Data is very important in the modern world. With the huge amount of time that people spend working on computers, and the sheer amount of files they hold, it is important to make sure that should something go wrong with your computer, that all those files are safe. This is why you need to backup your work.

Computers, and especially laptops, can be a bit vulnerable. In the event that they break, get a virus or are stolen, backup programs and hardware can help to soften the blow by keeping data in several places.

Hard drives and physical backups

A simple way of keeping a backup of your files is to keep a copy onto an external hard drive kept somewhere separate from your computer.

These can range from a simple USB stick to a larger hard drive. It depends on the size. A larger memory capacity will be able to store more data, but requires a larger physical drive to store it on.

Check out our reviews of external hard drive to see which would be right for you.

Automatic backup hard drives

Some hard drives come with programming that mean you can automatically back up and sort all your files with a simple click. This can be useful for those who don’t want to have to organise their backups themselves and want a quick and speedy way to ensure that their files are safe.

Online backup or a cloud

Some companies offer an online service, otherwise known as a cloud, where you can back your files up to, and retrieve them at a later date, or on a different device.

Google, for example, can hold Google Docs, retrievable anywhere you can access your Google account. It will back up photos off of your phone or tablet, or can hold many other types of files on Google Drive.

Some of these clouds may charge for use, some may charge only after a certain data limit is passed, or some may hold as much as you can upload for free, usually in tandem with a device, such as a phone, that you have bought. Each cloud is different, and you will have to check the details of what you can or can’t upload, and what the charge may be.


A more archaic form of backup, which is going out of fashion due to the ease and convenience of USB hard drives and cloud storage, data can also be written onto a disc. It can be read easily on a disc drive, which are still included in most computers and laptops.

With a disc, however, if it becomes scratched, damaged, or lost, you cannot retrieve your data. If the disc is not rewritable, you cannot clear it of the data that you put on there, unless you encrypt it or destroy the disc.