Five Easy Backup Drives
A reader asks: 'I am so confused about backups. Do I need to back up everything on my hard drive, or just certain user files? Backup software is complicated and I don't understand all the tech terms that are tossed around. Isn't there a backup device that just plugs in and does the job automatically?' Well, yes, actually! Here are five external hard drives that are easy to use...
No More Excuses: Five Drives for Easy Backups
Backups used to be straightforward. Back in the day, your data was stashed on an internal hard drive, and all you needed to do was copy it to a CD or an external hard drive. (Anyone else remember the XCOPY command?) But now, megabytes have blossomed into gigabytes and terabytes.
Some files are locked can't be backed up by simply copying them. Data is spread out over local drives, removable media, home networks, mobile devices, cloud storage services, and social media. Some backup software wants YOU to decide what needs to get backed up.
Plug and play is good. Automatic backups are great. Software that runs out of the box, without geekspeak and techno-jargon is awesome. Below are five backup drives that manage to keep things easy for users. All but one work on both PC and Mac computers.
If you're backing up your data to a separate partition on your hard drive, you still run the risk of losing everything to a hardware or natural disaster. And worse, if you're still procrastinating about doing backups, read How I Got Hacked... And Why You MUST Have a Backup! Then check out all five backup drives and choose one to safeguard your data from loss.
1: Clickfree has patented Easy Run™ software that makes backups plug-and-play. Just plug the C2 or C6 external drive into a Windows or Mac computer and the software automatically begins the backup process. The C2 is for user-generated content; it will find and backup over 500 file types including photos, music, video, etc. The C6 makes complete system backups including operating system, configuration, application, and content files. Other included software backs up music and playlists from iPods, iPads, and iPhones. Password and encryption protection are available. Drive capacities range from 500 GB to 2 TB.
2: Western Digital’s My Book External Drive is a small, quiet, efficient way to backup millions of files. Its SmartWave software lets you set up continuous automatic backups of new and changed files. The fanless design reduces energy consumption and noise. Hardware encryption keeps your data safe. Capacities range from 1 TB to 4 TB; you can use either USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 connection for data transfer. The My Book comes formatted for Windows but can be reformatted for Macs. Western Digital also offers portable My Passport drives, with capacity ranging from 500 GB to 2 TB. The portables have the advantage of being powered through the USB port, so there's no need for a power adapter.
3: Seagate’s Backup Plus family not only makes backups of your PC or Mac hard drive, it also handles backups of photos on Facebook and Flickr. You can restore selected files to social networks, too. It comes in 1 TB to 4TB capacities. USB 3.0 is standard; faster Thunderbolt and FireWire 800 connections are optional. The Seagate Dashboard software lets you choose either scheduled or continuous backups. Both desktop and portable versions are available.
4: Toshiba's Automatic Backup Portable Hard Drive is about the size of a wallet. The blue model holds 500 GB while the red one holds 1 TB. The Pocket Data Backup software from NTI2 requires no installation, as it runs right from the drive. The menu-driven interface is easily configured, and after the initial configuration, backups proceed automatically whenever the drive is plugged into your PC. Both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 data transfers are supported.
5: The Apple Airport Time Capsule looks like a toilet paper dispenser, but it's actually a really nifty wireless backup drive for OS X Leopard or later Macs. It’s capable of 802.11ac speeds, up to 3 times faster than 802.11n. Working with Time Machine, the Airport Time Capsule can store up to 3 TB of data including multiple versions of files. Once configured, backups are made continuously without user aid.
Using an external backup drive to safeguard all your files is a smart move. If you want to take it a step further, I encourage you to read my ebook Everything You Need to Know About BACKUPS, where you'll learn about strategies that include online backup, backing up your email, your social media content, and your smartphone data.
What hardware, software and strategy do you use for backups? Post a comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 20 Jun 2013
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Five Easy Backup Drives (Posted: 20 Jun 2013)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved