The easiest way to protect yourself against the innumerable things that can go wrong with your computer and network is by having a reliable set of backups. Between hardware and software error, not to mention the constant threat of malware, your computers and the data are often at risk.
Fortunately, Windows 10 makes it easy to back up your devices.
The Different Types of Windows Backups
If you run Windows 10, there are many ways to create a backup, including:
- Manually copying files to USB or external hard drives
- Uploading files to the cloud
- Using built-in Windows tools
- Third-party backup options
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to backups. It’s best to take a combination of different methods. For example, you might copy important files to external drives daily while doing full system backups monthly. Begin by assessing your data needs and build your strategy from there.
The Ultimate Backup: System Image
A System Image is a perfect copy of a drive. It includes everything, including Windows, system settings, drivers, programs, and personal data. As you can imagine, backups of these sizes are not only large but take a lot of time. Although you can store them on the network, you’re better off using an external drive to keep it safer and more accessible.
You should have one for sure, but you don’t need to update it as often. Depending on how much you rely on physical vs. virtual applications and storage, you may do it at least once per week.
To create a System Image, go to Control Panel > System and security > Backup and Restore (Windows 7). In the left pane, select Create System Image and follow the prompts.
Daily and Hourly Options
Setting up System Images can take too much time to be useful on a daily or hourly basis. But it is the type of coverage that most businesses need. For this reason, you’re better off using some of the other backup strategies.
Microsoft created OneDrive for this exact purpose. Windows 10 comes with OneDrive and 5 GB of free storage. The app works by synchronizing all your folders and apps with the cloud. You can store, sync, and share all files with other users.
Of course, 5GB is not enough for enterprise use. Thus, Microsoft offers plans that start at $6.99 per month for 1 TB of cloud storage. They also include access to Office 365 apps to download on your devices.
Other popular cloud options include Google Drive and Dropbox. Dropbox also offers desktop folder sync and other tools but doesn’t include office suite. Google Drive starts with 15GB of free storage and provides access to Google Docs and other apps.
Microsoft, Dropbox, and Google Drive all include primary access for free. So it’s worth checking them out and seeing which one works best for you. When you have your winner, consider upgrading to a paid subscription.
More on Backup and Recovery
From here, you should look at both cloud and physical drive-based solutions for your other needs. Comprehensive data backup needs more redundancies. The goal should be having at least three copies of your most essential files. You can store one locally, another one on an external hard drive, and the third one in the cloud.
You can then use tools to sync and keep them up to date. All the while, you have access to your data in case of hardware or software failure.
Finally, your files are a significant target for cybercriminals. You must secure your network connection with a VPN before uploading them to the cloud. Better yet, make the backups only to devices on your business network. NordVPN Teams provides enterprise-grade VPN solutions that cover both of these needs.
Regardless of which backup options you choose to use, you need encryption (on file and network levels) to prevent data breaches.
Many backup decisions depend on the type of business you have. If you generate large amounts of valuable data every day, then you should consider having backups enabled at all times. But if you need consistent records, daily or even weekly should be fine.
No matter what type of industry you’re in, you will need some form of backup. The number one cyber threat to businesses is ransomware. Ransomware locks companies out of vital files until they pay a hefty ransom fee. The easiest way to thwart these attacks and other types of failure is by having an available backup. Protect your company and start using these backup solutions right away.
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