COMPUTER 101–Back-Up Your Computer

The Mouse Trap
by Janis Weber

Back-Up Your Computer:
If you simply save your files onto your primary device’s hard drive and call it a day, you may want to rethink that habit. Experts warn this is not enough to keep data safe. Imagine losing personal files like family photos or videos due to a damaged hard drive. Because hardware failures, malware, natural disasters, and human error can result in lost data, it is essential to make data backup a priority.
One strategy for protecting information is the 3-2-1 backup rule, which states you keep three copies of your important files: two on different storage media and one preserved in an off-site location. This practice ensures information is recoverable, even if one or two backups are destroyed. The use of two different types of storage is recommended for backups, as physical storage media can fail. Depending on needs, there are various options such as external hard drives and cloud solutions.

A few specifications or features to look for when purchasing an external hard drive include:
Storage capacity
For those who need to transfer a limited number of text files, a smaller drive will suffice; however, if those who have photos or videos they want to preserve, need to understand they take up a considerable amount of storage space and a larger disk drive will be necessary.
Transfer speed 
 If you routinely transfer large amounts of data back-and-forth, a faster transfer speed will prove to be crucial. A solid-state drive (SSD) processes data faster than a hard drive (HDD); however, an SSD is typically more expensive than an HDD and offers less storage space.
Portability and durability
Want to take your data with you?
Choose a light-weight external hard drive that can fit in your pocket. There is a difference between SSDs and HDDs in terms of durability. A solid-state drive has no moving parts, allowing it to be more resilient than a hard disk drive if dropped. I have even washed a flash drive, dried it and it still worked.
Like external hard drives, cloud solutions are plentiful. Most cloud storage providers offer free and paid alternatives. If you have a small number of files, a basic account may be an ideal solution. An abundance of data will require a subscription and the price varies. Beware of a great price. Just to clear up any confusion, the cloud part of cloud-based storage services refers to storing your files somewhere other than your computer’s hard drive, usually on the cloud provider’s servers. As one tech pundit put it: “There is no Cloud. It’s just someone else’s computer.” Having data in the cloud gives you the ability to access those files through the internet. Your data is usually encrypted before making the journey over the internet to the providers’ servers, and while it lives on those servers it’s also encrypted. 
Here are four samples. Microsoft OneDrive gives you 5 GB for free. 100 GB is $1.99 a month. If you are running Office 365 you get 1 terabyte (TB) per license free. Dropbox is $10 a month for 1 TB. iDrive gives 5 GB for free then $6 per
month for 5 TB. Google Drive gives you 15 GB
for free then between $2 and $10 a month for up to 2 TB. The beauty of cloud storage is that you can access it from any internet device like tablets, smart phones, or any computer, anywhere. Your files can be shared with your permission to anyone. They are encrypted for your security. You will need a username and a strong password to access. My prediction is that we will all use cloud storage as the norm within a few years.

Next Sylvania Senior Center Classes
New classes with be held throughout 2020 as soon as the center reopens. Check the SSC newsletter and website for the most current information. Included will be Windows 10 Computers Basics, Facebook, Microsoft Word, Google Docs and iPhone/iPad. If you have a topic and know some folks who are interested, please call the Senior Center and ask for
Susan Jenelle (419-885-3913).
Limited seating is filling fast so call ASAP to reserve your spot. We are considering an Excel Club. Interested? Call the SSC.

I Make House Calls:
I will come to your home or office and help you with almost any predicament including repairs, upgrades and general software or hardware issues. This Stay Home Order should end at some point. I can be your resident “Geek.” I have an endless amount of patience and knowledge with years of experience. Send me a text or call at 419-318-9112.
Don’t forget to sign up for my free newsletter at Subscribers will get a copy of this article plus added hints, tips and trusted/valuable web-links.

Janis Weber, B.A., owner of Ohio Computer Training & Support, is a professional computer adjunct instructor. E-mail any specific questions or comments to
or call her for assistance at 419-318-9112.
Private tutoring and repairs are just a phone call, text or email away.

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