Facts About Backing Up A PC

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Not so long ago, there was only one way to protect your precious data – connecting an external drive or a network drive and then performing a complete system backup. Now, that’s not really necessary anymore. Here are the facts that you should now know about data backup.

  • A full-system backup lets you preserve software and operating system in addition to your data, the idea being that you will be able to restore everything in one go should disaster strike. A full-system backup was logical in the past, but today’s software is mostly web-based – meaning there's nothing to reinstall. As for local apps, you can quickly and easily re-download and reinstall them. Make a list of the software you're using and see if there's anything that actually needs to be backed up.
  • If you're running Windows, you may make a one-time backup of the OS in case you need it later for reinstalling Windows. But remember, full-system backups take time and require large-capacity external drives. You also need backup software. So, a fair amount of expense is involved. Also, full-system restores are inconsistent. A fresh Windows install, on the other hand, cannot go wrong. Therefore, a full-system backup is of questionable value these days.
  • You may be storing much of your documents and media files in the cloud. But if you have a large video library, which consumes a lot of space, cloud backup is not practical. Local backups will be the best solution. Note that many cloud services don't protect you against malware. And files corrupted on your PC quickly get corrupted in the cloud as well, as part of the automated syncing process.
  • The best way to protect yourself is to make regular local backups of your data in an external drive (and leave out most software and the OS). Make sure your backup includes older versions of your files. As with online backups, it's all too easy for infected files to overwrite clean ones, leaving your backup in the same condition as your hard drive.

Source: cnet.com
Image courtesy: shutterstock.com

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