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If you’ve never experienced losing your work to some technical error, then count yourself lucky. Many times I’ve tried and tried to recover some sort of work I’ve lost on the computer, whether it was an accidental human error on my part, or a full blown hard drive failure. Backing up in today’s world is essential to ensure you don’t lose your work, as more and more of our work is on computers.
But what is the best way to do this? There are several options, and I will list the 3 main categories here.
1. Local backups, external hard drives (NAS, Time Machine)
External hard drives have been used for a long time to do backups; in fact maybe 5 years ago they were the standard. They are great as all you need is a bit of cash, about $90 currently and you can back up your data.
There are some fundamental problems though, for example, what if you forget to back up? Daily backups are essential if you are working every day, but it’s easy to forget. Another problem is that it isn’t exactly a “remote backup”, therefore fire or water damage can potentially wipe out both your computer and hard drive.
2. Folder-based online backups
I’ll mention a brand and you will most probably know what I am talking about: Dropbox. Dropbox is a “remote” folder on your PC, in your documents folder, where you can just copy files and keep them there. It is free for 5GB, and it’s pretty easy to share files too.
These are great as you can just drag files into the folder and they are backed up. However, you do need an internet connection! Also a company like Dropbox is actually a bit expensive per GB once you go over the 5GB limit.
3. Automatic online backups
These companies install a bit of software on your PC that automatically back up your files either at a certain frequency like daily or weekly, or some do it instantly. This means as soon as you change a file, it is backed up to the “cloud”.
Some of these services even offer versioning, so you can go back and view previous versions of a file, this is amazing if you, like me sometimes change a file and then want to get an older version back. An example of this sort of company is MyPCBackup.
There are ample services available today for reasonable amount which can let you save your work with a click of a mouse.
So next time, don’t forget to backup and don’t lose your work! Which of these methods have you employed? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
Photo by FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
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