Best methods to back up your data

These days, there is an incredible range of options when it comes to backing up your data, and it’s a good thing to do. How does one choose the right option for your needs? A good starting point is having an external hard drive for those important files. Now comes the tricky part, picking a backup service, such as built-in Windows and MacOS options, to third-party like Google Drive. To give you a better idea of these backup services, here is a quick look for backing up your files.

Windows: File History & OneDrive

Currently, Windows offers two built-in methods for backup services, being File History and OneDrive. File History is the local backup option, which can be accessed through settings, but needs an external hard drive to work. With the hard drive connected, you can choose which folders are going to be backed up, how often the files are copied, and how long they are kept for. Be aware that File History does not back up everything, but will work perfectly fine for your important files.

The second option is Microsoft’s cloud option, being OneDrive. Currently, it is already set up for Windows for your convenience. Any file that is saved into the OneDrive folder is automatically synced to the cloud and any other computers that you have signed into. This starts with 5GB of free space but will need to pay to have more storage. The benefit of cloud syncing is that you can recover your files instantly if your computer dies or you decide to upgrade.

MacOS: Time Machine & iCloud

Time machine happens to be Apple’s local backup option, which requires an external or network hard drive connected to the Mac. Backups, however, run automatically, provided that the drive is connected (you can always switch to manual if you prefer). Time Machine is fast and easy to use but can become a hassle if you are constantly on the move, as it isn’t always easy to remember to bring the hard drive with you.

The second option that Mac’s have is iCloud. iCloud has recently become a front facing backup option, instead of always operating behind the scenes. This comes from the folder’s update found in MacOS Sierra. iCloud will copy your key folders to the cloud and any other Mac/iOS device that you have signed into and works anywhere with a wi-fi connection. At the same time, there are more advanced forms of iCloud, such as “iCloud Photo Library” and “iCloud Music Library” which will take care of those files. Like other cloud options, iCloud comes with 5GB free but needs additional payment to increase this.  

Third Party Options: Dropbox & Google Drive

Dropbox is an excellent method of synching files since it was released back in 2007. Dropbox has an easy to use interface, and is considered to look better than OneDrive or iCloud, and works on all platforms, for both desktop and mobile. Dropbox however only offers 2GB of free storage and requires payment methods to increase this.

Google Drive is also an excellent option as it provides the same platform freedom that Dropbox offers. It has a range of powerful online office programs, as well as excellent integration to many of Google’s other services. Google Drive comes with 15GB of free storage and has payment options to increase this.

At the end of the day, all of these options are excellent choices for backing up your files. just make sure that you regularly do this, or you could be without your files one day.