Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Why Should You Backup Your Computer Files?

You may not think you have a good reason to backup your computer information. You're not a bank protecting thousands of customers from losing their financial information, nor are you a government body storing personal data for millions of people. But that doesn't mean that the pictures and e-mails and recipes on your drive aren't priceless. To you, they hold memories perhaps of an entire lifetime. While losing those things may not impact anyone but you, you owe it to yourself to safeguard the things that you love. Protecting your computer's files is a necessity in the digital age when so many people keep so much of themselves on their computer.

Some people have been keeping copies of their computer's files for decades. And it was always done the same way. You had to buy an expensive stack of floppy disks or CDs and organize your files so that everything in a category would fit onto one disk. Then, you had to label everything and store it away, taking up hours of time and lots of space. And you had to be very careful since something as simple as a little water, some scratches or even a magnet could erase all your information and hard work. Of course, you could buy a protective safe for all those storage disks, but even then you may not have enough space and you're just spending more money you don't want to spend.

But technology has come a long way when it comes to storage space. Now, you can buy external hard drives which will plug in to almost any computer you can find and work immediately. And all of your data is organized in folders, just like on your home computer's built-in drive. No more sorting through stacks of CDs and floppies. You can also get these drives in sizes that were unheard of until recently. Some drives can hold multiple terabytes of information, more than almost anyone could possibly need. For instance one terabyte drive could store over 200,000 photos at 5 megabytes each.

But not everyone wants to run out and buy a new, and often expensive, hard drive. While it lets you keep all of your files with you, which offers some comfort to most people, it can be a bit daunting for some people. Fortunately, there are plenty of companies which offer very user-friendly ways to store your data online. If you choose to use their services, you will be able to backup your computer using their storage devices. And you can rest easy because most of these companies house their servers in highly protected areas where they are nearly immune to damage or corruption. Your files are much safer with them than they are sitting in your office.

Whichever method you choose to backup your computer doesn't really matter. Just do something to keep your computer's information safe! If you use an online service such as Carbonite online backup, it is very affordable (less than $5/month) and they take care of all the work for you.

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