“Backup! Backup! Backup!” While in college I wouldn’t get through a project without hearing this from my teachers. They constantly would tell horror stories of students loosing huge final projects, which had over 20 hours worth of work gone in the blink of an eye. So here is your friendly reminder to always backup your computer, projects, pictures and anything else you think is important to have an extra copy of.

If you have never backed up a computer in your life there is multiple ways we can achieve this:

backup2Flash Drives/CDs:
The glory that is the flash drive also known as a jump drive is a storage device that hooks up to your computer’s USB port where you can and your files to. Spoken from someone who owns 5 of these little devices they are a godsend when transferring files over to multiple computers and sending projects to printers. Flash drives are similar to CDs as they are able to store computer files without taking up that much physical space. They are a cheap way to back up some of your computer files and can be easily transported and given to other people for their needs, however they don’t hold nearly enough memory to backup a whole computer.

Pro: Cheap, Small, Easy to transport
Con: Limited storage space, Need more than one to backup a whole computer

 

backup3Cloud Storage:
Where does it go? Nobody knows. The cloud storage is a storage model used over the Internet to maintain, manage, and back up information that can be accessed at anytime on any computer. It is an online storage device where users normally pay for a certain amount for storage, per consumer rate or at a monthly rate. There are many companies out there that will handle your backups for you through the cloud system. How it works is you will log in to your cloud storage online, then you will upload the files you want in the cloud, and then you are able to access them at anytime you want even on a different computer halfway across the country. However the security of the cloud network comes into question frequently but the providers assure their users that their security is encrypted and completely secure.

Pro: Not a physical item, Access anywhere in the world, Access on any computer
Con: Cost money to set up, Security could be questionable

 

backup_1External Hard Drives:
The colossal warehouse of storage devices the external hard drive is a device that can be attached to a computer through a USB port, FireWire or connected wirelessly. External hard drives can be the size of a smart phone or the size of a standard bible. They can typically hold a lot of storage and is one of the best ways to back up a computer or server. Think of external hard drives as your “second computer” because it can hold a terabyte (TB) or more of information like your computer. To help you visualize how much a terabyte holds 1TB could hold around 2 million photos while a 4GB flash drive can hold about 1,140 photos. You can also set up your external hard drive to back up your computer automatically; either every day, week, month or set number of days

Pro: Lots of storage space, small to medium size
Con: Cost more money than a flash drive

 

These are only a few options out there to back up your computer. Most experts recommend that you back up your computer on more than one devise for offsite and onsite recovery. Onsite would be a devise that would be close to your computer presently like an external hard drive, CDs or Flash Drives. Offsite would be storing your computer files on a device that is not the same physical place as your computer, this could be keeping another copy of your files at your grandma’s house or storing it in the mysterious Cloud. They recommend having two backups so that just incase one fails (or is stolen/damaged along with your computer; you will still have your files in a safe place.

Whatever you decide for your backup method or for how many times a month is up to you. As long as you are backing up at least some of your more important projects. This will help you take control of your files and hopefully lead you to backing up more and more files in the future.