Intricacies of Backing Up Computer Data

Not all computer users are keen to back up their data regularly. Some believe that the hardware will not let them down, whereas others do not bother keeping important on a computer in the first place.

When it comes to the latter group, you might download an important file and forget about it only to boot the computer one day and find that your data is corrupted or lost. 

As for those who trust their hardware, sure, you should expect reliability for the money you pay, but when it comes to a computer’s drive, expecting it to last forever would not be too wise. 

It is also worth noting that forgetfulness and hardware issues are not the only reasons to back up data. Natural disasters, while rare, are also a possibility. Not to mention potential malware and other cybersecurity threats.

So, as you can see, there are plenty of reasons why you should get in the habit of backing up computer data. Now, let’s take a look at two methods to do that.

External Drives:

External drives might make you feel a bit reluctant because they are a physical piece of hardware, just like what you have on the computer. Nevertheless, external hard drives and USB memory sticks remain a popular way to back up data.
In some instances, external drives are the only solution not just to back up data but also read it on your device. NTFS files are a good example of this if you own a MacBook. The article on covers the topic.

While staying on the topic of MacBooks, you do not have to look for third-party software to back up data with an external device. Time Machine is part of the OS toolkit, and you can use it to create regular data backups. However, it is worth noting that the external device has to be properly formatted. Otherwise, it will not read the files you want to back up.

As for Windows users, things are a bit more straightforward. You can mount an external drive and copy-paste the files you want to back up. 

These days, external storage hardware is relatively cheap. You can get a decent hard drive with 1 TB or more storage for less than 50 dollars, which, given the importance of having a secure copy of important files, is quite worth it.

Cloud Storage:

If you are not a big fan of keeping hardware pieces around your house because they take space, you can take a different approach and pick the digital backup option in the form of cloud storage.

These days, there are quite a few services that offer flexible options and additional services to attract more users. While some people might have cybersecurity concerns about keeping data on cloud storage, these doubts should not exist because cloud services are known for their emphasis on security.

Another great thing about cloud storage is that you can access files right on the cloud. For example, if there is a Word document that you want to check or edit, there is no need to copy it to your computer and transfer an edited version back to the cloud. No, you can make the adjustments directly on your cloud account.

Now, as far as available service options go, you have a few to consider. As a MacBook user, you should probably stick to iCloud since the service is tailor-made for Apple devices. It makes even more sense if you own an iPhone or an iPad in addition to a Mac. iCloud allows you to move files between different Apple devices after you sync the iCloud account with them.

For Windows users, there is Dropbox, Google Drive, to name a few. Of course, it is not just iCloud that you can use on a Mac. Other services are compatible with macOS as well.

As a rule of thumb, there is a monthly or a yearly fee that you can expect. The default plan usually offers a lackluster amount of storage for free. Meanwhile, spending a few dollars a month ought to be enough for your needs.

Remember that new cloud services appear regularly, and some well-established services might make some changes in their policies, including prices. Thus, be sure to keep an eye on cloud storage services and what they offer to get the best deal for yourself.


So there you have it, two options for backing up computer data and having fewer worries about potentially losing important files. Both cloud storage and external devices have their pros and cons, so pick one that you believe to be the better overall choice. Or, if you feel like opting for both is an even better approach, do not hesitate and go for it.