I’m a person who can be considered a pack rat. I loathe throwing anything away just in the off-chance that I might “need it someday”. I’m not just talking about receipts or other documents—I’m talking about books and notebooks from high school, old clothes that I eventually part with to give to charitable causes, old toys, nearly everything. Until my roommates scream at me to get rid of some of my junk, I just keep it around “in case.”
I feel that many people can relate to that in terms of data, which I am also neurotic about. I have files that span ten years’ worth of computing, and I don’t like deleting any of it. They take up a ton of space and I panic at the slightest possibility of damage. I like having all my files and programs at hand. True, I use a lot of cloud-based programs too (I rely a lot on Google Drive, and my RingCentral phone systems app, and use cloud-based photo storage), but that’s because I know I wouldn’t lose them there. But the stuff I personally have span terabytes.
It goes without saying that I like to backup. If I have to transfer computers in an upgrade, all my things go with me. If I have to reinstall Windows, I back up. None of us want to lose super important data, pack-ratty tendencies or not. It’s just smart thinking to back up data before we lose them. And in that spirit, I now present to you some of the best Back Up programs available today:
- Web-Based Programs
Let’s start with Web-based utilities. Say you just want to back up a lot of documents, images, and spreadsheets from your office computer as you upgrade to a new one. Google Drive will be the easiest way to do it. The Drive is completely web-based and easy to navigate, as well as having a large amount of space for free. If you happen to need more, there are certain packages that allow you to increase them. Backing up online is simple—just upload everything to the drive. Office documents are a no brainer, and it can keep your images too.
Dropbox is another great bet. Dropbox has data storage to encompass all you need—assuming your data doesn’t exceed to terabyte ranges. It’s simple to sync your computer to your Dropbox and move the files you want to backup there. That way, you can even use it to keep one copy online and one in your physical drive. It’ll make the data accessible from anywhere too.
- Independent Programs
If you’re not quite sure that you want to make use of a web-based storage option (after all, the web is still a delicate place and things get hacked every day—no one wants their personal data in the hands of the world’s unscrupulous to see—an independent program that will back everything up on a physical device may be best. For example, if you are using Windows, you can try Cobian Backup. It can run on your computer in the background and has more than enough settings that will allow you to choose how you back up your system data, as well as precisely what will be backed up. Another great program is FBackup, also running on windows, and it’s free. It can be used as both a personal backup program as well as a business one. It can back up and restore your files easily through a wizard.