What Backup Software Can And Cannot Do

At some point in their lives, everyone loses data. Tomorrow, your computer’s hard drive could fail (knock on wood). Your external hard disk drive full of backup data could fail as well since it’s also a hard drive with a limited shelf life after much usage. It’s also a possibility that ransomware (a new type of malware that holds your files hostage) could infect your computer or a virus or worm could delete everything. Thankfully, there are multiple ways to back up your computer, but there are limits to even the best backup software. Some of them could go about automatically saving files up on the cloud or through the Internet (they’re uploaded permanently there until you delete them or the service ends). Others approach this by reminding you to back up your files on a separate medium.

The Deal with Backups

  • It’s important for the non-tech-savvy or barely computer literate user to be aware of the “magic” behind backups so that they have a realistic take on what it’s capable or incapable of. Every backup method has its respective pros and cons. Traditional disk or disc backup has the disadvantage of the physical discs (whether it’s the outdated floppy disk or the soon-to-be-purged DVD and Blu-Ray disc) deteriorating over time and the tougher discs being too expensive for affordable backup. They can also be phased out or considered obsolete.
  • Software-based backup of your files by partition (that is, separating your hard drive into partitions and keeping all your installers and personal files in a separate partition) is also a viable solution. The downside to this is if it’s not only one partition that crashes or gets corrupted, then all your files will be lost anyway. This is still a handy technique when your hard drive is new and you wish to safeguard it from crashes from either partition you have.
  • Most operating systems like Windows have backup solutions. Some of them are for your programs (the Last Good Settings option) in case your computer crashes in error and you wish to use the last good settings when it was still working. They also have backup software solutions that are available for free download. Unfortunately, none of these programs are comparable to commercial solutions that even include software for recovering permanently deleted files that aren’t available in your Recycle Bin.
  • You should acquire propriety software that automatically backs up all your files so even if you forget, the program won’t. The downside to this is a slower computer as the software constantly backs up every update you make on your countless files, but at least you have backups to speak of! These solutions also come in cloud computing format so you can upload your files in the safety of the Internet (just like your cellphone videos and pictures).
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