Backing up your computer is a small effort, but many people forget to do this. It may seem like something you probably won't need until the time comes when you really need it. How annoying would it be if you suddenly can no longer access your photos, documents, music and e-mails. By regularly making a backup you can always restore your files on a new computer.
By regularly backing up your files, you will never run into problems when your computer is lost, damaged or gets a virus. In the unlikely event that this happens, you can still access your files with the backup. Backing up your files takes a little longer the first time, but on subsequent occasions only the changes will be added to the backup. Depending on the amount of changes you make to your files, you can choose to have the backup automatically made monthly, weekly or even daily by the computer.
Types of backup
There are different types of backups.
Full backup: the name says it all: a full backup is a backup of all your files. A copy of the entire system is made. This results in a large file and may take a while to copy the entire system. The advantage of this is that all system settings and files are preserved. When your hard drive fails, you can continue with the entire system as you were used to.
Differential backup: A differential backup makes a copy of all files that have changed since the last full backup. So you also need a full backup for the first time. Making this backup takes a lot less time, because not the entire system is transferred. For example, if you made a full backup last week and you make a differential today, only the files you've changed since last week will be backed up.
Incremental backup: This backup works almost the same as the differential backup, but it builds on the data from the latest version. Only a copy of the data that has changed since the last copy is used. This will give you even smaller files and the backup will be ready even faster.
You can put the backup of your financial administration or beloved holiday photos on a USB stick or external hard drive. You can instruct your computer to make the backup whenever you want and save it to your external device. You can of course also make a backup manually when you connect the storage medium to the computer. In addition to these offline options, you also have an option to save the backup online, in the cloud. You can use Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive or iCloud. These services make it possible to store your files online, protected by a password. An advantage of this is that you can always access it at any time. You only need to log in. A disadvantage of the cloud is that you have to make sure that you always save all files in a special folder on the computer that belongs to the cloud service. The use of cloud services is free up to a certain storage size, above that you can save your files on the basis of a monthly fee.
Choosing the best type of backup for you depends on the type of files you want to make a copy of and how often you want to have the backup made. Saving the backup also depends on what you feel comfortable with. Some people don't like the idea of storing everything online, while others like being able to access their files anytime, anywhere. In any case, one thing is certain: it is important to always have a backup at hand!