You don’t have to be a data expert to know that backing up your data is important. And this is both for a personal and professional environment. However, most people don’t do a very good job of this, particularly on the personal side, which is where I’ll be putting more emphasis on in this article.
I want to help you put together the best home data backup system that works best for you.
You might have a system set up to automatically back up your files to an external drive each night, or maybe you have more of a manual system in place where you’re the one doing the backup yourself. Either one is better than nothing.
This means if something “bad” was to happen and you lose everything, having some backup in place will help you recover much faster, as opposed to having to start all over from scratch. Which can be expensive…both for your time and money
A home data backup system can solve these problems for you.
What is a good backup system?
Anything that makes copies of your current data on a consistent basis is a good backup system. That’s the simple answer.
But what does that mean?
The first thing to consider is how often your data will need to be backed up. If you only have a few files that change occasionally, a manual backup system could be more than enough for you. By manual, I mean connecting a hard drive to your computer and copying the files over to the drive.
Back in the day, burning files to a CD or DVD was the thing to do. The reason was that anything burned onto a CD was permanent storage and you couldn’t change the data once it was “burned” onto the disc.
So if you had CD or even a DVD burner on your computer…say back in the early 2000s, you were considered a legend among your peers. That was considered state-of-the-art technology back then.
However, times and technology have changed a lot since then, and those media are almost obsolete now.
So for a manual backup system in today’s age, external hard drives are your best bet. They are the most basic and common way to get started manually backing up your data external hard drive. The reason they are a popular option is that they are relatively cheap and easy to use.
The average person can afford to buy an external hard drive. Just make a trip down to your local electronic store and pick one up for less than $50.00 USD. Or if you’re feeling extra lazy, just order an external drive off Amazon. They have some great deals there.
The other really cool thing that makes external hard drives such an easy choice for home users and beginners, is that they’re easy to use. All you do is simply plug your drive into a USB port, and start backing up your files.
Simple and straightforward.
Now if you want to get a little more sophisticated…cloud storage is another popular option but does require a few more steps to get started.
Because it is accessible from anywhere and offers redundancy in case of a disaster, cloud storage makes for a more secure option than using external hard drives. And there are several choices for you to choose from, which I will cover in a bit more detail below.
But before making your choice, two things you need to consider before deciding on the best home data backup system that’ll be right for you. The first is how much data you have that needs to get backed up. The second is your budget amount.
Backing Up Your Computer to an External Hard Drive
It doesn’t get any easier to start your home backup system than getting an external hard drive.
All that is required here is to purchase a large enough hard drive that would suffice to store all your data (…usually 1TB is more than plenty), and plug that puppy into your computer.
99% of all peripheral devices today, that you connect to your computer use a USB connector. Your external hard drive would be no different.
Because there are so many different brands to choose from, you may not be sure which external drive to choose. To be honest, most of the brands that are out there are of good quality, however, I do prefer to use either a Seagate or a Western Digital external hard drive. Both manufacturers have been in the industry a long time, and produce good quality products.
I haven’t had any issues with either. Both are reliable brands.
Once you have the external hard drive in place, the rest is pretty easy. All you need to do is, plug in your device and your computer should recognize it right away. The cool thing about many of these external hard drives is that they come with backup software on the drive itself. You can always use that software to do the backups automatically.
If you want more control and want to manually back up your own data, just keep in mind to always back up your data regularly.
This will help ensure that you don’t lose anything in the event of a crash or other problems.
It’s also important that you store your hard drive in a place that’s safe and away from prying hands when it’s not being used.
I’d even recommend going a step further and getting two backup drives of the same kind. Add some redundancy to your manual backup system. Rotate the drives weekly or monthly, so both drives have the same information on them.
That way, if something was to happen to one of the drives, the other backup drive will be your backup of that backup.
Think of this kind of redundancy as “insurance” for your backup.
Online Backup Services (The Cloud)
When it comes to online backup services, there are a lot of them to choose from. So, how do you know which one is the best for you? Here are some things to consider:
- The first thing to think about is how much data you need to back up. Some services offer unlimited storage, while others have a cap on the amount of data you can store.
- Another thing is your budget. How much are you willing to spend monthly or annually for cloud backup service?
- How often do you need to access your files? If you need to be able to access them frequently, and from anywhere, you’ll want a service that offers easy online access without any restrictions.
- How important security is to you? You’ll need to compare security features and encryption levels with the different options that are out there.
Once you’ve considered these factors, you should be able to find the perfect online backup service for your needs.
To get you started in the right direction, here are some options that I think are good choices to get a good home backup system started.
|Cloud Storage||Storage Amount||Encryption level/Security||Starting Price|
|Dropbox||2TB||256-bit AES and SSL/TLS encryption||$9.99/month for individuals and $16.99/month for family (6 users)|
|Microsoft OneDrive||Starting out at 1TB||AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) 256-bits||$99.99/year which also includes Office 365 Suite for up to 6 users|
|Acronis||500GB, also includes disk imaging||Ransomware, Anti-virus, and Anti-Malware Protection|
256-bit AES Encryption
|$89.99/year for the Advanced Package|
|Carbonite||Unlimited||256-bit AES Encryption||$50.00/year for Basic Package and $72.00/year for Plus Package|
These services will definitely get you on your way to building the best home data backup system for your personal data for sure. Here’s a quick video to best illustrate what are some of the best cloud backup services to use in 2022.
In conclusion, there are a few things to keep in mind when looking for the best home data backup system. The first is price, as some systems can be expensive, so consider your budget when deciding the best system for you.
The second is the amount of space needed to store your data. As you saw with the different cloud storage services that are available, there are different levels and packages that offer different storage amounts.
Finally, the choice is dependent upon you as the end-user. What do you feel is the easiest and most convenient for you to use? That will determine what platform you want to start looking at.
Keeping all this in mind will ensure you find the perfect home data backup system for their needs.