gigabytes) to even 5 TB (Terabyte) drives. Depending on how much data you have to backup will depend on how large of a storage capacity you will need.
An external Hard drive connects to a computer via USB port. It will typically install the drivers upon plugging it and supplying power if a desktop version, then it becomes a drive option just like your internal hard drive of your computer.
Once installed, you can simply access the drive, and the easiest way to backup a folder like for instance you "My Documents" folder is to right click right click the folder with your mouse and choose copy, then open the external hard drive folder and right click and paste.
This will copy the contents of that folder into your external hard drive folder for safe keeping. Do the same with folders like My Music, My Pictures, for any folders or file that you have created on the desktop until you have all of your personal important files and folders.
A flash drive is another popular way to backup your important data, it also is a way to transfer data quickly across devices. Like the external hard drive it attaches via USB port, and works just like an external hard drive.
The only difference is that instead of a hard drive inside its little case,, it uses what is called flash memory to store files. Flash memory is simply a type of computer chip. While they dont come with the same high end storage capacity that external hard drives do, they were not designed for that purpose.
You may hear the name flash drive and not recognize the terminology that is because it is also know as a memory stick, a thumb drive, or even a USB drive. Either way, they are all the same device, with different names.
Most flash drives look alot alike, and like any other storage device the biggest difference is the storage size. Believe it or not, the very first flash drive was a whopping 8MB storage capacity. That would barely hold one song in today's world.
In todays World you can purchase a flash drive anywhere from 2GB to 256GB. Plenty of space to backup most anyone's personal data with the exception of their music data if you tend to have a large collection of music.
Another use for a flash drive is that it can also be used as a media device. Thats right!! If you have a USB port in your home or vehicle stereo, chances are it can be used to play music through a flash drive. All you need is music on your flash drive, and the plug and play flash drive can be used for an endless supply of musical enjoyment
Online Backup (Cloud Backup)
Backing your important data using an online app is another great option for backup. It allows you to backup to an off site location to secure your important data somewhere other then your house or office. This is important because having a backup of your data off site will secure it in the case of a natural disaster or even a fire.
Online backup requires that you have a connection to the internet to backup your information hence the name "Online Backup". It secures your data by managed credentials (Username & Password). So just like email or even your favorite social media site it requires login to access and manage your data.
There is a slight difference is an online backup app that is specifically designed to be setup to run an automated backup of your device, and an online backup apps that can be used to add files and folders manually as you choose.
Apps like Dropbox, Google Drive, or Microsoft Onedrive are more of the manual type backup apps, but they also allow you to sync files between devices. backing up important data is on these apps is as simple as the drag and drop method. Click on the folder on your device you want to backup, and drop it into the apps folder and its backed up online.
When it comes to the more complex or true versions of online backup apps, they gives you the ability to setup an automated backup which gives you the peace of mind that your data is always backed up and secured in the event that something happens to your device. A few examples would be Mozy, Carbonite, or Crashplan.
Not only is there cloud backup options for your computer, but you can most certainly find the same type of apps for backing up your cell phone, or tablet as well. When it comes to backing up your important data, its always a great idea to assure that each device that you possess with what you would consider to have important data on, needs to be backed up, and then backed up again.
Backing up to a CD or DVD disk used to be the standard before technology began to expand its horizons, and after the old floppy disk and zip drive disk days of course. And though it is still often a popular form of backup for the smaller backup jobs, they are slowly fading away in popularity for backup features.
The main reason being that a CD or DVD disk have a very limited amount of storage space, but most importantly its because they are notorious for their unreliability to keep your data safe because one good scratch makes them useless. So if you do use this method for backup, assure that you keep the disks in a good case.
In order to backup to a CD or DVD you must have a certain type of CD that allows data to be written to it. In the CD/DVD writable disk World there is the CD-R/DVD-R and the CD-RW/DVD-RW.
The difference is that the R disk will allow you to write to it one time. Once you save your data to the disk it cannot be erased. Where the RW has the capability to be erased or re-written too. Giving you the option to use it more then once, or adding data to an existing disk.
While I personally do not recommend backing up data for storage purposes on a CD or DVD, it is a great option for sharing your favorite pictures, creating that favorite music mix album, or wedding video for sharing with friends and family. It is important to note that although some devices have a cd/DVD player, they may not have the capability to play a re-writable disk.
As stated several times in this lesson, it is very important to know that the purpose is not only to emphasize the importance of backing up your personal data, but also to backup the backups to assure that you never lose those important files, music, pictures, or videos. I have seen hearts break over the loss of their personal data, because memories were lost in the battle, and it can happen to anyone at anytime at anytime. Be prepared for the worst, and you will have peace of mind when the time comes.
Always Backup the Backups!!!
Always Backup the Backups!!!