Back Up Your Data Safely

3 Ways to Back Up Your Files for Free

Computers are often temperamental and data loss is a common problem that we have all experienced. If you use your computer for work or study, then it is even more important to back up your data. Having everything stored only in a single location is a major risk. There are so many ways that data can be lost forever. Even something as simple as a power cut can cause data corruption on your hard disk.

If you want to ensure that your data is safe, you can either use free or paid back up services, or you can simply back up your data locally. Here are a few back up methods to get you started.

1: Traditional Methods

Many of us still use the simple tried and tested traditional methods of back up. Although online back up services are aplenty these days, the simplest and best back up method for many of us is to use CDs, DVDs or flash media. An external hard drive is also a suitable back up device if you have a large amount of data that you want to store. DVDs and CDs are extremely cheap, but they are not ideal for back up since you can typically only write to them once and, for large amounts of data, it quickly becomes impractical and time consuming.

If you have a USB flash drive, flash card or external hard drive, you should consider using that to back up your data. They are typically fast, reliable and effective.

2: Backup and Restore Center

The Windows Backup and Restore Center was a feature introduced with Windows Vista. It’s a completely free and straightforward way to safeguard your data either on your hard disk or other media. Of all the free back up services out there, this one is ideal, since you don’t need to download or purchase any additional third party software. It’s fairly reliable and user-friendly too. Creating a shadow copy of your entire hard disk is simply a matter of a few clicks. However, ideally, you should have an additional hard disk, preferably an external one for creating the shadow copy. You can also use an additional back up partition, but this will not safeguard your data in the event of the hard drive being damaged. More expensive editions of Windows, from Home Premium and above, can automatically back up data and they support network drives too.

3: Use Online Back Up Services

Online back up services are available in many different forms. Many of them cost a monthly subscription fee, but there are also those which charge nothing yet still provide a modest amount of space which is often suitable for storing your most important files. Back up services such as Windows Live Skydrive are available for free to anyone who has a free Windows Live account.

If you prefer not to use Skydrive, you can use any free email provider for storing data in the form of unsent email attachments. This is not practical for many uses, however, due to the limitations on size and file type.