In these modern times, we are so reliant on technology. It does everything for us: it entertains, it comforts, it connects us, it helps us make money, to complete our work, to educate us, to store memories, to capture memories, the list goes on and on. Its value in our lives is easy to underappreciate since it is so all consuming that we can easily take its presence for granted. But what would we do without it? Or, rather, what would we do if it suddenly vanished. Unfortunately, that’s actually entirely possible and happens to people on a smaller level every day. Technology is fragile. Take a look at your computer. You’re one spilt drink away from destroying everything inside of it. For me that would mean the loss of many, many different things, the bulk of which would be, at best frustrating, at worst disastrous to lose. My solution: I back up my computer. Let’s look at the best ways for you to adopt this solution too.

Backing Up To The Cloud

There are a variety of different ways that you can go about backing up your computer. They all have their merits and their flaws. The most ‘future-facing’ of all of the potential methods is using a cloud backup. ‘The Cloud’ is a concept that has been in the consumer collective subconscious for a good deal of time now, with many of our favorite devices relying on it to function. The cloud is a digitalized storage space, meaning that your data from your hard drive on your computer at the moment will ‘ascend’ and dematerialize, held in a purely digital form.

“Backing up via the cloud is safe and smart. Whilst it isn’t full-proof, there’s always the small risk that your data ends up in the wrong hands, the abstract nature of it makes it far safer than having a physical back up and all of the  services are extremely smart, meaning you can download them and they ill handle the complex details to the operation on your behalf,” explains Darryl Williamson, a tech writer at State Of Writing and AustralianHelp. There’s no dragging and dropping, it’s automated, clean and efficient. It’s also, usually, pretty competitively priced. Plus, if you’re back up isn’t enormous, you’ll likely have space available to store other things you want to keep safe in the cloud at the same time.

Desktop Or Portable Hard Drive

So you’ve taken a look at the cloud and it all looks a bit too fancy for your liking. You want to know where your data is, to be able to see where it is stored and know that its safety is dependent on your care. Well, here’s the solution for you, the old-fashioned way. “Essentially, all you’re doing is a hard drive to hard drive transfer, coming from your internal hard drive to an external one. In choosing your external one, you’ll have two options: portable or desktop. If you don’t have absolutely masses of data to back up and you’re frequently on the move, then a portable will do,” suggests Mary Lils, a blogger at Boomessays and Paperfellows. Just, invest in an-ultra sturdy case: you don’t want to see all of your data smashed on the floor. If you’re staying put, or you have tons of data, go desktop. You can get affordable external desktop hard drives with 4 terabytes of storage for very competitive prices. Again, do your absolute best to keep it out of harms way; it’s not your new coffee coaster.

Local OS Backups

Both Macs and PCs have devices for doing a local back up, which is an ongoing back up solution managed by the operating system itself. You choose the drive you want the operations run through (normally an external drive) and you let the program do the work. It means you can restore previous versions of your data, if you ever need to. On Macs, the program is called Time Machine and on Windows it is called File History.


Backing up a computer is one of those things that always occurs to you as a good idea but often without the compelling desire to get it done as soon as possible. When disaster strikes, you will be absolutely kicking yourself for not being more vigilant. Get on the case, back them up.

Aimee Laurence is a professional tech adviser. She writes about latest software and tools. Aimee is a teacher.


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