Back it up once. Back it up twice. Now, breathe :)
Computers are, for all of their wizardry and wonder, just machines. And sooner or later, every machine is just waiting to cause you a big problem. It’s inevitable – at some point, you’ll have a big problem with your computer and that’s when the pending disaster can occur. While having the occasional computer FUBAR is a fact of life, that corresponding panic and sick feeling can be avoided. Feel better?
So, what’s the secret to escaping the Apocalypse when your computer decides to test your sanity by going down? You got it…back it up.
There are two simple ways to backup and store all your files, folders, and data. Use these two easy methods and you’ll one day be so grateful you won’t know how to contain yourself.
Back Up Method #1: Local
Go to your local electronics store and buy an external USB hard drive, at least 250 GB. You’ll be able to get one for under $100. Once you bring it home, plug it into your computer’s USB drive and copy over your entire hard drive (or at least all your “Document” folders and files). It’s a simple drag and drop routine. Once every week would be great, but scheduling once every two weeks will do. Put it on your calendar. Here’s one that I’ve used and can recommend: Western Digital My Passport Essential 250 GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive.
Back Up Method #2: Remote
Several companies sell remote space online for people like us to securely backup our files and folders. You’ll often hear these online storage spaces referred to as, “the cloud.” You can rent space on these sites for only $50 a month. And the great thing is, after an easy download and setup, the software automatically continues to back up the files and folders you choose to “the cloud.” Oh, yeah! I always use an online backup service, as well as the local external hard drive method. That’s because a fire, flood, accident, or theft can wipe out both your computer and your local hard drive backup. The service I’ve used for years for online backup, and wouldn’t do without is www.carbonite.com.
With your files, folders, and information backed up both locally and remotely, you’ll avoid the ultimate disaster when something happens to your computer (and it will:). And for a $50 a year Carbonite subscription and a sub-$100 external USB hard drive, that’s some serious peace of mind.