There are many easy ways that users can complete a successful data backup with their most important computer files, and many of them can be fully automated in order to simplify the entire process. Online data backup has become extremely popular since the information is stored within cyberspace and can be retrieved from anywhere. Data backup to compact disks (CD) or digital versatile disks (DVD) are also a sound option since it is quick and inexpensive. Another method for users would be to install a second hard drive for data backup, and if installed correctly, the extra drive can remain invisible to hackers or other unscrupulous characters on the Internet. Zip drives also offer limited data backup options.
The most traditional method for data backup requires a CD or DVD burner plus compatible disks to store information on, and this method has a number of benefits and drawbacks. On the plus side, this backup method can be completed within minutes and files can be saved only when necessary. CDs and DVDs are also very portable, making it easy to carry them from place to place. Unfortunately, the disks can also be damaged quite easily and the information can be lost unintentionally. Another problem is storage capacity and the cost associated with purchasing extra disks; in time, this can become substantial.
Online data backup is another method for preventing the loss of files and folders, and while it is by far the easiest process, it is also the most expensive. To back up data online, a storage provider can be selected and a one-time setup process will have to be completed through the company's website. From that point, data backup will automatically take place every time the computer connects to the Internet or whenever the user specifies the function to take place.
Backing up data to a second hard drive is a solid middle option between the previously mentioned methods because it can be fully automated without recurring monthly costs. This method does require the most technical knowledge, but the process is fairly straightforward so that most users can complete without assistance. To complete this method, a user should purchase an internal or external hard drive, connect it to the computer by following the included instructions, and then instruct Windows® Backup to save future data on that particular drive.
There are also a few other methods for quick data backup that would be useful in limited situations. Zip drives have a limited storage capacity, but can easily hold hundreds of small documents and file folders. Many advanced users will simply save a snapshot of their hard drive in this manner and use it for recovery whenever necessary. Online email accounts can also have data sent to their servers and held online for free, but there are normally size limitations associated with this method as well. Finally, networking two computer systems together is also a viable option, but if both systems were to crash at once, then the information would be lost.