The Importance of Backing Up your Files

As I spend more and more time in the business of Computers and Computer Repair, I feel very strongly that I must post the following reminder: Always keep a current Backup of All the Data and Files you need to keep. All your Business Files, Folders, Documents, and Software. All your Personal Files, Pictures, Videos, and Everything you want to save. Always.

You may heard many times of The Importance of Backing Up your Files and this may sound as obvious as remembering to lock your doors and turn off the stove before you leave the house, or to change the oil in your car on a regular basis. Yet most of us have found ourselves in a situation, hopefully not catastrophic, where we realized we didn’t have a reliable backup, and just how important that is. And how tragic it can be to lose everything.

I keep meeting wonderful people who, by one circumstance or another, are desperate to try to retrieve the data from their computers which have become compromised. “My Whole Life is on there!”, is an all too common theme.

Often times, data recovery can be accomplished with advanced software and a certified technician, one you can trust. Yet there is always a chance that it will be lost forever.

I have found that there are plenty of circumstances that can compromise a computer system and the data within. The following are just some of the reasons that you must have a reliable backup:

Hardware- 

All electrical components can fail over time. Whether they eventually just wear out, or by a number of different circumstances. Liquid or Impact can damage components, and electrical surges can destroy circuitry and entire motherboards. Fans can stop functioning and systems overheat, causing damage and failure.   Hard Disk Drives wearing out and failing is common, sometimes even before a drive is particularly old. There are times when the data cannot be retrieved.

Software-

Now, software can become compromised or corrupted for a number of reasons, most commonly by Viruses and Malware. Most often, these malicious programs affect the operating system. However, they can also corrupt important data that is stored within the hard drive, making it impossible to safely retrieve.

The Importance of Backing Up your Files makes more sense now? Now, let’s talk about some ways that can do this happen.

Backup Options-

There are several different options when it comes to having a reliable copy of all your important data:

  1. With a Desktop Computer, some people opt for having one or more extra Hard Disk Drives or Solid State Drives installed within.
    1. Pros
      1. Affordable
      2. Easy to manage
    2. Cons
      1. Can be easily damaged because of its nature, or physical damages such as water, fire, electrical, bumps and vibration, among others.
      2. Not portable
  1. External HDD or SSD is an option as well, especially with a Laptop Model which does not facilitate an additional Internal Drive.
    1.  Pros
      1. Affordable
      2. Easy to manage
      3. Portable
    2.  Cons
      1. Can be easily damaged because of its nature, or physical damages such as water, fire, electrical, bumps and vibration, among others.
  1. Companies and even some home users use RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) as an alternative for redundancy and performance. RAID is a way of storing the same data in different places on multiple hard disks to protect data in the case of a drive failure. However, not all RAID levels provide redundancy.
    1. Pros
      1. Helps redundancy and sometimes performance. Depending on the RAID configuration, once one goes bad, can be swapped without losing data.
    2. Cons
      1. Can be easily damaged because it’s nature or physical damages such as water, fire, electrical, bumps and vibration among others
      2. Not portable
      3. Hard to manage and setup without previous experience
      4. Can be Expensive
      5. Data Recovery Processes are not conventional and can be expensive
      6. More hardware is required including RAID cards (If Motherboard not include it) and of course, more hard drives (Depending on the configuration can have 2 and up
  1. A Flash Drive (or Pen Drive, Thumb Drive) is also an option, depending on how much storage space you need. A Hard Drive or Solid State Drive has more capacity for the price, while the Flash Drive is conveniently small and portable, as well as durable and lightweight.
    1. Pros
      1. Affordable
      2. Easy to manage
      3. Portable
    2.  Cons
      1. Can be easily damaged because it’s nature or physical damages such as water, fire, electrical, bumps and vibration among others
      2. Easy to loss
  1. Another choice and the most Recommended would be to back up all your data and files to a Cloud Storage, which means that it is backed up on Remote Servers accessed from the internet. There are a number of Cloud Storage Service Providers available.
    1. Pros
      1. Affordable, yearly subscription starting from $50 per year
      2. Easy to manage
      3. Even not a Portable device, it can be accessed from any device
      4. Most companies that manage Cloud Servers are backed up, encrypted and protected by regulations
    2.  Cons
      1. Is a yearly or monthly subscription, not paying can cause not synchronization or even cancellation of the account

In any case, the important thing is that your data, files and folders, pictures, videos, and everything you need to keep, is backed up. This means that it is Copied to another location, just in case anything ever happens to the original files. You have a current copy of everything you need.

Now that you know a bit more of The Importance of Backing Up your Files we recommend to Back up thoroughly, frequently, and currently. You will be glad you did.

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