We have all been there: the heart-pounding instant when you realize that all your hard work on a project, an article, or a client proposal is gone forever.
Lost data is lost money, time, and resources. It is essential that you have an easy way to regularly back up your computer files. Flash drives and hard drives usually do not have the space that you need to back up the files you use every day. There is also the risk of losing a physical or off-line backup.
Keep reading to learn how to back up your computer files in the cloud with affordable apps that you can download and start using today. Backing up your files to the cloud can save you time, money, and frustration if your system or computer crashes. You also will have room for new information and files so you can make sure you have access to everything you need.
The first step to backing up your computer files is deciding what you want to save to the cloud. You do not have to make a copy of everything on your computer.
Here are a few tips to help you sort out what should be backed up to the cloud:
You probably do not need to back up:
You can use a system restore or factory reset for system files, and you can easily reload programs that you have a license to use. The same goes for apps – you can just reload them instead of trying to back them up, particularly since apps take up a ton of valuable storage space.
Of course, if you want to keep a copy of everything, you could clone your hard drive. For most people, however, cloning their entire hard drive is unnecessary.
There are many affordable cloud storage apps on the market. Deciding which app works best for you depends on a few things, including your requirements for:
Whether they call themselves online storage, online drive, online file storage, or something similar, cloud storage apps provide a safe place to store your valuable data. Most offer a limited amount of free space.
Here are a few of the more well-known cloud storage apps and basic information about capacity and average cost (most apps have specials and price breaks. Check for sales on each app):
Google Drive offers free storage up to 15GB across its platforms (Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Photos). This may be enough to get you started, but if it is not enough, you can increase it to 100GB (about $2 a month) or 2TB ($10 monthly fee).
Dropbox offers customers 2GB for free. Since this probably will not be enough for even small companies, the next option is 2TB for $15 a month.
Box offers multiple storage plans for both individual and business use. Individuals can sign up for free and get up to 10GB of storage or upgrade to a monthly plan. Business plans start at $5 a month for 100GB to as high as $35 a month for unlimited storage.
Microsoft’s OneDrive has a free basic plan, which gives you 5GB of cloud storage, but you can also easily upgrade to $1.99 per month for 100GB of storage. For those who would like to package their cloud storage with the Microsoft Office Suite apps, such as Word or Excel, there are also personal and family plans, which you can pay for on an annual or monthly basis.
Icedrive offers monthly, yearly, and one-time payment plans for cloud storage, with the smallest plan being 150GB of cloud storage and the largest being 5TB. There is also a free plan option, which gives you 10GB of storage.
These are only a few options in cloud storage apps. Be sure to read the fine print when it comes to renewal fees, accessibility, and other terms and conditions.
Backblaze charges a set monthly or yearly fee for unlimited backup on one computer. The app automatically backs up the most important folders for you, a nice feature if you have trouble deciding which files to back up.
Instead of paying by the month or year, pCloud charges a one-time fee of up to $350, depending on which storage plan you purchase.
Each cloud storage app has different features, but they are similar in how you back up your files. To keep things simple, these basic instructions are for backing up files using a PC or Mac:
Save yourself and your company from the frustration and expense of lost data. Plan today on how you will back up your computer files.
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