I bet that you worry about the data on your laptop, just like me. And, just as I used to do, you probably keep putting off that backup you’ve been meaning to do for a while. So for people like you and I, who can’t really spare that much time when it comes to backing up their data, I put together this simple, actionable guide to stop procrastinating and get it over with.

And if you’re more the “it can’t happen to me” type of person, just take a peek below, which shows general failure rates for computer hard drives just like yours:



According to a study by BackBlaze:

“For the first 18 months, the failure rate hovers around 5%, then it drops for a while, and then goes up substantially at about the 3-year mark. We are not seeing that much “infant mortality”, but it does look like 3 years is the point where drives start wearing out.”

Now you’re probably trying to figure out how old your computer is. Is it closing in to the 3 years mark? Maybe you should not postpone that backup this time.

But who would be interested in my data?

Cyber criminals for starters. And they have the tools and knowledge to crack your passwords (which are probably too simple and weak) in just a few minutes.

Real life criminals who might steal your laptop, tablet or smartphone. Maybe they won’t be interested in the data inside more than in the gadget itself, but can you really count on that?

And then there are problems such as: losing your laptop/tablet/smartphone or damaging it in some way. You could become your own problem.

reasons to backup your data world backup day


“But backups are complicated and I don’t have the skills for that.”

That’s a myth
(and an excuse you use to justify not backing up your data). Because I know there’s a lot of information out there, I created this guide to makes things simple and actionable.

There must be some software that can recover my data, even if it gets deleted accidentally.” I hate to break this to you, but no, there isn’t. There is no magic wand, and no undo button for this one. If your computer’s hard drive fails, it’s ALL GONE.

Could you bear losing everything on your computer: family photos, vacation videos, work projects, financial documents, passwords, music, etc.?

I thought so. There’s only one thing left to do:

Read the steps below and apply them ASAP!




Backups are necessary copies of your data that you store somewhere safe to restore in case anything happens to the device you’re working on.

For now we’re going to focus on creating a backup for Windows users, but you can find a backup solution no matter what device or OS you’re using. Moreover, you can also use some of the principles listed here to get started.

Here 2 important factors you need to think about before starting your backup:

  • How much storage space do you need?
  • Do you want to backup all your files or just a selection containing the most important ones?

The 5 golden rules of data backup

1. Keep at least 3 copies of your data.
2. Keep backups on different types of support.
3. Maintain a constant, automated backup schedule.
4. Keep your data backups in a secure, off-site location.
5. Secure your backups with strong passwords and keep those passwords safe (check the password security guide for more details).

The rules above are simple, so now I want to help you find the right tools to get it done. So I have one question for you:

What do you want to spend on your data’s safe storage: time or money?

If all you want to invest is time, you can choose one of these free cloud storage services:

If the stuff you want to backup fit in the free space offered by one of these services, all you have to do is couple it with a free backup software and you’re done! And we have just the list for you: 34 Free Backup Software Tools.

If your backup needs exceed these free options, you should keep in mind that online backup software and storage is not expensive!

Let me give you some examples:

Cloud storage (pricing per month):

  • Google Drive – $1.99 for 100 GB or $9.99 for 1 TB (check out the rest of the options)
  • OneDrive – $1.99 for 100 GB or $6.99 for 1 TB, including Office 365 (check out the rest of the options)
  • Dropbox – $9.99 for 1 TB or $15 / user / month for unlimited(!) storage (details)
  • SugarSync – $7.49 for 100 GB or $9.99 for 200 GB (check out the rest of the options)
  • Symform – $10 for 100 GB or $20 for 200 GB (check out the rest of the options)
  • Bitcasa – $10 for 1 TB or $99 for 10 TB (details)
  • SpiderOak – $12 for 1 TB (details).
  • Amazon Cloud Drive – $11.99/year for storing unlimited photos or $60/year for unlimited everything (details).

Online backup services (pricing per year):

You can also this great comparison tool to evaluate features and pricing for multiple software options. Check out the homepage on as well for backup tools for other operating systems and focused on specific criteria.

Because you should follow backup rule nr. 2 – keep backups on different types of support – let’s check some external drives options as well:

  • HGST Touro S 1TB – $70 (details)
  • HGST Touro Mobile 1TB – $55 (details)
  • Seagate Expansion 1TB Portable – $65 (details)
  • Seagate Backup Plus Slim 1TB – $65 (details)
  • Seagate Expansion 1TB – $60 (details)
  • Toshiba 1TB Canvio Basics – $58 (details).

All that you have to do now is:
1. Make a choice of a free or paid storage
2. Pick a backup software solution
3. Choose the files you want to back up
4. Set a constant backup schedule
5. Sit back and know that your data is safe.

That wasn’t as difficult as you imagined, now was it?

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Stop giving people this BS advice of 3 backups and one in the cloud and automatic backups… It’s a waste of time:

The cloud: to less space and to slow for backing up. Have you ever tried in real time to get your pc back with an online backup or to upload 250-500GB in the cloud? Stop doing this!

– auto backups are also a waste of time because if an error or malware event is going on in the background this event is also backed up! Not smart to do…

The best and simple backup is a real clone and this how you need to do it. Take Acronis and install it. Make sure you drive where you OS is, is an SSD and the backup drive is an SSD. Than with a desktop you have racks where you can put in an SSD in and you need to have the option to simple disable the power of it with a button so after the backup the backup drive it is disconnected. And now you start the pc up and make sure the backup drive is online and you push F11. Then the option for cloning and to tick the source drive and than the backup drive and click click… cloning begins. It takes about 8-12 minutes to clone a 256GB SSD to an SSD so you can do this while taking a coffee. And than the big drives where I have here my videos and so on. I clone it every two weeks and that takes a bit longer. For a drive of 1TB about 2 hours but the main thing is that when something happen I can power on the safe backup OS drive and clone it back and within 12 minutes I’m back online if nothing is happened. This is the real smart backup to do and you need to train yourself to do it and stop with al the rest of the backup options because this is the best. And this is with an Xp pc and with hardware of a couple of years old so with new hardware it takes no more than 5 minutes.

I have a external USB drive with it’s power supply connected to a timer. This allows me to automatically turn the external USB drive on once a week by the timer setting, back my entire computer to it, and then the timer disables the drive for the rest of the week. I set up a second external USB on a timer, so I can back up to the second one mid-week. The net result is a fairly low cost virus and ransomware resistant redundant backup.

Yes, this is a wonderful idea, thank you for sharing!

If I use a USB drive for backups connected to a NAS, where I store my information, that has a share which can only be accessed by the user created only of backup software that runs in the NAS. I don’t give any rights to any other user. Can the USB drive be a victim of ransomware?
Many thanks

I am using Google Drive and Dropbox and have the applications installed for direct access form my PC or Mac (or Phone). But if a ransomeware hits my PC, I quess it will not only hit my C-dreve, but also attached drives, that being my USB harddrive, my NAS/Synology but also Google drive and dropbox?

Indeed, Martin. Ransomware will encrypt everything, including synced cloud drives. That’s why I recommend only opening it once a day, to sync modifications and have a recent update. The same goes for external drives. (25GB Free) from OVH (France)
10TB 50€ / annual.
Your data is secured on three datacenters in one time.

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