What happens if your PC crashes? What would you do if your MacBook® computer is stolen? What if you accidentally drop and shatter your cell phone? Without a backup plan, you could lose all your music, all your videos, and all of your financial documents – years of memories gone in an instant.
Backing up your data is simply keeping a separate copy in a different location. And with the right backup plan, you can restore all your data and return to action in a matter of moments. Even better, when you automate your backup, you eliminate the chances of your regimen falling by the wayside.
It’s easy to forget to back up files. And making the time to do it? That’s a whole other challenge. So let’s ease that pain with four different ways to save time and automate the backup of your favorite media and important files.
One of the most basic ways to automate your backup process is with a file-system backup, or copying specific files or folders to a separate location. With WD Backup
software, you’re able to select specific folders to copy over to aMy Passport
or My Book
device, at the frequency of your choice.
Once you set your backup schedule, just leave your direct-attached storage plugged into your computer, and you’ll be set. To restore your data, simply select the time and date of the specific file, folder, or entire backup you’d like to recall, and you’ll be on your way.
The next step is system-level backup, which creates a “mirror image” of your entire hard drive. This means a complete copy of all your files, folders, software, install files, preferences, and even your operating system is saved. Everything on your hard drive is backed up as a single “image” to a separate location so you can restore an entire computer, or even duplicate your configuration to a separate PC (provided it’s using a similar hardware setup), quickly and easily.
A great program to help you mirror your hard drive automatically is Acronis® True Image® WD Edition
software, which provides easy tools for you to quickly back up and recover your entire system. And with any of WD's My Passport
or My Book
external hard drives, Acronis True Image WD Edition software is free, so you’ll have everything you need to mirror your data manually or automatically, any time you like.
A more thorough solution to consider is continuous backup. It’s similar to file-system backups in that you’re able to choose specific folders or entire directories you’d like to protect. The difference is it’s always on, creating a duplicate version of a file every time an edit is saved. This is particularly handy for video editors or programmers, as you’re able to recover any previous version of a file at any time.
With WD Backup software, you also get a continuous backup solution for your My Passport
or My Book
device, but for network attached storage devices such as a My Cloud
, other options may be better suited, especially if you're using a RAID configuration. Fortunately, every My Cloud device comes with free WD SmartWare
software for an automatic option to automatically back up your files whenever they’re changed.
Like WD Backup, WD SmartWare software also lets you set scheduled backups, so you’re able to save specific files and folders according to your schedule. Not only that, both WD Backup and WD SmartWare software come with full support for Dropbox. With this functionality, you’re able to back up to an external hard drive and save to the cloud in a single routine.
Combined File-Level and System-Level Backup
The most comprehensive way to protect your data is to back up both on a file-level and on a system-level. In case your entire system fails, you have a mirrored copy of your entire PC ready to go, and with file-level backup, you can pick and choose the files to restore as-needed and never miss a beat.