Your hard drive failed, and you lost all your data. You must now regret not having backed up your PC data. All of us have had to deal with the menace of data loss at some time or the other. In the worst case, you might have been at the receiving end of ransomware or a software bug. No matter what the reason, losing your data causes immense inconvenience and leaves you exasperated.
Therefore, you should choose more ways than one to back up your PC data. Go for two techniques — online and physical. Probably you haven’t backed up your files as you are confused about how to go about it. There indeed are various methods of backing up your PC data. Read on as we tell you what they are, so you know which suits you the best.
Cloud backup or external backup
We recommend you back up your PC data by storing it on an external hard drive or the cloud. It would be even better if you chose both. Of course, keeping your data in an external hard drive is fast and affordable as you likely already have the necessary gadgets.
However, such a backup is very likely to exist in the exact location where your PC is—the same building and even the same room. Hence, with your original data, your backup remains vulnerable to things like losing your USB.
Things get riskier if you keep the external drive plugged into your computer. The constant connection leaves the original and the backup data vulnerable to ransomware, or a single surge of power could destroy both. Opting for this technique requires you to do the backup after plugging in the drive and then remove it every single day.
Why cloud backups might be better
The headache of backing up your data daily is gone if you choose cloud backup. You won’t need to put in any extra effort to make the backup happen since it occurs on its own when you are connected to the internet. Cloud backup involves your data being stored in remote servers. Hence, you can avoid any disaster destroying your original and backup data.
That said, there's also a shortcoming of cloud data backup that you need to consider. It's a slower process, and the first full backup can take days. On the other hand, backing up data on a hard drive needs only a few hours. Moreover, backing up your data on the cloud is expensive as you need to pay for the service monthly or annually.
Making Windows Image backup
You must back up your data every day. It's an excellent idea to back up Windows itself, and you need to do it only three or four times yearly.
It involves creating an image backup where the entire drive is copied into a large, compressed file. Image backup can be done on Windows 10 and 11 and EaseUS Todo. This technique has no cloud option and requires an external hard drive.
Go for a backup program
The leading programs offer a certain amount of purging, with older backups being removed to accommodate new ones. For this, the software is required.
Windows has introduced backup software as well. Windows 7 and Windows 8 as well offered programs that gave decent backing up on an external hard drive. File History in Windows, the backup program with this operating system, is pretty good, and you can use it daily.
Here's how you set it up:
After plugging in your external drive, select Start. Go to Settings, then update & security, and finally, choose a backup. You'll then have to turn on 'automatically back up my files' and click on 'more' options.
Lastly, choose ‘every 10 minutes’ as the frequency of backing up your files. If you want to turn on purging, you'll have to change the 'keep my backups' option from 'forever' to anything else. If you're looking to back up anything, plug in the external drive, so the backup starts in 10 minutes.
More tips to protect data
Besides backups, you should consider other threats to your data. One is unauthorized physical access. You can prevent this by locking specific files and folders under passwords. It might not even require external software.
Another threat is digital invasion when malware or unsafe networks compromise the data exchanged online. You can use a VPN for Windows to guarantee that all information travels more securely, regardless of the network you choose. A Virtual Private Network encrypts traffic, meaning it does not remain in plaintext. Instead, it is incomprehensible to anyone, even if they manage to capture it.
Experts urge you to back up your files before it's too late. We hope this article has removed your doubts if this process appeared confusing. Cloud backup is expensive; therefore, you may opt to back up your files on an external hard drive. It may be a cumbersome process, but it’s effective. Backup programs can help too. Choose a method and start backing up your data right away.