He wasn’t thinking about backing up computer files. Still, Ben Franklin’s advice “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is apt.
In our times, backing up is definitely on our minds, especially when the day comes when you power up the computer, and…. nothing.
I see the consequences and the consternation when that happens.
Here’s my ounce of prevention: Keep a local backup of your entire computer on an external hard drive. This way, your operating system, applications, data files, graphics, pictures, videos, music won’t go missing. Yes, it is good practice to use a cloud-based service, but it is not your first line of defense for restoring your whole computer back to where it was before the crash.
The best practice is redundancy. Plug in an external drive for Mac or PC. Download or install the software that automatically copies every bit and byte on your internal hard drive.
There are lots of options. The combinations I use myself and often recommend for clients are based on the big three: Cost. Convenience. Ease-of-use.
For Macintosh—Apple Time Machine with My Passport Ultra, 2TB – USB 3.0
Time Machine software comes bundled with Mac OS X. It runs in the background and you never have to think about it. Once you plug My Passport Ultra into the Mac, you will be prompted to use the hard drive with Time Machine. The intuitive user interface makes it easy to restore your computer and your recover files.
For Windows—Acronis True Image also with My Passport Ultra, 2TB – USB 3.0
Acronis True Image 2016, optimized for Windows 10, clones your entire internal disk and copies the whole thing to your external drive. I recommend archiving the first full backup you do. Then make a second backup. You can then make incremental backups once a week or so, and full backups once a month. For extra protection, use the software’s Rescue Media Builder to create a bootable USB flash drive.
Price information: Apple Time Machine is free, bundled with the operating system. At this writing, Acronis True Image 2016 is about $35.00 from Amazon. My Passport Ultra is about $90.00 from Amazon. Best Buy is another source for the products. I have no affiliation with the either the manufacturers or retailers.
If you have questions about backup best practices (and other ins and outs of your digital world), let’s talk. Chances are, I can help. I’m the Cambridge IT Guy, reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org, 857.600.1659.