It is a boring and often expensive activity, but it is essential to secure your data, your memories and your work: we are talking about the beloved-hated backup. Few, very few, do it regularly because they believe it is not a simple thing, or because they are convinced that the data, they have stored over time on their computer is not of such high value.
When we need them and there are no more, however, they are pains. Here, then, is that a backup saves life (or at least simplifies it). But what is the best way to make a backup? Is it better to save the data on an external hard drive or on an Internet storage service? And, in the latter case, is a cloud service better?
Backup to external hard drive: pros and cons
For a long time, it was the backup par excellence for home users, with not too much data to archive. It was more expensive than a solution based on magnetic tapes or optical discs, but the speed in writing and reading data was significantly higher. The external hard disk, then, could contain large amounts of data while remaining easy to transport. All these advantages are still valid today, so much so that the external hard drive is still an option to consider for making a backup.
Among other things, both Microsoft Windows and Apple MacOS have built-in backup tools for your data, so you don’t even have to use third-party software. The cons of this solution are that if the hard disk fails, is lost or stolen all our data disappears into thin air.
If the amount of data you want to backup is limited to just a few GBs, you can also use USBs like InfinitiKloud. This device automatically scans and locates your most important videos, pictures, music, documents, etc. and saves them in just one click. You can learn more about and get more insight about this device, feel free to check out the perks of InfinitiKloud reviews to get to know more about the pros and cons of this device.
Internet backup: pros and cons
There are several internet-based services for making and managing backups. Usually, it is enough to download an app, select the folders to be backed up and let the software do the rest by sending the data to the servers of the company that manages the service. With solutions such as Backblaze, for example, it is possible to have all the classic functions of traditional backups on external media, such as the ability to access previous versions of files and restore them if necessary. The cons of such services are that you have to pay a monthly subscription to leave your data stored somewhere in the world and the slowness in making the initial backup (uploading so many GB of data online takes time). Finally, it is possible that the company’s servers are breached by hackers and your files may be damaged, deleted or simply copied without your knowledge.
Backup to a cloud service
Technically it would not be a real backup but a simple copy of the files, but the storage of your data in the cloud is a solution increasingly chosen by users. Who today can choose between Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and many other similar services? Also, in this case you have to pay a certain amount per month, because the free space made available is usually not enough to back up a hard drive. Finally, the same risks of Internet backups remain as regards the security of our data and possible hacker attacks.
Hard disk backup: which one to choose
As we have seen, every backup solution has its pros and cons and there is no absolute best solution, because each of us has different priorities. A good idea is to use at least two backup solutions at the same time: typically, one online and one offline. In this way you get the pros of both worlds: if you need to restore a large file you can go and look for it on the external disk, much faster than any online service, while if the external disk fails, we have not lost even a single data. There is more than one possible combination between the two methods. For example, we can store files on Dropbox or another cloud service, and then manually but regularly perform backups on an external hard drive. Or we can use Backblaze to back up online and, at the same time, use Windows File History to make a local and offline backup.
But, as I said at the beginning of all this reasoning, backing up is a boring thing. This is why the last tip we give you is to automate the procedure as much as possible, and then forget about it. Backblaze and the like offer different automatisms to backup yourself at preset times or days. The same is true for external disk backups. The advice, therefore, is to invest some time in the beginning to establish and set up a schedule for your backups. One day, perhaps, you could bless the quarter of an hour spent on this programming.
Between offline and online solutions, mentioned above are the best ways to backup your computer and secure your personal data.