Today, there exists a myriad of ways that you can back up your PC. In the earlier days, there were limited backup solutions, such as using an external drive, and they had a lot of shortcomings. Fortunately, we can now back up our PCs through a number of secure means. Backing up data is very important because if your hard drive crashes or gets destroyed, you could end up losing essential data.

Imagine waking up one day to find that all the files, documents and photos you have built up over the years are gone thanks to an unexpected data disaster. If you have no backup, you may be forced to start building the data from scratch, which is sometimes impossible. That’s why it is imperative for you to identify what backing up your PC involves. Read on!

It all trickles down to the data

The whole idea of backing up your PC is to preserve your data, files such as work documents, financial records, and family photos and videos among others. However, you can also find a full-system backup solution that allows you to back up the operating system and your software.

Such a full system comes in handy in backing up MySQL, ensuring that your database is secure regardless of your computer failing or being destroyed. Ultimately, the core purpose of backing up your PC is to preserve your data.

You don’t need to back up every software

Modern PCs have come to save us from the trouble of backing up every application that we install. In earlier years, the software was sold on floppy disks and compact disks. As a result, you needed to conduct a full system backup because it was tedious reinstalling all the software afresh.

Luckily, gone are the days when you had to do everything by yourself manually. The software used today is mainly web-based. You only need to sign back in to enjoy using the software in case your PC crashes. You can also seamlessly re-download and re-install the software. As a result, you don’t need to back up such software. Consider backing up software that allows a one-time download.

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What you need to know about full-system backups

As much as full-system backups work in your favor, you need to know a couple of things. Conducting a full-system backup takes plenty of time. That notwithstanding, this type of back up requires external drives that have a large capacity – and they happen to be quite costly. You can opt to back up using free software, but then it might not be a good idea to put all your eggs (hard drive) in one basket (free software) like that.

You must also know that a full-system restore does not match the benefits brought along by installing a new operating system. Why? It still retains the fragmented files from before. Besides, full-system restores are inconsistent, they may fail to work sometimes, and that’s why some people prefer a fresh installation.

What’s the best alternative?

Your primary objective for backing up your PC should focus on just backing up your important data. There are reliable backup solutions that you can rely on such as cloud based services like iCloud, Google Drive, and OneDrive among others.

However, you need to keep in mind that cloud-based storage services provide you with limited storage space. Therefore, they may not be ideal for backing up a lot of video and music files. Instead, consider them for backing up essential documents like financial records, tax records, and office documents. As for the larger files, you can opt for alternative backup options like external drives.