Back it Up Jack

Backing up Your Data

If you are like most people, backing up your data is probably something you rarely do, and most likely you have never backed up your data from your computer’s hard drive. Burning multiple CD/DVD’s, labelling them, storing them somewhere safe, it’s a study in tedium at best. However, there is a day in every computer owner’s future where they will wish they had a backup of their essential data.

There are many reasons why you might not be able to access your hard drive where you store your data. Maybe you get hit by a virus, maybe you need to wipe your drive and re-install Windows, or, maybe your hard drive physically crashes and you require a replacement. In the case of an actual hard drive failure, you may never get your data back! The programs you use can easily be reinstalled from the original media, but your data was collected or created by you, likely from many different sources, and unless you have it backed up, it could be gone forever.

In the modern world there are many ways to back up your data, other than burning multiple CD/DVD’s, although for small amounts of data that is still a viable option. For larger amounts of data, or to have your data more seamlessly accessible, you can consider Cloud storage. Cloud storage is data storage provided by multiple vendors via the internet.

“” offers to store your data, and synchronize it between your computers, tablets, and mobile devices. The free account allots you 15mb of storage, which is practically useless even to the most humble computer user. If you whip out your credit card though, you can sign up for the Home account which provides 75GB of storage, and for one month you are looking at $8.95. If you pay up front for six months, one year, or two years, the monthly price drops considerably.

Apple, Inc. offers its own service, called iCloud, allotting you 5GB storage and file synchronization for free when you purchase a Macintosh computer, iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. The service is slick and relatively seamless. It even works with Windows computers. 5GB may sound low, but that’s free, and storing your purchased movies, music, tv shows, apps,books, and even your photos that you upload, doesn’t count against your 5GB. Mail, documents, application data and settings, do. Why does Apple store all those apps, movies etc. for free? Other than your own photos, it’s all things you’ve purchased from them already via the iTunes Store or the App Store, so they already have it stored anyway. They just send you a new digital copy if you need it.

With convenient options like these, backing up is much less of a chore than ever before. Even if you want to burn those CD/DVD’s, or just throw some of your data onto a memory stick, some form of backup is still better than none. There will come a day when you will be glad you did.

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