You will never fully realize why you should back up your computer data until your hard drive fails. Usually, people only tend to lose data once. That is when most people are inclined to set-up a sensible back-up procedure! Backing up your personal data is your main priority. This includes data like photographs, home videos, music, papers and presentations etc. When your hard drive fails (and they all fail sooner or later) you will want to make certain that all your family pictures are safe.

You most likely will not be so devastated at the loss of your old programs – they can always be bought again. Most backup applications make what's referred to as a ‘mirror image’ or ‘clone’ of the hard drive and keep all of its information. But a number of them, like Dropbox will not be automated and store pictures and videos etc. Just make sure you.

1.Backing up into the cloud or online back-up:

Firstly, it is definately essential that a back up storage device is kept as far away from your computer. It will not be much use if it gets ruined in a fire or stolen in a robbery. I would suggest both, but then I would as I am paranoid. However, if I had to pick out one, I would certainly decide to back up into the internet service. The servers which you back up onto are also backed up! Therefore there will be no chance of ever losing your data. Also, it is simple to set-up an automated back-up. So, you do not have to remember to perform anything and so the backup data will always be current.

The only drawback of backing up to the cloud or online, is the speed. It can be very slow. The truth is, the initial back-up could age you considerably. It’s better to set it to back up over night when you’re not at your computer. It is possible to work while the back-up takes place but it can suck the life from your bandwidth. Generally, there will be monthly charge for an internet backup system. This ranges from £3 per month to £10 per month.

My recommendations for online backup services are:

1. Mozy

2. SugarSync

3. Norton Online Backup

4. Dropbox

5. IBackup

6. IDrive

7. ElephantDrive

8. MyOtherDrive

9. SOS Online Backup

10. Carbonite

2. Backing up using an external hard drive.

If you have read any of my other articles, you might know the way I bang on about networked storage devices and how easy they make your life. This will enable you to set up an automatic back-up scheduler which can be very much like the online backup services. If you only have a non networked external drive, you will have to remember to back up your data. Make sure you carry out a back up every day. But to be honest, this is not really very realistic if you’re doing it yourself. Try to get in to a routine of doing it every Friday before you go home or finish work. Or Saturday morning while watching Saturday Kitchen!

Most external drives arrive with backup software. Have a play with it. If you do not like I recommend:

1.Genie Backup Manager

2.DT Utilities PC Backup

3.NovaBACKUP

4.Acronis True Image

5.NTI Backup Now

6.Acronis Backup & Recovery

7.Norton Ghost

8.PowerBackup

9.TurboBackup

10.Dmailer Backup

11.Argentum Backup

They cost anywhere from £15 to £50. Whether online or using an external hard drive, all the software and services listed know which files and folders will want to get backed up and for the most part, they only back up files that have been created or changed since the last backup.

3. Finally.

Sleep easy knowing that the data is safe and sound.

This article does not cover everything, but hopefully I have given you an insight in to what is involved. There are plenty of ebooks and such stuff on the internet. I always go to a company called Computer Repair London. They do not just repair computer systems, they also provide IT support as well and they are always helpfull if you get stuck on anything.

Author's Bio: 

I have been heavily involved in the property business for over twenty years. My work ranges from gardening, electrics and diy. Gasically I can turn my hand to pretty much anything.