Perhaps you are one of the lucky ones. Perhaps you have never had a hard drive crash or your laptop die on you. If this is the case, trust me, you’re on borrowed time! Prevention is better than the cure, so read on for suggestions on how to safeguard your laptop.
Apple makes backing up your laptop a breeze with the inbuilt software Time Machine. There are a couple of options that work with Time Machine, depending on need:
Because of the wide variety of PC laptops, it’s difficult to make tailored recommendations. External hard drives work here also, but you will need to specifically decide which folders to back up, and copy those over to the hard drive individually.
Another solution is to use an Online Backup Service. PC magazine has a review of online backup services published in August 2017. I would probably recommend Carbonite as the most reasonably priced option, however SOS Online Backup is a more expensive alternative.
Photos for me deserve a special mention, because of the memories we attach to them. Backing up our laptop as a whole is important, however, backing up photos needs to be considered independently. We want to return to our photos, be able to look through them, print them, or maybe make them into books. Either way, we want ready access, and we don’t want the process of saving them to be a total palaver.
By far the best option that I can see is to use Google Photos. It allows you to upload or sync unlimited photos (at a slightly reduced file size). Alternatively, if you want full size files, you will need to pay a bit more, but really, the compressed size is more than adequate. This article explains all the ins and outs really comprehensively. What’s great about Google Photos is the incredible search functionality. Want to find photos of children writing? Search “Writing”! It’s that simple.
A free Flickr account has 1 Terabyte of free storage for images and videos. You can auto-upload photos from your laptop or phone, so you will not have to worry about backing individual ones up. That said, you probably only want to back up your best photos, not all of them. The search function isn’t as advanced as the Google Photos app, but you can tag and describe your pictures if you so wish.
I hope this helps make your backing up process slightly less painful. If you have any other suggestions, I would love to hear about them in the comments.