Everyone does maintenance on their computer in one form or another. You have the surge protector, you have the antivirus installed and you may even have a registry cleaner or ad protecting program. You may even be as bold as defragmenting your hard drive on occasion. But do you have a data backup system or plan? Do you have any of your important data on backup?
Everyone with a computer has lost data at one time or another. A sudden system crash or mistakenly deleting something can wreak havoc on your nerves or business. A thunderstorm and power surge to you power supply can fry your data. Sometimes it can be saved by taking the entire hard drive into a technician for recovery and it can be a long, tedious, and expensive process.
If you have information on your computer that you want to make sure you keep, then you need to back it up in some way. Depending on how important the data is to you, you may want to consider two types of backup. Depending on the data you want to protect you may need to create a backup on a daily or even hourly basis.
There are many types of backups and many ways to do it. You can use DVDs or CDs, external hard drives, online servers, or a "thumb drive". Burning data to a CD or DVD is very simple. Select the files you want to save and save them. Online servers can be set to just a simple click of the mouse and it will synchronize with your computer and do all the work automatically. Thumb drives have replaced the CD and DVD with ease of use. Plug the thumb drive into the USB port and save your work and take it out when you're done. Put the thumb drive into your pocket or purse and you can retrieve your data from any other computer you use no matter where you are. The thumb drives can have as little or as much memory as you need and can be password protected or even use thumbprint scans to protect your data if anyone else ever gets their hands on it.
A full backup may be a bit of overkill if you are backing up your personal computer. A full backup creates a mirror of your entire hard drive, including every file and folder that is on your computer. But this option can be used in conjunction with a differential backup. This type of backup creates the backup of only files that have been changed or upgraded. You could create a full backup and then weekly or monthly depending on the importance of your data, complete a differential backup which will keep your backup up to date.
You computer probably already has a snapshot backup in it's programming. It creates a mirror of your hard drive and backs up the images of your files. You can also choose disk imaging. This will allow you to back up your entire hard drive or just certain files of your choosing. However the programs that are already installed on your computer for this job may not be the most user friendly.
Most people find that the unattended backup is the easiest to use. There are multitudes of software on the market that will automatically backup your system to your specifications without you doing much of anything else. Always choose the program you want to use carefully. While consumer friendly use is a major point, you'll want to make sure that you can set it up and make changes to it when needed.
These programs are usually very easy to use and all you have to do is follow the prompts on the screen and it will complete all the work for you. And you don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on a program meant to backup data for NASA when you just want to protect the data on your home computer. There are plenty of reasonably price software packages that will do the work you specifically need done without breaking the bank.
You can research different companies and programs on the internet. There are forums that people that have tried the products will tell if it was good or bad or easy or hard to use. Be an educated consumer. Go ahead and pick the brains of your computer savvy friends. Many times your friends will be eager to show off their knowledge of computers.
Software backup is the best way to save your work, your correspondence, even your family pictures. Anything can happen to a computer at any given time. Just a simple power surge can destroy years of memories. So data backup is an important part of any computer maintenance. And it may just save your sanity later.