Thou shalt back up frequently is one of my commandments.
According to a recent study, only 28% of people perform a daily backup. And knowing my friends, that seems encouraging!
There’re only two kinds of hard drives: the ones that have failed and the ones that are going to fail. A Google Study (who uses more drives in the world that Google?) revealed in 2007 that the actual failure rate of drives is between 3 and 8% a year. This means, assuming your hard drive is perfect, that in 5 years it’ll have a 25% chance of failing.
Still feeling safe?
Doing a backup is very easy
1. 1. Get a USB hard drive with enough capacity. Let’s say 500GB. For example, the Western Digital Passports are very good portable backup drives that don’t need to be plugged to the wall.
2. Plug it to your computer
As soon as you connect it to a Windows or a Mac, the operating system will ask if you want to use as a backup unit. If this doesn’t happen,
With Windows: click on start and write â€œBackupâ€
With Mac: click on the magnifying glass and write â€œTime Machineâ€.
From there the assistant will take care of everything and it’ll even schedule your backups automatically.
A safer way: Backing up away from home
What happens if we lose our main hard drive and the backup hard drive? (Hey, Murphy does exist!)
Aside from my backup drive, I have an account with Crashplan.
These people make things very well. Once you download crashplan’s free software, you can:
- Backup your machine with an external hard drive (more or less what we discussed above)
- Backup your machine to another machine connected to your network. For instance, the machine of another family member.
- Backup your machine in the cloud in an encrypted way for $3/month (which if you think about it is really inexpensive. Much cheaper that an external hard drive).
The additional benefit to backing up to the cloud (aside from the fact that you’re data is safe against theft and natural disasters) is that you can access your backup from anywhere in the world. Are you out of town and need a file that you have at home? No problem. You can even do it from an iPhone!