Four Ways to Back Up Your Computer

You’ll find a lot of discussion on the Internet regarding the best method to back up a computer. If your brand new to computer backup and just starting to explore the various options, this post should be helpful. Let’s talk about four of the most common methods used to back up a computer.

Optical Media (CDs/DVDs)

Since many computers nowadays come with either a CD or DVD burner, this is one of the most popular methods used to back up a computer.  You simply insert the optical media into your CD/DVD burner and drag-and-drop the files you wish to back up.

Pros: This method involves very little cost to store your digital data since your computer probably already includes the burner.  Additionally, you can buy CD/DVDs in bulk for just a few dollars.

Cons: The biggest problem with storing your data on CDs/DVDs is that they are easily scratched. A scratched DVD containing your data is totally worthless and cannot be restored. The other problem with storing your data on optical media, is that it has to be stored locally and is therefore vulnerable to natural disasters, theft, loss, and fire.

USB Flash Drives

Back up files using USB flash drive

Flash drives also known as thumb drives, jump drives, and data sticks have taken the computer world by storm.  These versatile little devices can store huge amounts of data, and are an excellent media choice for backing up a computer.

Pros: USB flash drives come in all different capacities from 250 MB all the way up to 64 GB.  The latest state-of-the-art flash drives come complete with one touch back up buttons and require no additional software. for them to be used as computer backup devices.  Their portability also makes it a good choice for computer backup.  It’s now possible to carry your entire computer backup on your keychain.  SanDisk is the leader in the field of flash drives. You can check out the complete line of flash drives here: SanDisk Flash Drives The ultimate state-of-the-art flash drive is the Ultra Backup 64GB USB Flash Dr which is password protected and offers one touch backup.

Cons: Flash drives are so small that they are easily lost or misplaced and like all removable backup media they are susceptible to natural disaster area.

External Hard Drives

External hard drive

External hard drives, are the granddaddy of all of the removable backup media when it comes to storage capacity.

Pros: External hard drives come with massive amounts of storage capacity meaning that they can easily duplicate all of the data contained on your computer and a lot more.  External hard drives are easily connected to your computer via a USB port.  You can easily keep all of your applications as well as your operating system and all of your data on an external hard drive.

Cons: They are susceptible to natural disaster, fire, and theft.  Just like internal hard drives, external hard drives contain moving parts and are susceptible to crash.  They also lack portability.

Online Backup

Online backup is our favorite backup method and it’s what we highly recommend to the average computer user.

Pros: It’s totally automatic, 100% secure, and you can store an unlimited amount of data for less than five bucks a month.  The beauty of online backup is that once it’s set up, you don’t have to think about it.  It constantly runs in the background on your computer and backs up your files in real time.

All of the methods mentioned previously have the same drawback.  You have to think about them and actually initiate the backup yourself, which means that the backup probably won’t get done.

Online backup is completely immune to natural disaster and other loss.  Your online backup is accessible any place that there’s an Internet connection.  You just can’t beat the reliability of online backup.

Cons: None

If you’re new to online backup, the easiest way to check it out is to set up a free account with Mozy.  Mozy allows you to backup up to 2 GB of data free. NO credit card is required to set up a free account. Sign up to try Mozy for FREE!