Computer Backup Guide

Computer Backups are essential, especially in today’s age where all our documents, photos and other important files are all electronically stored on our devices. If a hard drive fails or gets infected with ransomware, our files are lost forever.
 
The best way to prevent major data loss is to have a hybrid setup of Online Backup such as Carbonite, plus offline backup option where it backs up to an external hard drive plugged in to your computer.
 
Online Backup Option
Carbonite is one of the few backup services that has been around since 2005. 
The pricing ranges from $6-10 per month for a single computer and is billed annually.
 
Trusting all your files to be securely backed up online or relying only on an online service is not a good idea. The company can have a data loss (less common), it could go out of business or get bought out, it can also suffer outage when you most need your files.That’s when an offline backup option comes in.
 
Most of our clients use the offline options listed below since the only cost is the price of an external hard drive. 
We recommend both online and offline backups for redundancy but any backup is better than no backup!
 

External Hard Drive  or USB Drive

A physical External Drive is a crucial and necessary item.  Having two is even better. Make a backup of the backup external drive.  Starting with one is fine.  You can get these at BestBuy, Staples, OfficeDepot, Microcenter or online at sites like Amazon.com

The size of the backup can range from 256GB to 4TB (4,000GB) or more.  80% of our clients don’t need anything more than 1 TB, but we would say even 2TB external should be plenty.

We would still recommend you purchase a newer external even if you already have one, the new drives have a faster USB 3.0 or 3.1 technology which makes for quicker data backups. You can still use the old drive for redundancy in case one fails.

Here are some of our suggestions. Some brands include “free” backup programs with their devices but we recommend reading further below and using one of our recommended programs instead, they tend to be more reliable.

Full System Backup Programs