If you’ve spent hours painstakingly ripping audio CDs or video DVDs, you may want to back those files up, too, so you don’t have to do all that work over again. Even if you do use a backup software option, there is always the chance of that failing. Try unplugging it, restarting your computer, and then plugging it back into a different USB port. Easy to use. If it’s backing up to the internet, it can automatically do that every single day. If you don’t want to pay anything and want to primarily rely on local backups, consider using a file-syncing service like Dropbox, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive to synchronize your important files online. Some equipment no longer includes a drive for this purpose. But, you should know the pros and cons of these different methods, to choose a suitable method for you. You’ve probably heard about countless different backup methods, but which one is right for you? In order to back up your Windows computer, you will need an external hard drive on which to store the backup. Everyone loses data at some point in their lives. By submitting your email, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Because you want both offsite and onsite backups. There are several ways to back up your PC. Dropbox is designed to sync your files between PCs, while Backblaze and similar services are designed to backup large amounts of files. Top five ways to back up your computer: Solutions that work. Ideally, those copies should be in more than one physical location. USB stick. He's written about technology for nearly a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Effortlessly back up your files to the cloud. The hard and fast rule of backups is to have 3 different storage types, one of which should be off-site. Ideally, a 3-2-1 backup strategy is recommended, this means 3 copies of your data, 2 on-site but on different mediums, and 1 offsite. Wait for Windows to start the Backup process. How-To Geek is where you turn when you want experts to explain technology. If you want to back up the data on your PC, here are five ways you can do so. Inserting the device should automatically bring up a dialog box asking if you’d like to use it for Time Machine’s backup. USB flash drives are like tiny solid-state drives that you can carry in your pocket. Lisa Johnston is a former Lifewire writer and an editor who covers computer peripherals and other consumer electronics since 2004. Can store safely in a second location (safety deposit box, for example). Nowadays, you have many ways to back up your data. You can back up all the data to an external drive using the computer’s built-in backup features. Then, only when you have a system backup, the computer can return to normal in a short time. Select the Start button, then select Control Panel > System and Maintenance > Backup and Restore. The above article may contain affiliate links, which help support How-To Geek. The Select Drive window also offers a Add Network Location for storying your drives on a networked storage space. Saving your data to an external device. Chris Hoffman is Editor in Chief of How-To Geek. Backups don’t have to be hard or confusing, though. That’s just $7 for your first year. You can choose to compress your backups to save space, although it's worth noting that this will slow down the backup process. So, if you back up to an online server, like Backblaze or Dropbox, that’s an offsite backup. There is absolutely no excuse for not having a backup your computer files as an external hard drive is now very cheap to buy. Just make sure you have a solid backup strategy, with onsite and offsite backups, so you have a wide safety net against ever losing your files. There are different devices and software to back up your computer data. As long as you’re actually thinking about what you’ll do if your computer dies, you should be way ahead of most people. And what files do you really need to back up? Let’s start with the obvious: what do you need back up? All that may sound complicated, but the more you automate your backup system, the more frequently you’ll be able to back up and the greater the odds you’ll stick with it. The 10 Best Hard Drives for PlayStation 4, The 10 Best Hard Drives for Gaming in 2020, How to Move Your Data and Programs to a New Hard Drive, 3 Best Free Full Disk Encryption Programs, The 8 Best Commercial Backup Software Programs of 2020, Sea Tech Aluminum External USB Blu-ray Writer Review, How to Back Up Your Mac to an External Hard Drive With Time Machine. We call this built-in utility tool Backup and Restore. Such services charge a monthly (or yearly) fee in … This site will discuss each of them and make it as easy as ABC to back up your computer. It automatically saves copies of files from your desktop, libraries, and your default windows folders. Turn on PC folder backup to automatically back up and sync your Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folders to OneDrive. You can also use any computer to go to the OneDrive website and sign in to access your files. Well, first and foremost, you need to back up your personal files. You can just set it up once, and forget it. It’d be a bit more inconvenient, but that’s technically an offsite backup. Click Back up files under Back up files or your entire computer. You can save your files to your computer, but it is recommended you use an external device. Onsite backups are faster and easier, and should be your first line of defense against data loss. It's probably best to stay away from newer services. If you have to plug in an external drive, you have to put in more effort, which means you’ll back up less often and you may eventually stop doing it. section, click the Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7) option. Once connected, which involves little more than plugging it … You may find it useful to copy the contents of your backup to an external storage drive too, which could come handy in case of a system failure or a drive failure.. What Is a NAS (Network Attached Storage) Device? So be careful when deleting those files if you might want them back! Bear with me folks, this ride may get a little rough! Note Data that you back up by using Windows Vista Backup and Restore Center can be restored only on a Windows Vista operating system. Under the "Looking for an older backup?" Click the Turn On button to start the backup process rolling. 6 easy and effective ways to back up your PC Back up files to OneDrive. So today here we are with the top five ways to back up your computer. That way, if either fails, you still have a backup. What’s the Best Way to Back Up My Computer? Online backup services scan your hard drive for files worthy of protecting, encrypt them for security, and send them up to the company's online servers. All Rights Reserved. 1. Using a USB cable or other method of connection, plug the storage device into the computer you wish to back up. An external hard drive is a portable piece of equipment that lets you increase the amount of storage space on your computer. For … Plug the device into your computer. How to back up your entire Windows 10 PC, including program files, settings, and data Decide where you will keep your backup. There are a lot of ways to use these services in tandem, and it’s up to you how to do it. And here's the key: Make sure your backup includes older versions of your files. It can operate either wired or wirelessly—depending on the drive and your computer—and once configured, it can display as simply another drive on your computer. And because the backup is on a server far away, any event cataclysmic enough to destroy both your original and the cloud backup would make your backup data the least of your concerns. Note: If your Backup Drive has limited storage space, select Let Me Choose option and manually select the Files and Folders to be included in the Backup. A good way to start is by having the original copy of your data, along with an external hard drive or clone at home, and an off-site solution like an online backup provider. 7. EaseUS Todo Backup - Most People’s Choice to Backup Computer By far the easiest way to backup your computer with EaseUS Todo Backup Free is to select the System Backup option. To conveniently back up computer files, documents, family photos and images, choose more than one way to save your files from being lost or deleted forever. That way, if you ever lose your local backup, you’ll at least have an online copy. Big players in the cloud storage field include: Plenty of other cloud storage services are around: MegaBackup, Nextcloud, Box, Spideroak One, and iDrive, to name a few. But you shouldn’t rely on onsite backups alone. It … You can also use a high-capacity flash drive for this step.Step 2, Open Start … Get the Latest Tech News Delivered Every Day, The Best Ways to Store Digital Photographs, 17 Best Free Cloud Storage Services for Backup in 2020, The Best Cloud Storage Options for the iPad. Create a clone of your hard drive. They're usually wired devices, although some have wireless capabilities. Choose if you’d like it encrypted and the click “Use as Backup Disk”. If you’re the type of person that likes to play around with system files, edit the registry, and regularly update your hardware, having a full system backup may save you time when things go wrong. With software, you can schedule backups and never worry about them again. Plus, you can get a special discount just for being a Kim Komando fan. Since your data is in a remote location, you can access it from anywhere by both computer and mobile device as long as you have internet access. Small, cheap and convenient, USB sticks are everywhere, and their portability means that they’re easy to... 2. Your operating system, programs, and other settings can also be backed up. Click or tap here to save 90% on 5 TB of cloud backup. The easiest way to protect your data in case of robbery or disaster is to complement your local backup with an online backup service. Easy to misplace (not recommended for long-term storage of crucial information because of this risk). You can’t go back and recover a deleted file or the previous version of a file after this 30 day period. If you lose files, you can quickly restore them from an external drive. How to Backup iPhone or iPad to Windows PC. With software, you can schedule backups and … Backblaze will keep multiple copies of different versions of your files, so you can restore the file exactly as it was from many points in its history. Once the gold standard in data backup, burning data to CDs, DVDs, or Blu-ray discs is now a much less popular, albeit still reliable, method of data backup. A cloud storage service is similar to using an online backup service: you upload data online where it can be kept securely yet accessed easily from any PC – … Many now come with USB 3.0 capabilities, but your computer must also have USB 3.0 to take advantage of this feature. To create a full backup of Windows 10 with the system image tool, use these steps: Open Settings. You can use the tools integrated into Windows or download a third-party backup tool. External hard drive. Can get pricey for large amounts of data as you continue to buy additional discs. Sure, you can rely on outdated, time-intensive methods to back up your documents, but your best bet is to sign up for IDrive. Offsite backups are stored at a different location. “Onsite” literally means backups stored at the same physical location as you. Offsite backups don’t have to be a server on the Internet, either, and you don’t have to pay a monthly subscription for one. That’s why you should use an automated tool instead of copying files to an external drive by hand. You don’t have to back them up, necessarily, but it can make your life easier if your entire hard drive fails. Similarly, you could also store your files in Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive and performing regular backups to an external drive. Should be stored off-site in case of fire or another catastrophe. Here are the strengths and weaknesses of each: While backup programs like Backblaze and cloud storage services like Dropbox are both online backups, they work in fundamentally different ways. Click Start, type backup in the Start Search box, and then click Backup and Restore in the Programs list. Click the Turn On button. It also works for iOS devices. That’s one reason we really like online services like Backblaze. Windows Backup Windows is an operating system that has built-in tools that can help you with backing up your valuable files. Here are the strengths and weaknesses of each: Back Up to an External Drive : If you have an external USB hard drive, you can just back up to that drive using your computer’s built-in backup features. More so, you are allowed to restore files from system backup if you mistakenly delete the files in use. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Michael Heine is a CompTIA-certified writer, editor, and Network Engineer with 25+ years' experience working in the television, defense, ISP, telecommunications, and education industries. (Just your data, mind you.) Backblaze and Carbonite do have one big limitation you should keep in mind. Do one of the following: If you've never used Windows Backup before, or recently upgraded your version of Windows, select Set up backup, and then follow the steps in the wizard. External hard drives are just what they sound like – hard drives that live outside your... 3. It doesn't get much easier than this: Plug an external storage drive into your PC and get started. You can do this by using one of your computer's USB ports. Click on Backup. You could back up your files to a hard drive and store it at your office, at a friend’s house, or in a bank vault, for example. Ideally, you’d use at least two of them. Since we launched in 2006, our articles have been read more than 1 billion times. Join 350,000 subscribers and get a daily digest of news, geek trivia, and our feature articles. Of... CDs/DVDs/Blu-ray Discs. You can always reinstall your operating system and redownload your programs if your hard drive fails, but your own personal data is irreplaceable. Solid-state drives have less risk but can be expensive for large-capacity drives. Data secured in a remote location. The best Cloud storage services keep your data safe with end-to-end encryption. There are many ways to back up your data, from using an external drive to backing up those files on a remote server over the Internet. How to Transfer an ‘Animal Crossing’ Island to a New Nintendo Switch, How to Change Emoji Reactions in Instagram DMs, How to Clear Your Recently Played List on Spotify, How to Unpair Two Amazon Echo Alexa Speakers in a Stereo Pair, © 2020 LifeSavvy Media. Backup Destinations External Drives. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than 500 million times---and that's just here at How-To Geek. Time Machine. So which should you use? On the next screen, make sure you are happy with the Backup Settings and click on Save settings and run backup button to make the first backup of your computer. Set up PC folder backup and OneDrive will automatically back up and sync all the files in your Desktop, Documents, and Pictures folders. So, if you back up to an external hard drive and store that at home with your home PC, that’s an onsite backup. Or you could use Backblaze to back up online and Windows File History to create a local backup. Creating a clone of your hard drive is similar to … There are many ways to back up your data, from using an external drive to backing up those files on a remote server over the Internet. RELATED: You're Not Backing Up Properly Unless You Have Offsite Backups. While they were once expensive and available only in small capacities, their prices have dropped and size increased. Why? If you’re not regularly backing up your computer, you could lose those files forever. Back up to an external USB hard drive. Keeping everything automatic is well worth the price. In addition, you can consider adding an extra layer of your important files by creating a file backup. The old standby for backup is to copy your files to a shiny disc. External drives connect to your computer to provide extra storage, usually with a USB cable. ApowerManager: The approach for backups with this software is a little different, in that you back up files to your SD card for transfer to PC. External and portable hard drives connect to one computer at a time. If you delete a file on your computer, it will be deleted from your online backups after 30 days. You can view and edit your files from the OneDrive app on other devices, including Androids and iPhones. Those can never be replaced. External devices include USB drives, Solid State Drives (SSDs), Compact Disks, etc. Your external hard drive must be formatted for use with a PC for this to work. With IDrive, you can back up all your data without worry. Click on Update & Security. There are many ways to back up your data, from backing up to an external drive to uploading copies of your data to a remote server over the Internet. You can access it anywhere you can reach the internet. Hard disk drives run the risk of failure. You can backup to an external USB drive, backup to network drive, backup to NAS or SAN, backup to personal cloud or even backup to Dropbox or other Cloud storage. You don't want to sign on one day and learn the startup you use to store your data has gone out of business. A NAS (network-attached storage) is a server that’s dedicated to saving data. The downsides remain … 5 Ways to Back up Your Data Keep It in the Cloud. What are the ways to back up your files? It can be your favorite mp3 song collection, those movies that you never watched, your precious email lists and so much more. 6. They also offer free storage space and reasonable fees for additional space. And, while services like Dropbox are free for small amounts of space, Backblaze’s low price is for as big a backup as you want. For the ultimate in safety, choose two and use them concurrently. Free space and affordable upgrades. Must reach the internet to access your backup files. Although this method requires you to physically connect your iPhone or iPad to a computer using a lighting cable, this eliminates the need to rely on a fast and stable internet … Ultimately, you just need to think about where your files are and ensure you have multiple copies at all times. For example, use an off-site cloud storage service with on-site network-attached storage (NAS). Step 1, Connect an external hard drive to your Windows computer. Any personal documents, photos, home videos, and any other data on your computer should be backed up regularly. The absolute best way to backup your computer files is to use an external hard drive which simply connects to your computer via a USB cord. Each method has its pros and cons. Your computer’s hard drive could fail tomorrow, ransomware could hold your files hostage, or a software bug could delete your important files. Assumes future of CD-capable technology. Choose the best backup solution that works for you—we discuss some of our favorites here. Learn more Access your PC files without your PC. You can access it anywhere... Save It to an External Hard Drive. If your home burns down or all the hardware in it is stolen by thieves, you’d lose all your files. Depending on how much data you have, one could be cheaper than the other. ... and an incredibly safe way to backup your most important files. Not having a backup your most important files them concurrently be deleted from your desktop, Documents and! ’ s just $ 7 for your first year today here we are with top. 3 different storage types, one could be cheaper than the other,! A file after this 30 day period what ’ s dedicated to saving data by... For you—we discuss some of our favorites here advantage of this feature rely on onsite backups alone Restore...: Plug an external hard drives are just what they sound like hard... 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