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You should always regularly back up any important files (documents, photos, emails, music etc) that you wouldn’t want to lose - just in case you experience a virus or hard disk failure


How you backup depends on what data you have, and how important it is to you - for example I use online backup for all my personal (and business) data, but also backup important family photos that could never be replaced to multiple blank DVD's, and store them in a secure place - so whatever happens I would then have some way of retrieving my most important files


The best backup solutions are summarized below, and the following sections then explain how to do each method in more detail:-






Using the CD/DVD writing software supplied with your computer you can back up any files you wish to blank CD's or DVD's


The main problem with this method is that you have to do it manually so it can easily be forgotten or not done. Also the media is then normally stored near the computer so could be lost in case of fire/theft, and finally the media does not last forever and could be unreadable in years to come when you need to access it


The benefit of this method though is blank CD/DVD's are cheap, so you can easily make several copies of your data and store them in different locations - which is handy especially if the files you are backing up are very important to you


I would recommend this method if you don't have many files that you wish to backup.  If you have lots of music/photos etc then writing them all to CD/DVD could be quite time consuming so one of the other options below would be more suitable for you


Information on using the most common CD/DVD writing software can be found here





External Hard Drive


Files can be copied manually across to an external hard drive by means of copy/paste or drag/drop - see here for guide on how to do this


Or you can automate the backup process by using software such as the tool I have written Backup Assist which will automatically back up all your data and emails for you (available free for PC Assist @ Home customers), or other tools such as Windows Backup (Windows XP, Vista & 7) or File History (Windows 8/10)


The possible issues with this method are that external hard disks can suffer the same failure as the hard disk in your PC resulting in corruption or loss of your data


If backing up to an external hard drive then DO NOT leave it permanently connected and powered on, as if your computer gets infected with a nasty virus then it could potentially access the external hard drive and delete or corrupt your backup


Also don't store the external hard disk near the computer, as if your computer is stolen they could take external drive too, defeating the point of having a backup - this could also apply in case of fire/flooding etc


I would advise not using USB memory sticks or flash drives for data backup as these can easily be lost or wiped


Recommended External Hard Drives: Lacie or Seagate or SanDisk SSD



Online Backup (also known as Cloud Backup)


Benefits of online backup over the above solutions is that you do not have to remember to do anything, all files you create or modify are backed up automatically at all times without any user input, so you can rest in the knowledge that all of your files are safe


The solutions I recommend are iDrive, Carbonite and Zoolz - more information and links to the relevant websites can be found below


With both solutions all your files are securely encrypted and backed up to servers in an off-site data center, so you are fully protected from loss of data caused by virus (such as cryptolocker), hard drive failure, fire or theft. And if the worst did happen all your files can easily be restored to a new computer or hard drive


Other benefits are that your backed up files can be accessed from any other computer or even on your phone/tablet using the iPhone/Android apps, so wherever you are in the world if you need to access an important file you can


All recommended backup providers are fully GDPR compliant


iDrive offer 5Gb for free, 2Tb for $69.50 a year or 5Tb for $99.50 a year - both cover unlimited computers


Carbonite offers unlimited storage for 1 computer @ $6 per month


Polar Backup offers unlimited storage for 1 user, 1 computer and 1 mobile starting from £7.50 a month


To order click the relevant link below:-


IDrive Remote Backup







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