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How to backup your computer

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At Itsfixed Computer Repairs Melbourne, one of the common problems we see is that our customers don’t back up data. When was the last time you did a backup? Maybe it was the time that your sister was on the phone in tears because she’d lost all of her data? Uh-huh. Thought so.


Relax, you are in the silent majority of people who never back up their computers. We all think that we should. Even us tech-geeks think that. But we forget to do it, or we do it infrequently, or we always mean to get around to it, but never end up doing it.


The good news is that it’s actually quite simple to setup regular backups of your computer. Here’s how:


1. Get an external hard drive


You need to backup your data somewhere – one option is an external hard drive. There are also online backup services like Windows Skydrive, or Dropbox, however we’ll leave that for another article.

If you are going to purchase an external hard drive, the key is to buy one that has the fastest possible interface to your computer. At a minimum, it should support USB 2.0. However, if your system supports eSATA or USB 3.0, then get a hard drive that supports those interfaces. The faster your interface, the faster your backup process.


2. Setup your backups


You’ve got a few options here.

  • If you are using Windows 8, you should use its new File History feature to seamlessly backup and restore.  Microsoft have a great page that describes how to do this.
  • If you are using a Mac, you can use Time Machine. Apple have great instructions here.
  • Syncback is a great application that we personally use. 2BrightSparks have instructions here.


3. Keep your backup offsite!


Consider keeping your external hard disk somewhere else. After all, if a thief were to break into your house, they are likely to steal your external hard drive as well. Or if your house were to unfortunately burn down, you would lose both your data and the backup. A convenient place might be your office, or a friend or family member’s place.


4. Consider a two-tiered backup strategy


You may want to also consider having a second hard drive that you keep with your computer, and have it backed up automatically, all the time. And you can backup your ‘offsite’ hard drive once a month. That way, you know you’ve always got your latest data backed up, plus in the event of the unthinkable, you still have your data backed up offsite.


5. Need help?


Need help backing up your computer? Instructions above too complex? Our great techs at itsfixed know how to back up your computer. Give us a call on 1300 600 670.

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