When it comes to backing up your home computer, most people put it off; and though it’s something you know you should do, it never lands on your to-do list. An informal poll of friends and family may explain why: "It’s too overwhelming" and "I don’t know where to start" was repeated over and over, even from those with years’ worth of irreplaceable pictures on their PCs (mom!).
The main goal of backing up your computer is to preserve your memories (digital pictures, videos) and safeguard your most important documents (i.e. contracts, resumes, receipts, reports, etc.), so that’s where you start. Create a personal folder anywhere on your computer, mine is named JennStuff, and drag the files you’d be lost without. Create subfolders for pictures and documents. It’s as simple as getting a little organized, similar to cleaning out that closet. As long as everything is in one folder, that’ll be the only folder you need to back up. Sure, it can be more complicated, but we’re taking baby steps. Let’s at least protect the stuff that’s irreplaceable.
Next, decide on a method of backup. Online storage like HP Upline ($60 year unlimited storage) and SOS Online Backup ($50 year, 15GB storage) are reputable choices, but can get pricey over time. Speaking of online storage, if you’re most worried about losing your digital photo memories upload them to a free site like Shutterfly or Snapfish. Regular word documents take up very little room, and you can save those to a small USB drive like the SanDisk Cruzer Micro 4GB Flash Drive, which costs just $27.99. An affordable 2-part solution that’s easy to do.
The most popular solution, however, is an external hard drive where everything is stored in one place. There are many to choose from all with seemingly technical names and descriptions, which contributes to that overwhelmed feeling. No more excuses. I sifted through the options and picked three compact drives that are popular and easy to use.
SimpleTech Signature Mini External Hard Drive, 250GB, $79.99: This compact external hard drive comes in a variety of cool colors like Green Kiwi, Cayenne, Dark Blueberry and Gunmetal. It hooks up to your PC or Mac via USB port.
Seagate FreeAgent Go External USB 2.0 Hard Drive, 250GB, $89.99: This popular hard drive also comes in a variety of colors and is easy to use. At the time of this article, you could get the 320GB model for just $10 more—better suited for those with lots of home videos.
Western Digital My Passport Essential External USB 2.0 Portable Hard Drive, 250GB, $89.99Stylish and easy to use. Like the Seagate, for just $10 more you can grab a 320GB model.
Remember, one step at a time; and soon enough you’ll be able to cross this task off your 2009 to-do list.
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