If you only use your computer to play games, surf the Internet, and receive online email, the only files you can back up are your bookmarks/favorites and saved games. However, if you also have some media files (such as mp3 files, images, movies, etc.) and especially if you use a computer for work, you need to make regular backups. Laptop data backup.
You decide which backup media to use – CDs, DVDs, or an external hard drive, and how often you back up – daily, weekly, or as soon as a new file is created.
You can even use dedicated backup software, however, most of these programs are for business and corporate users and can be quite complex.
For a home or small business, the simpler the backup process, the better it works and the less chance of backup failure or error. It’s best to just copy your documents and arrange them in folders by date.
There are some advantages and disadvantages of different types of backup media:
CDs and DVDs
CDs and DVDs are very cheap but have limited storage capacity. They have a good lifespan, usually 5 to 10 years, and are very sturdy, but you’ll need a nice big case to store them and some sort of storage system so you can easily find that document you printed two years ago when You need it.
Also, some brands of CDs and DVDs perform a lot less than others and can go “bad” in just a couple of years. For best results and longevity, use either premium quality, Verbatim or Taiyo Yuden.
Also I would advise not to use rewritable discs. There’s no point in buying a more expensive CD with a higher chance of failure, just hoping you’ll erase it and use it again. With CDs and DVDs costing around $0.30 – $0.40 each, why would you want to erase and reuse them.
External hard drives are quite large, currently the “normal” size is 250 GB or 320 GB, and will soon reach 500 GB. You can store many files on one of them and quickly and easily find everything you need. However, like all electronic devices, they break if you drop them, and although they are portable, it’s not a good idea to carry them around. In addition, all external hard drives are subject to the same failures as internal ones and need to be checked regularly for errors.
Flash memory in any form (USB sticks or memory cards – SD, MMC, Memory Stick, etc.) are not good backup media. Not only are they small in size, but they also have a limited number of entries and will fail when they are reached.
Another backup option for a small number of small files like text documents, spreadsheets, a few important pictures, etc. is to create an online email account on gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc. and send them to yourself by email. Thus, you can access them from any computer connected to the Internet and also keep them for years.
Lastly, never email or back up sensitive information without encrypting it.