Backing Up Your Data

Keeping regular back ups of your personal documents is the best way to prevent data loss. There are many different ways to back up information, each with their own merits. If you work on or have saved a file then you should back it up to an alternate location. In the event of a hardware failure with your computer, you can be sure that your data is safe. There are multiple options for maintaining consistent backups. 

Backup methods to avoid

Flash Drives: Though convenient, flash drives are not designed for nor recommended as a reliable back up system. Flash drives are great for movement or usage of data! Flash drives are not designed for long term storage and can lose or corrupt their data much sooner than other back up/storage methods.

Email: Emailing a document is also an easy way to transport documents from one location to another. However it is not recommended as a regular back up plan.

Good options for backing up your data

Below are data/file back up options that offer reliable storage and are designed so you may keep large numbers of files organized.

Option Merits Limitations

Google Drive

Along with your IWU Email account, hosted through Google, you have access to various Google services, like Google Drive.

  • Create and edit documents online

  • Easily share and collaborate

  • Simple revision history for tracking changes

  • 1GB quota for non-Google Drive files

  • An Internet connection is required

Dropbox - Online Storage

Dropbox is an online service for document storage. Dropbox allows you to store up to 2GB of memory for free. You may install the Dropbox client on mobile devices and multiple computers, giving you access to your documents from many locations.

  • Easy to use

  • A constant Internet connection is not required

  • Multiple-platform application (Mac, Windows, Mobile, etc.)

  • 2 GB quota for free accounts

External Hard drives

An external hard drive is another device to store documents and backup your personal computer. Many include software designed assist with regular data back up.

  • Much higher storage limits (many over 1 T)

  • No Internet connection required

  • Cost is proportional to hard drive size

  • Still susceptible to hardware failure

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