Granted that incidents of a laptop or a desktop computer getting stolen are scarce, that however is no reason not to back up the data in your system in case of an eventuality.

That eventuality could be anything from a hard drive crash to a virus infection.

In other words, routinely backing up your computer is not a sign of paranoia but a healthy habit rather necessary in this age when more and more of the information that you carry, you do in the form of zeroes and ones.

While the idea of a routine backup might make you groan, thinking about the amount of work involved, the good news is that backing up a computer is quite easy these days thanks to the terrific advances made in recent years in both local storage software and cloud storage.

So, here are ways in which you could back up your computer properly.

Local Back Up

Regardless of whether you use a PC or a Mac, you would have a rather solid backup system baked into the operating system in your computer. But to take advantage of this, you are going to need an external hard drive.

Usually, the backup drive should be at least as big as your internal hard drive.

Some of the good-and reasonably priced- options include Western Digital’s My Passport and Seagate’s Backup Plus.

Even if you choose to opt for more expensive variants, it’s probably still a worthwhile investment as opposed to losing all your valuable data later.


Mac’s backup tool is called Time Machine.

To back up your computer, you plug in the external hard drive into the computer and open Time Machine so that it could be configured as a backup drive. Time Machine will take over from there and do the rest.

Also, if you need to reset your computer, then OS X will ask you to provide a Time Machine backup from which it could restore. A good idea is to plug in the drive regularly because the more often you do that, the better access to data you would have in the event of an emergency

Windows 10

With Windows 10, Microsoft has included integrated backups.

The feature functions more or less the same way as in Mac.

Just plug in the external drive and go to File History — this can be searched for in the Start menu or you could find it in the Settings app in the "Backups" section. In File History, you could choose the particular folders you want backed up and also how often you wish to have the OS back data.

Cloud storage

Hardware like hard drives are also vulnerable to damage and may even get stolen. This is why cloud storage is a great option for backing up data — regardless of the volume of data involved.

For smaller files — like a presentation — you could just back it up with service providers like iCloud, Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive.

Also, with all of these services, you could install an app that would scan all the folders and have all the data uploaded in the cloud periodically. This means even if your computer goes bust, you could still log in and access the data from anywhere.

And if you need even more data protection using cloud storage, you can consider subscribing to services such as Backblaze. For $50 per year or $5 per month, Backblaze gives you unlimited online storage space for your data.