Broken laptops happen to anyone and everyone, and they generally choose the least convenient time to break down. Whether it’s right at the beginning of an online test, as soon as you finish a long and important paper, or you just finished all your work and really just want to watch netflix, your laptop seems to know exactly when you least want it to break. However, while a ruined Netflix session might be unfortunate, there’s not much worse than losing all of your files.
Nowadays computers are used to store everything from irreplaceable home movies to 100 page long thesis papers, and backing up data is more important than ever. If your computer crashes, there’s no guarantee that your data will still be there if it turns on again. If that happens, the best way to save yourself some heartbreak and frustration is to have a regular backup of your data, or even two (or three if it’s something as important as your thesis!). For someone who barely uses their laptop, backing up once a month might be plenty. However anyone who regularly uses their laptop to write up or edit documents (which is the case for most students) should be backing up their machine at least once a week if not even more frequently.
So how and where can you backup your data? Well there’s a few popular options, namely on an external drive or in the cloud.
For external drives, 1TB is a standard size, although you might want to get a bigger one if you have a really large amount of files that you want to back up (or a million photos and videos). Some popular brands are Seagate, Western Digital, and Toshiba and they run about $50 for 1TB drives. Also be sure to get one that has USB 3.0, as that will increase the speed of the data transfer.
UMass provides unlimited secure online storage through Box. With Box you are able to securely store and share your files online, so that they can be accessible through multiple devices and so that you won’t lose them if your laptop decides suddenly to stop working. To read more about Box or get started with backing up your files you can go to https://www.umass.edu/it/box.