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Backup Plan! – Ask Dotto Tech #21

A Backup Plan for Mac & PC

A dreaded topic for many but inevitable if you own a computer. When you are backing up your system, it is very smart to take a multi-prong approach. In any computer, it is not a matter of if it will crash but when will it hard drive crash? It is inevitable any computer whether Mac or PC, we all have our days numbered. Knowing this is the first step to realizing the importance of having a backup plan. When our systems fail it can happen a multitude of ways so, assuring we have access to our information from different angles is the smartest way to ensure you don’t skip a beat in your daily productivity. The first approach we will talk about is creating a local backup of your operating system.

Local Clone Backup for Mac

When we are talking about the local backup we are covering you for fast recovery should your hard drive fail and your system crash. For users in the Mac world, we do have a bit of an advantage of being able to create a bootable drive for our Mac. Creating a backup drive allows you to create a second hard drive that is identical to what you are running on your system. This is extremely helpful in the tragedy that your hard drive crashes and you lose your entire operating system. With a duplicate drive, you can plug it in via USB and be up and running on your backup drive within minutes of the first crashing. The backup drive will cover your whatever you have on your hard drive at the time of cloning, not your files unless you have chosen to store them all on your hard drive.
An excellent tool to mirror the drive that you have is Carbon Copy Cloner. A very powerful and straightforward tool to use for Mac users. With many of the features available in one window, it takes a few clicks to back up your drive. A low price point of just $39.99 USD provides a family license is worth the piece of mind you will have to know your covered.

Local Clone Backup for PC

Creating a local backup of your Windows operating system is pretty straightforward and can be done right from the System Settings>Update & Security>Backup. In the Windows world, it isn’t as easy to plug in an external drive and boot from that, so it is imperative that you use this method to backup files and key documents and remember to do it often to assure you have the latest copy of your system. The last thing you want to do is install your backup only to realize the most recent backup you did was when you purchased the computer. That covers you for getting back to the local environment on your computer in an instant. Moving forward the options presented are the same for both the PC and Mac world. We are now ready to go to the next step, online storage.

Online Cloud Storage

There are many options these days for accessing and saving documents such as word processing documents or spreadsheet type files. Copying these files into a cloud storage system is a must-do for assuring you have your documents available should you find yourself needing to gain access to them after a computer crash. Whether you choose to save them directly or duplicate them, keeping your documents in the cloud is a smart move. Many people are already utilizing cloud storage through platforms such as iCloudDropbox, or Google Drive. All of these provide a free option with limited storage amounts; you can upgrade for a small fee if you find yourself needing additional space. The same can be said for our photos as well; we cannot recreate all of those memories so assuring you have photos backed up online is a must as well. You can utilize the same tools as mentioned above or take a look at the great Google Photos for organization and storage.

Remote Offsite Full Backup

We have covered options to this point that will have you covered should your computer crash and you need access to the hardware or files, your safe there. But what if an even larger tragedy hit, fire, flood, or your laptop was stolen? What if you have no access to your physical computer at all? In this scenario, offsite storage is a smart move. There are several services online you look into such as Carbonite or IDrive.  Most of the providers work the same, automatically backing up your system on a very frequent basis. The importance of this is that it is entirely offsite, should something happen to your physical computer, you have a backup you can gain access to through these companies. IDrive is an excellent choice as they create a backup disk that they can ship to you rather than needing to recover gigabytes of data over the internet which can prove to be a major headache and take lots of time. We hope that this is very helpful to you and will save you a major headache should your computer decide to turn on you. Following a backup plan with the three separate levels of security we covered will assure you look like a super-star should you need to piece together your system! Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter below to assure you are up to date on all things tech, productivity, and, of course, Dotto Tech! Until next time, have fun stormin’ the castle!

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