Data Backups: An Essential Task For Everyone

In this digital age, almost everyone keeps everything stored on their computers, from work files, media files or personal documents. This makes data backups an essential task for us all, lest you want to risk losing your valuable files forever.

The Dummies Guide To Cloud Data Backup - Botmetric

Thankfully there are several options for data backups, each with their own pros and cons. In this blog, I will be going through the most common options for data backups.

1: USB Flash Drives

Flash drives are a great way to quickly backup any small files, such as word documents or PDFs. Simply copy the data you want to backup, and paste it on the flash drive.


  • Solid state technology means there is a slim chance of losing your data to drive failure.
  • Size makes them very portable so you can take it with you whenever you need to.
  • Cheapest option for small storage.


  • Size makes them easy to lose
  • Flash drives are only affordable up to 64GB – 128GB, anything above that and they start to become more expensive than an external HDD.

How to Find Your Missing USB Drive in Windows 7, 8, and 10

2: External Hard Drive

External hard drives are a great option for backing up large amounts of data due to their high capacities. You can use the same method as above by copying your data and pasting it to the new drive, or you can use Windows to create a backup or a system image.

How to create a system image:

  1. Open up the Control Panel, select System and Maintenance and then Backup and Restore.
  2. On the left, select Create a system image and a Wizard will popup and just follow the steps.

Make sure that the destination drive is formated to NTFS if you want to create a system image.

How to backup using Windows:

  1. Go to Backup and Restore using the same method as above in step 1.
  2. Choose one of these options:
    • For a first time Windows Backup, choose Set up backup and follow the steps in the Wizard.
    • If you have used Windows to create a backup before, you can either let the updates happen at their scheduled times or you can manually create a new backup by clicking on the Back up now option.
    • If you want to make a new backup instead of updating an existing one, select Create new > Full backup and follow the Wizard.


  • External hard drives come in various large capacities, making them ideal for large backups.


  • Spinning disk technology means that the drive can fail over time or if dropped.
  • More fragile than a flash drive, casing can get damaged or the drive itself can be damaged.

External Hard Drive Setup and Formatting | Sweetwater

3: NAS (Network Attached Storage)

A NAS is a device that houses hard drives that you can access through your home or work network. They are most commonly used for business solutions but can be used at home.


  • You can schedule backups so you don’t need to do them manually.
  • Can support several terabytes of storage.


  • Can be difficult to setup.
  • The most expensive option on this list.
  • Because a NAS uses mechanical hard drives, the drives can fail with age.

Time to Ditch the Memory Sticks for a Network Attached Storage Device? | Home Automation Blog

4: Cloud Storage

A NAS serves as a personal cloud storage, however there are several online cloud services available. You can browse the plans available through the many different options, with most of the popular companies such as Icloud, Dropbox, Onedrive and Google Drive having both free and paid options.


  • You don’t have to worry about losing your data to drive failure or losing the backup drive itself.
  • Can access your data on all your devices.
  • Easy to setup and use.


  • Not ideal for those with slow internet, online data backups can use a lot of your bandwidth.
  • Risk of losing data if you forget your password (However most cloud services will offer a way to reset your password if you forget it)
  • If you want to backup large amount of data, some services might only allow a few gigs for free before you need to pay.

What is Cloud storage? Benefits and The 4 Providers You Should Know - EES Corporation

So if you are not already using one of these options to backup your data, now is the time to do so! The rule of thumb is to have one physical backup and one cloud backup just to be extra safe.

Similar Posts