Have you ever lost your files? I can tell you from experience that it is a gut sickening experience. All it takes is a sudden hard drive failure to lose everything, even with a new computer. I had a top of the line HP business desktop that suffered a hard drive failure only 1 month after purchase. Luckily I had already learned to create backups.
A great majority of us tend to procrastinate the backup process. It is not an issue of "IF my computer hard drive crashes", but "WHEN it crashes". I had a new hard drive crash within the first month of use. Storage devices wear out and have to be replaced often.
3 Locations - computer, cloud drive, and backup service
2 File Formats - You are using a Word Processor document, like Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, or Apple Pages to save your documents. Each will save with a certain file format type. What happens one day when WordPerfect is not longer supported and you can no longer open your document files? (WordStar is a good example! Once one of the premier word processing applications, you can no longer even get an old copy to run to open your files.) Applications that are available and being used TODAY, may NOT be around TOMORROW!!
How do I save files in two formats?
1 Off Site If you are using the “cloud drives” then those file are kept off site. There are additional ways to store things off site in a backed up state. Carbonite, BackBlaze, iDrive, and many others also can install a small app that will backup your changes to an off site location. Typically the cost is $~60/year. This type of backup differs from a cloud drive in that the files are not as easily accessible to use on a daily basis like the cloud drive. You have the choice to “backup” and “restore” your files. This adds an additional layer of security for your files.
DVDs were once thought to be a great archival media for saving files. However, they can deteriorate quickly and become unusable at some time, even after the first year.
At this point, it is not a good idea to use DVDs as a backup storage media.
Hopefully you are not storing your backups on USB Flash Drives. They were never meant to be used for storage of file backups.
Use them to transport your information from one place to another, but get them transferred to a hard drive that is being backed up as soon as you can. One little electrostatic discharge can wipe the USB data quickly.
Hard drives of 500 gb size are now considered small in size. 1-2 terabyte drives can often be found for around $60-$70. They can store a lot of information. How are you going to store all of your files? Are you prepared for a hard drive crash?
This storage media is still the best to use at this point, however, make sure that you also have your data saved to the cloud, and even another backup USB hard drive.
Using external hard drives plus a "cloud drive" makes for a good backup combination.