Tell me, when was the last time you backed up your computer? Last year? Two years ago? Ok, I think we have a problem. And it’s a serious one.
Random computer resets and data losses happen more frequently than you have ever imagined. Although, I haven’t ever lost all of my data, still, sometimes, unintentionally, I lose data from thumb drives or smaller disk partitions on my computer. And let me tell you, it’s nothing to be looking forward to.
So even if you don’t care about it, make backups because who knows when you’ll lose it–forever. I believe in making backups regularly twice or three times a year, just for peace of mind.
There are many options available in 2022, and most of them don’t require any additional hardware (hurray!). Ok, so let’s start.
The first way of backing up, I’d like to talk about, is having an actual hard copy on your disk. It’s the most costly one, but if you’re able to spend around $70 on an HDD 2 terabytes hard drive, you just made an investment for years to come.
I believe that a 2 TB hard drive is everything you’ll ever need. Modern backup software replaces old backups with new ones, so the total size of the backup doesn’t grow but stays the same.
So how to set it up? On Mac, go to preferences and choose “Time Machine.” Select your external disk, click “back up automatically,” and leave it. MacOS will take care of everything else. You can specify how often you’d like to back up in options. And if you want to replace the old one or create a separate copy every time (I wouldn’t recommend it, for an apparent reason – money).
When you start backing up, you’ll see the first backup will take a lot of time. It’s normal, don’t worry! Every future backup will take seconds since the software replaces specific parts (parts where it detected changes).
That’s it. Now, in case of an emergency, you’l have to take three steps. First, start up your Mac in recovery mode and reinstall the software. Then plug in your backup disk and reinstall data from there. Simple as that. After approximately 2 – 3 hours, you should be good to go.
If you’re not keen on spending $70 on hard drives or don’t have enough ports on your computer to handle a hard drive, you can use cloud storage. In 2022 you have a ton of options at your fingertips.
If your company provides you with free cloud storage, you can use it for your backup. If you have little data, you can go with iCloud or Dropbox, where you have 2 to 5 GB of free storage available. For more demanding users, google offers free 15 GB of storage. But if you want to, you can pay a dollar a month to upgrade to over 50 GB of storage. The only downside of backing up in the cloud is that it’s not automatic. You have to manually upload files to the server, which for some of us, is a struggle.
That’s where applications such as Backblaze, PCloud, Koofr, or DriveDX come into play. These apps work just like macOS’s Time Machine, but online. That means you don’t have to buy and take care of a physical hard drive, though you still need to pay.
There are two ways, a subscription or a one-time purchase. You may ask, “what’s the point if I already pay for Dropbox or Google Drive?” When using mainstream cloud storage options, you have to upload files manually. And in cloud-backup dedicated services, everything happens automatically.
My way of storing data
Above I described two ways of backing up your devices. But I didn’t tell you that it only makes sense if you’re physically storing your data locally on your computer’s hard drive. My way of storing data is quite unusual since I didn’t find many other people doing the same thing.
In my opinion, it’s much more convenient to store everything on the cloud. No exceptions. This way, I don’t need to make backups since everything is stored securely. I pay a monthly fee and get sufficient storage so that I don’t have to worry about backing up my devices any longer.
This way of storing data enables me to quickly access every file I’d ever need from every computer plugged into the internet.
And here I must say something especially important. Remember to always, ALWAYS turn on Two Factor Authentication. And if your cloud service of choice has this option, turn on Triple Authentication. If you choose to store everything in the cloud, remember that everyone can access your files only with your email and a brute force script. So turn on text authentication, turn on email authentication and create a long and strong password. And if you can, select an option to send a notification to your phone when the system detects an unauthorized login.
To sum up, I believe in the power of backing up your devices regularly. But let’s be realistic. Having to think about backing up your devices, even twice a year, is still something to worry about. That’s why I think the best way never to be bothered about data losses is to keep everything in the cloud.
Keep calm, and do not keep your files locally.