Nowadays there are many different kinds of computer backup storage, however if you choose to use external hard drives for your backup process, syncing backup files with your computer is highly recommended. This might sound extremely difficult but it syncing backup files to external hard drives is probably one of the easiest and most cost-effective backup method available.
External hard drives are so cheap at the moment, that it is almost a crime. Therefore if you are strapped for cash then this could be an affordable backup method to you.
Syncing backup files by copy and paste
this is by far the easiest way to sync backup files to external hard drives. We all basically know how to copy and paste files from one location to the next. All you have to do is buy an external hard drive, connect it to your computer via the USB port, and start copying and pasting. The other method is to use a cloud backup service.
If you are truly a beginner then here is an example for you:
- Connect your external hard drive to your computer. You will see an icon for the external hard drive show up in the “my computer” section for Windows XP, or “computer”, for Windows Vista and Windows 7.
- browse through your computer to find the files that you want to copy.
- You can select these files by making them blue.
- Right click on the blue area and a menu will come up. Choose copy from the menu. You can also press CTRL and C on the keyboard.
- After copying your backup files, go to your external hard drive and find the location of where you want to store the files.
- Right click in the area and choose paste from the menu. You can also use the keyboard shortcut for pasting which is CRTL and V.
This method of syncing backup files to external hard drives is both time-consuming and dangerous as it relies on you not to make mistakes. It also relies on you remembering to backup. Of course it is the cheapest and most affordable way and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
Syncing backup files to external hard drives using Windows
if you are using Windows as your operating system, especially the latest versions of Windows Vista or Windows 7, this includes a backup wizard that makes syncing your backup files to external hard drives very easy. This is one of the most obvious backup methods that you can use, however many people often overlooked this option. They simply do not realize that Windows includes a decent backup program within its operating system.
If you would like to check out the Windows backup wizard, simply visit your Control Panel and look for the backup and restore Wizard icon.
Securing your backup files on your external hard drives
Having an external hard drive to use to backup your files is fantastic, but there are a few risks that you need to take care of. One of the major risks is that external hard drives at easy to pick up and steel compare it to a desktop computer or a laptop. Especially the smaller external hard drives. You can simply placed them in your pocket and no one would be the wiser. Making sure that your external hard drive with all your precious files on it, is safe and secure, you will need to take proper precautions and be aware that this small device holds important files on it.
Another risk that people forget about is that if the external hard drive is stolen, the files are extremely easy to access. This can be taking care of by the some versions of the Windows backup wizard. It supports encryption and is password-based, therefore requiring you to remember the password.
Best Way To Backup Files To External Hard Drives
I am a total computer freak and if I was relying on external hard drives only as my backup method, I would probably have the following rules:
- I would use to external hard drives. All password protected.
- I would create an automated backup through the windows backup wizard, each hard drive having alternate dates.
- For permanent backup files such as templates and legal documents, I would store on an encrypted hard drive and hide that in a safe place away from my computer. Possibly a safety deposit box at an external address.
What are the chances of lightning striking and frying my computer, and both external hard drives? That would be a very rare..
I have written many more articles you might be interested in about this subject with step by step instructions, screen shots and even computer video tutorials.
My name is Mitz Pantic and I’ve been working with computers for over 25 years and love to teach people how to use their computers. Be sure to visit me at my computer tips website and say hello in the comments section. Also do not forget to sign-up for my free computer tips newsletter and receive a free 59 page Computer Terms Dictionary!
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