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Painless Computer Back up

Updated on October 25, 2012


it took you a lifetime to collect all your documents so far, and it will take you a second life to do everything all over again too!

We all love having pictures of special moments that we live through and record them for long time memories. Some other computer user may love to storage music and videos in their computer hard drive, an entire library of music albums collected over a lifetime. Some others may storage school projects, midterms, class notes, business or personal records in computers. What ever the case is, it takes time, often long time and effort, to create a piece of work or download data to storage it in our computer hard drive. just by reading this article you may even remember your most recent files worked on your personal computer or recall the oldest pictures and projects you worked on and saved into your computer and you still have them in a folder. Just the idea of an out of the blue computer fail or sudden break down is enough to bother us big time, so why not get ready before hand? Keep on reading to discover why some common system break down occur and or how to get a long easily with transferring files to a new computer replacement or personal device coming to your home.

What is a back up?

Well, basically is having your files saved in your computer, like you normally do, but also have them all storage somewhere else in case the files saved in your computer can no longer be retrieved. Why have all your saved items in a different storage besides your computer? Again, in case your files can not be retrieved from your everyday computer either because of distance between you and your computer is a barrier or because your computer breaks down and will not power on again, in such scenario your files, documents, and data can be retrieved form the second storage device where you secured them.

Is it important? I trust my computer.

Accidents will happen. It would be wise to have a “plan B” rather than an excuse for your employee for missing records or an extension request for your teacher in school assignments because of missing school notes or works. I do most of my school work and notes on my mac and it took me entire semesters to finish a book and save the notes from those lectures on a folder, it would take me for ever to re-do all the school notes all over again! Just finishing that sentence made me open pages to make sure all my notes are still there; yes they are fine fortunately. Situations love to caught people off guard.



Saving files online has its benefits and downsides. But basically saving documents online means having an account, often free, with an online file storage provider where you can upload your library to your online account and delete or update any new documents at any time. Some of the most commonly used providers are mentioned below:


You may be familiar with the Apple brand products and, like most people do, own one of their products. iCloud is designed to help Mac, iPad, iPhone, and iPod users feel secured with a free 5 GB iCloud account standing behind them. In case the normal daily use wear your iPhone off, all documents, contacts, applications, notes, music and pictures previously allocated in your phone will automatically be sent to your new phone model after you sign in to your free iCloud account. The same for your iPad, iPod and Mac products when it comes to replacing, backing up, or just mere retrieving a document accidentally deleted. But the best part of iCloud services, and the reason why I decided to rank it a number one position in this article, comes when you create a document or picture in any Apple device and your iCloud account will automatically sent it to your other Apple devices and computers. iCloud works on PC computers as well, the downside is that documents created on computers will have to be uploaded online manually at which will automatically send the documents to mobile devices.

Google Docs

Google Docs is an online service where an user creates an account for free and have immediate access to a free 5GB storage on his google account. What is cool about Google Docs is that the files you currently have in your computer and also on your Google Docs account will display a green check mark in the preview icon which means that a version of the file is securely stored in Google. This way you easily will know which documents are saved and which documents still need to be uploaded. Basically you install an application on your computer and an icon will be crated as well as a folder where you may drop all the files you want to back up and the process will start. It is much easier to drop files in a folder than having to sign in online and upload them your self, which is why Google Docs scores number two in this ranking.


iWork might not be so popular since pages, numbers, and keynote are available for intel macs only. however, creating an account is free and any type of text, powerpoint, and spreadsheet documents can be stored. The best part is that if you own Apple devices with pages, numbers, or keynote software, will automatically send and update files among all Apple devices with iWork software installed. Also there is no need to sign in online to your account to upload documents, you can (if working in any iWork software) share your work straight to just by clicking on the “share” option on the top bar of your document. because you do not have to log in to your account and the documents can be upload straight to right after finishing editing, scores 3 in my ranking.

Where to back up? Is it free?

Where or how do I secure my documents? It is better to spend some time looking for and researching than spend hours and days trying to retrieve everything and complaining about it. Reading these options below will surely pay off!


A physical storage turns out to be on the most useful methods for creating back ups. Some computer manufactures create softwares that enable the computer to create scheduled back ups of all (files, data, programs, setting) to the computer internal hard drive, external hard drive, or CDs/DVDs. However, for saving mere documents a flash drive, usb, or memory card will be more than useful. The best part of physical storage is that no internet connection is required, which saves time otherwise spent in creating accounts, logging in, and download or upload the files. However, one of the most common downsides of physical storage is that they can be easily, specially for careless people, to be lost or stolen or fail over time. however, some of the most relevant and common devices are shown below in ranking positions:

Time Capsule

Time capsule is a device with awesome storage space (often 1TB or more), compatible with MACs and PCs where back ups are sent wirelessly to the device for storage. Time capsule is a really good deal for the money you pay as it is really simple and easy to use. Because of the wireless capacity and 1TB or more storage, the Apple Time Capsule scores 1 on this ranking.

Time Machine

Time machine is a software created by Apple where automated or scheduled computer back ups are made and where older versions of data and files is accessible for recovery. Time machine is to be used with any external hard drive or time capsule devices. Because it is a really easy to use software where previous versions can be accessed, Time Machine scores 2 on my ranking.

External Hard Drive

These are often non expensive and large in storage capability devices that can not only secure back ups for your computer, but can also be used as the main storage point for your music, photos, and videos library. Their size makes it the best portable device out there to take with you if traveling too often where you might not have access to wireless devices like Time machine. Because their ability to fit on the go with you, and their multi use for personal library storage, external hard drives score 3 on this ranking.


When considering either online or physical back up, or both, always select the most protection at the least effort.


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    • jose7polanco profile image

      Jose Misael Polanco 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      I tried to do back up but on a hard drive but the thing is i have to back up for several or at least two computers and so i find that a problem. Often i just back up my main computer.

      Online back up takes longer. Thanks for your comments

    • snlee profile image

      snlee 5 years ago from Asia Pacific Regions

      Just got to know that there are so many alternatives for data backup. Periodically I just do a full backup on a external harddisk and hope that's secure enough.


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