Have you ever put your heart and soul into a project and then had your computer crash? Even if you haven’t, you can imagine the stomach-drop feeling that would come from having to start from scratch after days, maybe even weeks, of work. Most of us have been there, or at least know someone who has. It’s a feeling you never want to experience again. Because losing important files and photos isn’t just a minor inconvenience—in some cases, it can be devastating. So, how do you protect yourself from data loss? The best way is to regularly back up your computer. But how often should you be doing this? Your IT consultants have the answer. Keep reading to learn.

How Do Data Backups Work?

First, let’s briefly touch on how backups work. When you back up your computer, you’re essentially creating a duplicate copy of all your important files and storing them in a safe location—typically an external hard drive or cloud storage service. That way, if something ever happens to your computer and you lose your files, you can always retrieve them from your backup.

Are All Data Backups the Same?

Not all data backups are created equal, however. There are three main types of backups your IT consultants will do: full, incremental, and differential.

Full Backup

You copy every single file on your computer to your backup location. This obviously takes up a lot of space, but it has the advantage of giving you a complete copy of your files that you can restore at any time.

Incremental Backup

You only copy files that have been added or changed since your last backup. This saves space but means that you can only restore your files up to the point of your most recent backup—anything that’s been added or changed since then will be lost.

Differential Backup

You copy only the files that have been added or changed since your last full backup. This uses more space than an incremental backup but less than a full backup, and it means you can restore your files to any point in time since your last full backup.

Where Does Your Data Get Stored?

There are two main storage options for computer backups: external hard drives and cloud-based storage services.

External Hard Drive

An external hard drive is a physical piece of hardware that you plug into your computer in order to back up your files. The advantage of using an external hard drive is that it’s fast and easy, and you can store a lot of data on it. The downside is that it’s vulnerable to physical damage—if your hard drive gets dropped or knocked over, your data could be lost forever.

Cloud Storage Service

A cloud storage service is a subscription-based service that allows you to store your files online. The advantage of using a cloud storage service is that your data is stored off-site, so it’s safe from physical damage. The downside is that it can be slower than an external hard drive and you usually have to pay a monthly fee.

How Often Should You Do a Backup?

Ideally, you should be backing up your computer at least once a week. If you’re working on projects that are time-sensitive or contain sensitive information, you may want to consider backing up your computer more frequently—even every day. Your IT consultants can help you develop a backup strategy that fits your needs, and they can even automate the process so that you don’t have to think about it. In short, regular backups are essential for protecting your data. By backing up your computer on a regular basis, you can rest assured knowing that your files are safe and sound—even if disaster strikes.

Never Worry About Your Backups Again with iTology

Forgetting about your backups could cost you big time. At iTology, our IT consultants know how important your data is to you, which is why we offer a variety of backup solutions to fit your needs. We can help you automate your backups so that you never have to worry about them again. Contact us today to learn more about how our backup solutions will give you the peace of mind you need to focus on what’s important: running your business.