Backing up your PC is important and it’s not really an optional task if you have some important data on your computer, which most of you probably do. I myself use 2 machines, one my Desktop and the other my Laptop both powered by Windows and both store hundreds of Gigabytes of data which I can’t afford to loose, I think everyone must have experienced this before as a hard drive will fail and there’s nothing you can do about it and will lose every bit of your data on it and the this very same thing happened to me a couple of weeks earlier. I was booting my desktop up in the morning just to find out that my desktop’s Hard disk had died. I didn’t had any backup of it and there was no way I could recover my data from a dead drive. So now I was left with a new 1TB hard disk and first thing (after installing the OS) I did was to find and setup a foolproof backup system.
While there is a built-in backup utility in Windows but I just don’t like it. It lacks many features, and I usually don’t settle with built-in windows utilities. So I did some research and found out a dead simple yet powerful program CrashPlan. It’s free, simple to use and powerful, backs up your data on the cloud and many other locations.
Setting the things up
- Firstly, if you want to back up to the cloud, you have to download CrashPlan.
- Now, assuming you have downloaded and installed CrashPlan, shoot it up.
- Now, you just have to choose the files you want to backup and a destination(s) where to back them up, and if you want you can also automate the backing up process to occur after a certain time period.
Using built-in Windows backup utility
Windows 7 and below
- Go to > Start and type > Backup into the search field.
- From the results select > Backup and Restore and hit > Enter.
- Now, in the Backup and Restore windows, click on Set up backup and choose the desired options.
In windows 8 and above, the Backup feature is known as File History.
- Go to the start screen by hitting the windows key and then type “file history” and open up the shortcut that appears.
- Now, you just have to connect an external drive and click on Turn On and it will start backing up your files in your libraries, desktop, contacts and favorites.
- You can also alter the files you want to backup by heading over to Advanced Settings in the left sidebar.
I still recommend using CrashPlan to back your files up especially if you use Windows 8 and above as I am not a fan of the File History feature of Windows 8. Anyway, whether you choose the in-built features or any other 3rd party programs, backing up for files is not an optional task to perform.
Dragon Blogger Note:
I am adding my own personal experience with cloud backup providers and backup services, I had an identity theft attack in 2013 that I traced to one of my reviews of an online cloud backup provider, it was one of those services that automatically scans and backs up everything on your computer to it’s cloud servers. As a result some excel files with sensitive data were backed up without me realizing it and the cloud data was stolen and my entire identity was stolen along with it. If you scan sensitive documents, files, bank statements, records and store them as files on your computer, like if you do TurboTax or TaxCut and save those W2 PDF files on your computer, be very CAREFUL what gets backed up into a cloud backup service. I can’t speak for Crash Plan myself, but I will just warn readers that if you use any online backup provider, and you know you store any sensitive files on your computer, make sure they are excluded from the backup or the backup provider can validate that not only is the upload stream encrypted (AES 256bit) while the files are uploading to the cloud, but that the cloud service provider has at least 256bit AES encryption and does NOT allow FTP access at all, or has the ability to completely disable FTP access. Never use a cloud provider that provides FTP access to content with no ability to completely disable the FTP access, this is unencrypted file transfer protocol and is not worth leveraging if you backup any sort of sensitive files. SFTP is fine, as it is secured transmission, but never FTP backup documents, excel files and PDFs which may have sensitive information.
Any questions just ask,