How To Back Up All Your Devices (Part 1)

12/14/2012 2:55:24 PM

It’s vital to back up not only PCs, but Smartphone and Tablets too. We show you how to protect every device you own.

It’s perhaps the most often-repeated advice in computing “back up your data!” Yet many of us simply don’t do it, or don’t do it as often as we should. That’s understandable, as duplicating and archiving your data is a chore – and, most of the time, a pointless one at that. But as the saying goes, there are only two types of computers user: those who have lost data due to a system crash, and those who will. In these days of iPads and smartphones, you can also lose important data by literally losing it, or having it stolen. If you haven’t kept a backup, your photo, messages, contracts and more may be gone for good.

How to protect every device you own

How to protect every device you own

Backing up your data will probably never be fun. With the right tools and processes it can be largely automatic, though, which means there’s no excuse for not protecting your data. Sadly, there’s no single backup system that can protect all your devices in one go. In this feature we’ll show you how to keep each of the devices in your how backed up with little or no effort, so that when a data disaster does strike you’ll be prepared.

Cloud back up fir computers

For most of us, the Windows PC remains the main repository for documents and media, so if you keep only one thing backed up, it ought to be this. Probably the most fuss-free approach is to invest in a continuous cloud backup service.

Backing up to the cloud has a number of advantages over backup destination is physically remote, there’s no clutter in your home – no stacks of external hard disks or boxes full of DVDs. Your data is safe from physical hazards, such as backup service uses strong encryption and data protection will be more secure, too, as thieves will be unable to read it. Best of all, you needn’t worry about running out of space; many services provide unlimited space at reasonable prices.

There are downsides, however. You need a reliable internet connection: without one, you’re unprotected. The need for connectivity may be a showstopper for laptop user who rarely go online, although we suspect those are a dying breed.

Even if you do have a constant connection, your first backup may take a very long time to complete. Domestic broadband services rarely offer more than 1Mbit/sec upload speeds, so a 100GB folder would take over three weeks to back up, typing up your connection and leaving you only partly protected in the meantime.

Upload speeds will remain a constant consideration if you work with large files, such as raw video footage. And of course if disaster does strike, then recovering your files will be slow, too: even with still take more than a day to download 100GB of data.

You should also consider the impact of uploading and downloading large amounts of data on any cap that applies to your broadband subscription. If your backup burns through your monthly data allowance in a matter of days, you could face being left hobbled on a throttled lone for the remainder of the month.

Local backups

“If you have more than one PC, it doesn’t make sense to buy a separate drive for each


For all of these reasons, you may be tempted to handle your own local backups, as an alternative or complement to an online system. This will entail a certain upfront investment in hardware, since you’ll need enough space to store your backed – up files, but in time you’ll probably and up saving money compared to using a monthly service. To put that into perspective, a 500GB USB hard disk can be bought for around $60, equivalent to less than a year’s cloud backup subscription.

Windows 7 and Vista come with a simple but functional Backup and Restore client that can protect your files and your operating system

Windows 7 and Vista come with a simple but functional Backup and Restore client that can protect your files and your operating system

Setting up local backups needn’t be a complicated business, either. In fact, in Windows 7 (and some editions of Vista) you get some protection automatically. If you need to recover a file you’ve accidentally overwritten or deleted, you can often do so using the built-in Previous Version feature. To view older versions of a file, right-click on its icon in Explorer and select the Previous Versions option, from here, you can view, open and optionally restore old edits. To restore a deleted file, view the previous version of the containing folder.

Previous Versions isn’t a complete backup solution. It doesn’t track every change you make to a file; by default, it only updates once a day.

Or when a System Restore point is created, so important changes may be missed. What’s more, the old version’s data resides on the same drive as the current copy, so it provides no protection at all against disk failure, loss or theft.

Windows 7 and Vista users should therefore also consider using the built-in Backup and Restore agent to perform regular backups of data files – and indeed the whole system – to an external drive or network location. If this doesn’t suit your needs, there are plenty of alternatives out there. Backup software is a regular feature on our cover disc, and external hard disks often come with their own backup clients, many of which promise constant, automatic backup of your personal files.

For the ultimate in effortless backup, Windows 8 brings a new feature called File History. In principle this works in a similar way to Previous Versions, allowing you to rescue older versions of local files and folders. However, it uses an external or network drive for greater data security. It also makes copies much more frequently: by default, up dated files are archived every hour, but you can increase frequency all the way up to every ten minutes. Accessing the old contents of a folder is as simple as clicking the History button in the Home section of the Explorer ribbon.


Top 10
Review : Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
Review : Canon EF11-24mm f/4L USM
Review : Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2
Review : Philips Fidelio M2L
Review : Alienware 17 - Dell's Alienware laptops
Review Smartwatch : Wellograph
Review : Xiaomi Redmi 2
Extending LINQ to Objects : Writing a Single Element Operator (part 2) - Building the RandomElement Operator
Extending LINQ to Objects : Writing a Single Element Operator (part 1) - Building Our Own Last Operator
3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 2) - Discharge Smart, Use Smart
- First look: Apple Watch

- 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 1)

- 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 2)
- How to create your first Swimlane Diagram or Cross-Functional Flowchart Diagram by using Microsoft Visio 2010 (Part 1)

- How to create your first Swimlane Diagram or Cross-Functional Flowchart Diagram by using Microsoft Visio 2010 (Part 2)

- How to create your first Swimlane Diagram or Cross-Functional Flowchart Diagram by using Microsoft Visio 2010 (Part 3)
Popular Tags
Microsoft Access Microsoft Excel Microsoft OneNote Microsoft PowerPoint Microsoft Project Microsoft Visio Microsoft Word Active Directory Biztalk Exchange Server Microsoft LynC Server Microsoft Dynamic Sharepoint Sql Server Windows Server 2008 Windows Server 2012 Windows 7 Windows 8 Adobe Indesign Adobe Flash Professional Dreamweaver Adobe Illustrator Adobe After Effects Adobe Photoshop Adobe Fireworks Adobe Flash Catalyst Corel Painter X CorelDRAW X5 CorelDraw 10 QuarkXPress 8 windows Phone 7 windows Phone 8
Visit movie_stars's profile on Pinterest.