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Back it up!

One of my favorite tech personalities, Leo Laporte, puts it best: "you've gotta back it up to get it back."

A computer is a machine that will fail. There are a large number of ways to back up important pictures and documents before they disappear.

Online services such as Dropbox provide "cloud" storage. That means you can copy your files to their computer. Prices start at free, but quickly go up if you have more than the maximum amount of free files. My favorite service with a free starting price is Google Drive. All you need is a free Gmail account.

Memory sticks and external hard drives are another way to back up your files. When configured properly, you don't even need to remember to make backups. Just plug in your device, and it backs up regularly.

Specialized backup software typically provides a powerful benefit over free options: reporting. Often, people think something is backed up when it is not. Consider asking about dedicated backup software and you may enjoy a better result.

That brings me to an important tip: restore a test file every now and then. Pretend your computer is dead... maybe use a friend's machine. Just try to restore a precious photo, and make sure everything goes well.

If you want help with backups, swing on in or send an email. It's a topic that I can write about for a long time. I've seen disasters, including in my own family. I always enjoy helping where I can. Everyone has unique backup needs, and I'll happily recommend something for you.

Derek SchaeferComment