Why Backup? Here Are NINE Good Reasons (and ANSWERS to YOUR backup questions)

Category: Backup

It's a really good question... why should you bother to make backups? It's especially understandable if you've never experienced any sort of data loss. But I've got a list of NINE reasons, some of which may surprise you. Read on for that list, and ANSWERS to some of the best questions I've received about backups...

Do I Really Need to Back Up My Files?

I wrote the first edition of my ebook Everything You Need to Know About BACKUPS in 2010 because I'm passionate about making sure that important files -- programs, documents, emails, contacts, music, photos, and financial records -- are NEVER lost due to a data disaster.

My goal was (and is) to teach people how to make backups easily, inexpensively, and automatically. The all-new 6th Edition of Everything You Need to Know About BACKUPS will be released in just a few days!

And I'm excited because I believe that my plain English explanations and instructions will guide both advanced users and even the most non-technical readers to success with backups, and trigger a "Wow, that was easier than I thought!" response when they're done.

Yes, Backup Now

Over the past seven years, I've received some really great questions about backups from AskBob readers. I'm going to answer some of those questions here, but first, let's get into my list of reasons why you need to make backups.

NINE Good Reasons for Backups

1) Hard drives don't last forever. -- Studies on hard drive life expectancy show that 22% of hard drives will fail in the first four years, due to factory defects, random failures, and parts that wear out. Failures due to factory defects tend to happen in the first 18 months of service. How old is your hard drive, and how lucky do you feel?

2) Viruses, power surges, and natural disasters happen. -- Ransomware is spreading like wildfire online. It will lock all your files, and permanently delete them if you don't pay a hefty ransom within a few days. Power surges can scramble data or zap files. Fires, floods and F5 tornados can tear the stuffing right out of your shiny gadget.

3) Stuff gets lost or stolen. -- Even the most reliable hardware and top-notch virus protection won't help if your laptop, tablet or smartphone falls into unfriendly hands. Only a backup will save your bacon.

Crypto virus

4) Mobile gadgets break or get wet. -- Have you ever dropped your mobile phone in a dirty slush puddle, or treated it to a wash/spin/dry joyride? I have. Have you ever dropped your laptop, watched it fall in slow motion, hoping that it will survive the fall? Been there, too.

5) Passwords get lost. -- You followed the advice of the experts to use unique, secure passwords for your computer and your online accounts. But then you forgot... was it "2Much-L0ve4U" or "2Much-4U-2Love"? Dang it!

6) Accounts are compromised or frozen. -- Your password was "PASSWORD" and you're surprised you got hacked? Sometimes for no discernable reason, people get locked out of their Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Facebook or other online accounts. Was it a software glitch, a denial of service attack, or did a hacker gain access to your account? You may never know. And without a backup, you may never again see your saved emails, contacts or files.

7) Data breaches are becoming commonplace. -- Every week, it seems there's another high-profile data breach, resulting in millions of usernames, passwords and other critical data becoming public. Equifax, Yahoo, Target, Chase Bank, American Express, Home Depot, Apple, Sony... who's next, and how will it affect you?

8) Human error. -- None of us are immune to the occasional finger fumble, brain freeze, or senior moment. Files or folders may be accidentally deleted, and sometimes you don't notice until it's too late.

9) Incorrrect assumptions. -- I've learned that some people just assume that their computer is automatically making backups. If you didn't do something to make it happen, it's not happening. And many users who have some sort of backup routine are not backing up the right files, or all the ones that need protection.

Your Backup Questions Answered

I've received hundreds of questions about backups from AskBob readers. I can't answer all of them here, but I'll highlight some of the most interesting and common ones below:

Q: "Which free backup software do you recommend? Also, is there a paid product that you would recommend?"

Macrium Reflect backup software

A: My current favorite is Macrium Reflect. There's a free version which is quite good, and a paid version that adds some extra features I like. Windows 7 includes the Backup and Restore feature, but I find it a bit clunky. If you have Windows 10, the File History feature is a really good option for PARTIAL backups. I used Acronis True Image (paid software) for years, but the recent versions have become bloated and buggy. Lots of people tell me they like EaseUS Todo Backup (also free) but I've not used it enough to recommend it.


Q: "What exactly is 'The Cloud,' and how safe is it?"

A: Cloud storage or cloud backup refers to files that are stored on an Internet website (sometimes called a server) instead of your computer's hard drive or other local storage. The term "cloud" is used to create the impression of a giant hard drive in the sky, which provides convenient access to files that reside on the Internet. Examples of cloud storage providers are Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and Dropbox.

I maintain that data stored in the cloud is MUCH safer than files stored on a local hard drive. Do you use 256-bit encryption for your sensitive files at home? Do you have a staff of highly-trained professionals constantly monitoring your computer for break-in attempts? How about strong physical security that includes gated perimeter access, 24x7 on-site security guards, and security cameras? Do you have a fire detection and suppression system, backup power, and a disaster recovery plan in the event of hurricane, flood or earthquake? You can bet your cloud storage provider has all that and more in place to safeguard your data. It's probably much easier for the NSA to hack into your home computer than to get into any one of these cloud servers. Some people point to all the high-profile breaches reported in the news, but it's important to note that none of those compromised companies were cloud service providers, who focus on data security above all else.


Q: "What is the difference between a full system backup and a file backup? What is the difference between what *should* be backed up and what *must* be backed up?"

A: In a nutshell, a full system backup (or image backup) includes EVERYTHING on your hard drive -- the operating system, program files, and your personal files. A file backup usually refers to a backup that only includes personal files such as documents, spreadsheets, music, photos, etc. That's better than no backup at all, but my recommendation is to make regular image backups, followed up with a series of "incremental backups" that catch any changes since the full image backup.


Q: "If I get hit with ransomware or other malware, will that also affect the backups on my external hard drive, thus making recovery impossible?"

A: Yes, that can happen. That's why I recommend backing up your backup. One way is to have two external drives, which you swap out weekly or monthly. That's unfortunately a manual process, but I discuss other options in my ebook.


I Object!

I've heard lots of reasons for not doing backups. The most common one is "I'll do nothing and HOPE for the best." But there's a problem with that. (Actually 9 problems, see above.) HOPE is the strategy of the fearful, the uninformed, and the procrastinator. In this case, "doing nothing" is almost certain to lead to disaster. BUT... if you knew you could protect ALL your information on ALL your devices with little or no expense, and make it happen automatically, wouldn't that be great? Wouldn't it be awesome to have CONFIDENCE instead of HOPE?

Other people say "Backups are too complicated or time consuming." That might have been true 10 or 15 years ago. My first backup system used a tape drive that took forever to run, was prone to error, and was hard to set up. After that, I tried making backups on diskettes, CDs and DVDs. That was a hassle, and I never remembered to do it as often as I should have. But today we have "plug and play" devices that will start making automatic backups as soon as you plug them into your computer. Getting started with an online backup service is almost as easy, and both options can be configured to run at night, or when your computer is idle.

Another one I hear often is "Backups are too expensive." As I mentioned earlier, there are some really good free backup software options, and some clever ways to access gobs of free online storage. Don't trust your data in the cloud? A 1-terabyte external hard drive costs less than $50 now. Still too expensive? How about a 128GB USB flash drive for about $20?

Let's Talk About This...

I want to hear from you about backups! If you're already doing regular backups, strut your stuff. Post a comment below and tell me about your personal backup strategy. Are you backing up everything, including social media, your cloud storage, and mobile devices?

If you're not, or you have questions about backups, you'll find practical help and answers in my ebook Everything You Need to Know About BACKUPS (6th Edition) which will be released in just a few days! Keep an eye on your inbox for further news.

 
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Most recent comments on "Why Backup? Here Are NINE Good Reasons (and ANSWERS to YOUR backup questions)"

(See all 26 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

Frank
12 Feb 2019

I used Macruim Reflect per Bob's suggestion. So how, it backed up my files on my Hard Drive thus using up 100 Gigs or more of my Computer Hard Drive. So I disabled it. My fault. Totally a non-geek person. Sure wish I had that space back. I down to less than 200 Gigs left on my Hard Drive.


Posted by:

MartinW
12 Feb 2019

I've got so many different backups I get confused. My Chromebook backs up personal files to the Cloud. Some other things may be there too. (Confusion?) I also have Dropbox for Windows. (It won't work on my Linux ones.) Two Linux Mint laptops use Timeshift to back up ON THE HARD DRIVE. (I know, not the best idea. I tried backing up one to an external drive, but they never recognize each other.) I use AOMEI Backupper to back up two dual-boot computers, but I don't know (??) if they back up anything but the Windows parts. (I haven't done a reinstall since I made the computers dual-boot.) For the Linux parts I also use Timeshift again. In other words, both Confidence and Hope play a part in my backups. (Do I need help? A lot?)


Posted by:

Ron
12 Feb 2019

Dear Bob,
You tell WHY we need to backup but you never tell us exactly WHERE the stuff is that you need to backup.

Sincerely

Ron


Posted by:

WardS
12 Feb 2019

Do the various back up programs languages evolve over time where, for example, a 10 year old backup may no longer be accessible, if you've not been diligent in keeping up with a products evolution?


Posted by:

Mark H.
12 Feb 2019

I've been using the paid version of Macrium Reflect for years now. Version 7.2 has Image Guard protection that helps protect against ransomware. If attempting to access an image file outside of Macrium, Image Guard will prevent it. (I know, cuz I've tried).


Posted by:

Shelly
12 Feb 2019

Very good advice. I have tried each of the backup programs you recommend. My favorite was always Karen's Replicator. You can still get it but Karen passed away and I don't believe the program is being updated anymore. My new favorite, free backup program is Personal Backup. Very easy to use with many advanced features. I backup to a secondary local drive and also several different network locations. http://personal-backup.rathlev-home.de/index-e.html

It is a good idea to always have three copies of all important data. The original copy and two other copies in two completely separate physical locations. I also keep a 4th copy that I do every few months. I keep that copy is a locked, fireproof safe.
As for your comment about forgetting your password I recommend always using a password manager which I also include in the backup. My master password is written down locked in my safe so I am never at risk of loosing it. I use eWallet. It is an excellent program that allows me to use it on my desktop and laptop and also on my Android. The best part is I can sync across my home network as opposed to many password managers that require you to sync using a cloud service. I personally never store any private or personal information on the cloud. eWallet is not free but very inexpensive and worth every penny.
https://www.iliumsoft.com/ewallet/


Posted by:

Frances MC
12 Feb 2019

I'm pretty good about doing a backup once a week. I use an external hard drive, which is only plugged in for the backup, and the Windows 7 backup facility which I haven't had any trouble with. I go on using my computer while the backup runs and haven't found it a problem. (The problems come with my weekly anti-virus scan which slows everything down.)

So far, I haven't had to use the backup.


Posted by:

Jeannie
12 Feb 2019

I use two different programs for backing up my computers. I have my OS and programs on their own drive or partition (which depends on the computer) and my data (music, movies, documents, photos, etc.) on their own drives or partition.

I use Macrium Reflect for imaging my C:\ drive (OS and programs only). I do not recommend incremental or differential imaging. Whole images are safer and easier to keep track of. I only make an image right after running antivirus and anti-malware scans plus just before making any changes to my System, such as running OS or program updates, adding or removing programs, or making changes to settings. Anymore often than that is just overkill.

While imaging is necessary for backing up and restoring System files, it is too time consuming and eats up too much space to be practical for backing up data. I backup my data drives (or partition) with a folder/file syncing program called FreeFileSync. It's much faster than imaging and requires far less space.

For backup drives to be true backup drives, them MUST be kept disconnected from the computer and powered down, then stored away from the computer except while updating a backup (this eliminates automatic backups other than ones using a good clond backup service). Backups should be updated as frequently as practical. Onsite and offsite backup drives should be swapped out

Ideally, for data to be reasonably safe, it must exist in at least three separate places. For most people, this is on the computer, on an onsite backup, and on an offsite backup. Since I have a lot of data that would be expensive to replace or is irreplaceable, I carry backups even farther. Since any drive, no matter its age or price, can irrecoverably fail at anytime without warning, including backup drives, in addition to the copy of data on the computer, I keep a set of four backup drives for every drive (five of them) on my desktop computer (the data on my notebooks are duplicates of some of the data on my desktop so my backups for them are far simpler): two of each set are kept onsite and the other two are kept offsite in my safe deposit box at my credit union. I swap out the onsite and offsite backups no less than once a month.

A good paid cloud backup service is the one exception to my no automatic backup rule. Most cloud storage sites, especially the freebies, are notorious for being insecure and disappearing (along with your data) with insufficient to no warning. Good, paid, cloud backup services can be used in place of HDDs or SSDs for an offsite backup but should never be the sole backup in case the site goes down (it has happened, Mozy's and Crashplan's home plans being examples).

The upsides of cloud backups include being fully automatic and simpler to use and more up to date than than offsite backup drives. Downsides include cost, the need for a broadband internet connection with a high enough data cap to avoid data overcharges on new and changed data you generate every month, and slow initial uploads and slow recovery downloads.

The only two paid cloud backup services I recommend for Windows and Mac are Backblaze, followed by Carbonite.

Sadly, there are no cost effective paid cloud backup services I can recommend for Linux. Crashplan Small Business Plan (which Crashplan pushes to replace their now discontinued home plan at twice the cost) claims to meet those needs but in actual practice, their software is buggy as a flophouse bed, they have frequent, extended outages, and their tech help reps are idiots (I found out all this last year when I gave them a try; that's money I'll never see again).


Posted by:

Jeannie
12 Feb 2019

One comment I forgot to make for those who think backups are too expensive is that backups are one heck of a lot less expensive more reliable than professional data recovery which can easily run into the thousands of dollars with no guarantee of success.

Also, despite popular opinion to the contrary, RAID is NOT a backup. In case you missed it the first time, RAID IS NOT A BACKUP! RAID is redundancy and redundancy will protect you only from drive failure (up to a point). Drive failure is not the only way to lose data, something Bob has already explained.


Posted by:

George
12 Feb 2019

I am not a real techie guy but I have learned to use Macrium and swapped my three computers to S.S.hard drives with no problems. Some of my friends have had me do the same for them. The program always works great for me.
Thanks for all you do. I would be a real flunky without your great teachings.
Geo


Posted by:

RandiO
12 Feb 2019

>> Q: "What exactly is 'The Cloud,' and how safe is it?"
What I am hearing here is that users should surrender their "TRUST" [whatever that self-serving word really means] to big server providers (AWS, DropBox, OneDrive, google) w/their precious data protection, rather than taking ownership/responsibility for security of one's own personal data.
The provided answer seems ONLY to be pitting a possible Surveillance-State (e.g. NSA) against the Surveillance-Capitalists (e.g. google).
I may have zero protection against the Surveillance-Capitalists. But, at least, I have a (modicum of) voice against our possible Surveillance-State. I am with stupid and I choose to keep my personal data secure AND private BUT w/o yielding to pressure from 'experts' that I can only select the lesser of these two evils.
I am inclined to believe that recommending and instilling extreme TLC for handling sensitive personal data would serve the readership better than creating a panacea about cloud-security.
There is an old adage in motorcycling which posits that "There are 2 types of motorcyclists: Those who have gone down; and those who are about to." A similar corollary can be made for breaches in security and encryption.
I would like to commend you for another great topic coverage about ‘backup solutions’ and I wish great success for your book. I just wish that this question (re: Cloud Safety) was not so je-ne-sais-quoi!
============================================
TL&DR >> I assembled some counterpoints, in the form of relevant quotes which may better get my point across about my trust-phobia.
• Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes? [Who watches the watchers?]
• "Opportunities [as w/data security] multiplies as they are seized." ― Sun Tzu
• “If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.” ― Kahlil Gibran
• “Security is always excessive until it's not enough.” ― Robbie Sinclair, Head of Security, NSW Australia
• “The world is one big data problem.”- Andrew McAfee, MIT scientist
• “Data is the new oil.” — Clive Humby
• “There are only two types of companies: Those that have been hacked, and those that will be." ― Robert S. Mueller (2012@FBI)
• “No one can build his security upon the nobleness of another person.” ― Willa Cather
• “The way to be safe is never to be secure.” ― Benjamin Franklin
• “Security is the chief enemy of mortals.” ― William Shakespeare
• “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature.” ― Helen Keller
• “If something is free, you’re not the customer; you’re the product.” ― Bruce Schneier
• “Most people are starting to realize that there are only two different types of companies in the world: those that have been breached and know it and those that have been breached and don’t know it.” – Ted Schlein
• “Companies just aren’t willing to admit vulnerability to themselves, or publicly to shareholders.” ― Ashton Carter
• “Relying on the government to protect your privacy is like asking a peeping tom to install your window blinds.” ― John Perry Barlow
• “Taking privacy cues from the federal government is – to say the least – ironic, considering today’s Orwellian level of surveillance. At virtually any given time outside of one’s own home, an American citizen can reasonably assume his movements and actions are being monitored by something, by somebody, somewhere.” – Bob Barr
• “The bigger the network, the harder it is to leave. Many users find it too daunting to start afresh on a new site, so they quietly consent to Facebook’s privacy bullying.” – Evgeny Morozov
• The user’s going to pick dancing pigs over security every time. – Bruce Schneier
• “Before Google, and long before Facebook, Bezos had realized that the greatest value of an online company lay in the consumer data it collected.” ― George Packer
• “Big data is at the foundation of all of the megatrends that are happening today, from social to mobile to the cloud to gaming.” – Chris Lynch“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” ― Henry David Thoreau
• “It has always seemed that a fear of judgment is the mark of guilt and the burden of insecurity.” ― Criss Jami
• “Those of us who fought the crypto wars, as we call them, thought we had won them in the 1990s. What the Snowden documents have shown us is that instead of dropping the notion of getting backdoor government access, the NSA and FBI just kept doing it in secret.” ― Bruce Schneier
• “Any CEO who really understands risk knows that cyber is possibly the most unpredictable risk there is. It’s more unpredictable than a flood or tornado.” ― Malcolm Marshall
• “There are some good benefits with passwords that people often forget. If biometric [data] is hacked, compromised, what will you do?” ― T. Ehrensvard
• “The amount of control you have over somebody if you can monitor Internet activity is amazing. You get to know every detail; you get to know, in a way, more intimate details about their life than any person that they talk to because often people will confide in the Internet.” ― Tim Berners-Lee


Posted by:

Ralph Bruechert
12 Feb 2019

I use Macrium Reflect (free edtion) to make a system image once a week, and a differential image on the other six days. I keep 28 days of images before overwriting on my 2TB external drive. Every two weeks, I copy the latest system image to a second drive in my computer. All images are done at 0 dark hundred. Overkill? Maybe, but I think my behind is covered.


Posted by:

LouDamelin
13 Feb 2019

Someone mentioned they make clone backups. I would suggest image backups instead. A clone copies everything, even empty space and takes forever. An image backup is much quicker. Also if you need to install the backup on a different hard drive a clone is likely to fail because it looks for the same space it was copied from. An image is more versatile.


Posted by:

Sally
13 Feb 2019

Seems to me that many of your readers find it a complicated and difficult process no matter what solutions are offered. My sister would like a device that she can just plug into the computer, walk away, then return to find everything backed up!


Posted by:

PeteFior
13 Feb 2019

I regularly do weekly backups - but much prefer using the "cloning" option of backup software. The cloning process takes a bit longer - but I do it at the end of my computing day and set the computer to automatically shut down when completed.

Cloning can be a better option in a number of ways:

- There is no need to create or update a "bootable recovery disk", since the clone is an exact copy of the original.

- Individual files are easily available on the cloned USB disk to be transferred to other offline computers for updating music, photo, or video files.

- Alternate backup software programs may be used without concerns about compatibility with different backup recovery disks or algorithms.

Despite the longer time required for cloning - these advantages work well for me!


Posted by:

Jeannie
13 Feb 2019

@PeteFior Cloning is usually be a bad option in a number of ways:

-There is the time element already mentioned. This can become a huge issue when dealing with large volumes.

-Repeated cloning causes unnecessary writes, not a particularly large problem on an HDD but a huge one on SSDs since it will cause premature exhaustion of remaining TBWs (TeraByte Writes).

-If your data is segregated from your System (OS and programs) files (which it should be, even the computer has only one drive), a folder/file syncing program will give you what is essentially a clone of your data files on which you can access all your files, same as an actual clone. Since only new, changed, and deleted files are involved with folder/file syncing, updating a backup can be very fast with far fewer writes. Also, the better folder/file syncing programs have a feature called Versioning which will direct any files deleted from the backup drive to a user designated Versioning folder or drive. This protects you from accidental deletion, something cloning will not do.

-Making rescue media, even when making more than one for planned redundancy (having a spare or two in case one fails), takes only a few minutes instead of as much as a few hours. I use small, inexpensive USB flash drives from reputable manufacturers (Kingston is my favorite) and have yet to have one fail (still, I like being prepared). The drives take up very little drawer or laptop bag space.

-When imaging just the OS and programs (for this, the OS and programs need to be on their own drive or partition and data on a separate drive[s] or partition), the amount of room to store the image is 60-70% of the full size of the drive or partition thanks to compression. You can also keep several images on a drive so, if the last previous image is problematic, you can go back to an earlier one. In your scenario, let's say a virus sneaks in past your AV protection (it happens more often than you may think), say a week ago, the clone you made the day before (and every day for a week) will also be infected. Depending on the software used, restoring an image can be much faster than restoring a clone.

There are occasions where cloning would be appropriate. Drive duplication, such as when moving from an older drive to a newer one, is what cloning is intended to be used for.

I carry two backup drives with each of my notebook computers. Both are clones of the drive in the computer. My notebook drives are divided into four partitions: System Reserved, C:/, Data only, and the factory recovery partition. I carry clones so, if the drive in the computer goes belly up and cannot be restored, I can pull out the deceased drive and replace it with one of the clones (a bit of a chore but still doable, even when on the road).

For updating the backup clones, I use folder/file syncing to update the data drive. I keep images of the System Reserved and C:/ partitions on the data partition (which gets backed up on the backup drives). I don't worry about the factory recovery partition. Every once in a while I will reclone the system Reserved and C:/ partitions to the backup drives. This way, I keep writes to a minimum, critical since the computer drive and backup drives are SSDs (2TB in two of the notebooks; the other one still uses 500GB drives). It also saves me a huge amount of time.

The data on my notebooks are also on one of my desktop data drives so I do a two way sync between them using one of the notebook backup drives as a sneaker net (some folders on the desktop drive are excluded from the sync).


Posted by:

PeteFior
14 Feb 2019

@Jeannie Your position critical of systematic cloning is appreciated - but our situations are quite different and unique for the following reasons:

1) The extra time element for cloning is not important to me, since I perform my clones at night before retiring and configure Acronis True Image 2013 to shut down my computer upon completion.

2) Acronis TI 2013 has an especially fast cloning feature (about 35 minutes) because it shuts down Windows and utilizes its own OS for its cloning function. Most newer backup utilities (including Acronis 2018) are extremely sloooow and take about 2 hours.

3) All my backup drives are HDD's - and either USB 3.0 or eSATA for maximum transfer speed - so unnecessary writes are no concern for me at all.

4) I do keep all my data on separate partitions, as you suggest, but I do not use a laptop, tablet, or smartphone - and I only have my main desktop connected to the router/internet/network so a folder/file syncing program is not called for in my situation.

5) I do have a few offline "vintage" desktops which I use mainly for music and video - which can easily be updated by copying data folders from my online computer backup HDD. I can also use these computers for occasional full data backups.

6) Finally, I am retired and not as sophisticated a computer user as you - so simplicity is of primary importance to me - and my cloning system is about as simple as it gets! Thanks for your excellent suggestions for all Bob's "feedback" readers and the additional knowledge given to me, as well.


Posted by:

Jeannie
15 Feb 2019

@PeteFior

3. Even though excessive writes are not nearly as critical for HDDs as they are for SSDs, they still can cause premature failure.

4. Methinks you are misunderstanding the purpose for folder/file syncing. It's not only for syncing between computers. It can also be used for syncing between a computer drive and a backup drive.

For backing up data, when set for Mirror mode (not the same as RAID 1) the folder/file syncing program will compare data on the source drive with the data on the backup drive. Any new or changed data that is on the source drive but is not on the backup drive will be copied from the source drive to the backup drive. Any data that is on the backup drive but isn't on the source drive will be deleted from the source drive.

The result will essentially be a clone of the source drive on the backup drive. The biggest differences, however, is, with folder/file syncing you can pick and choose which folders you are going to backup, the amount of time required (which you feel is not an issue for you which is fine), and, with clones, any files you may have accidentally deleted will be permanently lost.

The better folder/file syncing programs have a feature called Versioning, which, when enabled, will send files deleted from the backup drive to a user designated versioning drive or folder. This protects against accidentally deleted files.

5. A folder/file syncing program will simplify that job.

6. I'm also a retiree pushing 70 and not as computer sophisticated as you seem to believe. I will grant you that simple cloning is as simple as it gets but, once set up, folder file syncing and imaging are just as simple to use, are far more versatile, and are faster.

Keep in mind that your clones only backup your computer as it was for the day you made the clone. If a virus crept in or you got a bad program or OS update, two days before, you could be out of luck because you clone also backed that up.

With images of just the OS and programs only, you can keep several of them so you can go back as far as you need. That has saved me at least twice that I can think of.

You have your computer set to turn off after the clone is finished but what about the drive the clone was put onto? If it's still powered up overnight, a power surge could take it out. If it runs 24/7, it will be connected to your computer again the next time you fire it up, making it vulnerable to viruses and other malware.

For a backup drive to a true backup drive, it MUST be kept powered down and disconnected from the computer and stored away from the computer except while updating a backup.


Posted by:

Riccardo Capuano
18 Feb 2019

I just save all my personal files on Microsoft OneDrive. Like Bob said, files stored on the cloud is MUCH safer than storing them on a hard drive. No work, no hassle making backups. Windows 10 comes with OneDrive included, and you get 5GB free storage.

A couple of years ago, my laptop hard drive crashed. I got it replaced with a new SSD hard drive with Windows 10. All I had to do was boot up, log into my OneDrive account, and that's it, all my files were there.

I don't know why others don't do the same. It's so easy.


Posted by:

Gordy
20 Feb 2019

Famous last words:

"You can trust the 'cloud'". It has 256 bit encryption, halon fire extinguishers, armed guards and barbed wire,etc.

Bob, really, you don't think the NSA has a foot thick cable running into each 'cloud' server SUCKING up every last bit and byte?

I trust NO ONE! And when you mention google and microsoft, my God man, they're the most untrustworthy orgs on the planet.


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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Why Backup? Here Are NINE Good Reasons (and ANSWERS to YOUR backup questions) (Posted: 12 Feb 2019)
Source: https://askbobrankin.com/why_backup_here_are_nine_good_reasons_and_answers_to_your_backup_questions.html
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