Before I go into explanation I want to point out that a flash drive and an external hard drive are not computer backups, they are storage devices where we can create backups.  So, what’s a backup?  A backup is a duplicate or a copy on a different storage medium.  For example, you may copy a word document 5 times and have 5 different copies of the same document, but if each copy is stored on the same drive, you are not backed up in any way.  Although, this method is good for testing and ensuring you won’t make bad changes to an important document.  This is something we explain to our clients all the time to put it into perspective.  If you have a copy of a file on your PC and another copy of the file on a flash drive or external, then you’re doing it right!  If you are running low on space so you move data to an external hard drive instead of actually making copies, then you’re simply moving data to a different storage medium and the risk of that external drive failing is still just as high as your computer hard drive crashing.

The best solution

What’s a perfect backup?  The ideal backup strategy is called a 3-2-1 Backup Strategy.  This means that your important data is getting backed up in three places.  Crazy, right?  Now, we understand that we’re all human and data backup isn’t always in the forefront of everyone’s mind like it is ours.  With that being said, this isn’t complicated. The first step of this strategy is having a copy of your data on your Computer, see that’s easy right?  The second step is having a local backup (an external hard drive/flash drive).  The third and final step is having an offsite secure backup as well.  I laid out a few scenarios to demonstrate why it’s important and how it can relate to real life scenarios.

My kid’s pictures on my computer. – Great this is the first step of the backup strategy, if something happens to your external hard drive, then there is a copy here on your PC.

I have duplicates of all of my kid’s pictures backed up to my external hard drive.  – Great, now when your computer crashes, they’re all safe and sound on the external hard drive!

I also have the all of my kid’s pictures backed up to the cloud (Compucare helps with this – shameless plug)  – Great, now if something bad happens to your hardware, you’re still covered.  So, if fire, flood, vandalism, or another form of disaster strikes your PC and external hard drive, you’ll still have all of your precious memories backed up.

Hope this helped keep you informed, Make it a Great Day!


Here’s a post I did about free backup software –

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