Find the Best Backup Strategy for You

Whether it’s on a smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer, we store vast amounts of data, meaning regular backups are of paramount importance. So what is the best backup method to protect your data, and how often should you perform a full backup?

No single option will work for everyone – there’s no ‘catch all’ solution for backing up your data. There are, however, standard practices that you should become acquainted with. To start with, your backup strategy should not only include the backing up part, but also the resorting part, too. There’s no point backing up your data if you can’t restore them in the event of a data loss incident.

A solid backup strategy would be to back your files up on two external hard drives, with both of them being approximately double the storage capacity of the drive that needs backing up. Once you’ve completed the backup, you should disconnect the external HDD immediately, as malware can spread through the USB interface. Ideally, you should keep one of the drives in the near vicinity of your computer, and another offsite; if there’s a fire, flood or other natural disaster, you won’t lose your data.

We recommend that you save a complete image of your hard drive, so it’s always possible to restore your data back to its original state, and you’ll be able to have your system back up and running in no time. You can either perform a complete backup, which includes your entire HDD or SSD, or an incremental backup, where you select important files to back up. We suggest performing regular incremental backups rather than complete backups, as this can be done very quickly. You should still perform semi-regular complete backups, however. Files that are particularly valuable – like business data or family photos – should be prioritised.

While we recommend external hard drives as the storage medium of choice for home users, business users might want to look at other options. Magnetic tapes are one such example, and are still used widely by businesses today, and for good reason. Tapes can store a large amount of data at a relatively small cost, and are incredibly durable, with backup tapes being readable after decades.

data backup