Everything You Wanted to Know About PC Backup But Were Afraid to Ask

Protect the contents of your PC quickly and efficiently when you follow these three simple tips.

Let's begin by stating the obvious: Every computer will fail at some point. It's not a question of "if," but rather "when?" Whether its demise comes from human error such as a dropped laptop or a virus or a natural disaster such as an electricity surge or flood, no computer will last forever.

That's why even if you use your PC solely for personal purposes, computer backup is critical. With priceless photos, costly music collections and sensitive financial information at stake, the loss of this irreplaceable data could be devastating. Which means that knowing how to back up your computer is a necessity, not an option.

Yet if you're wondering, "How on earth do I back up my PC?" you are far from alone. Many PC-owners don't have a plan in place for a complete PC backup. Some people think they don't have the time to research and install the best system backup. Some may be intimidated by the technology and worry they will mess things up. But in reality, PC backup can be quick, easy and safe when you follow these simple tips.

Find the right backup product

If you're like most computer owners, you've probably wondered "What is the best way to back up my PC?" Different backup software provide different functionality. So what is the best system backup for you? Here is a checklist of things to look for when choosing a backup system:

  • Look for a product that will back up your entire computer, not just your files. For a complete PC backup and restore you need something that captures applications, data, drivers and patches--essentially taking a snapshot of your entire system at a given point in time.
  • Make sure the backup you choose can run in the background while you continue working on files, browsing the Internet, etc. You should not have to close applications or suffer sluggish performance while system backup is in progress.
  • Choose a solution that protects your backup data by encrypting it with government-grade security tools.
  • Look for a product that allows you to store your computer backup data numerous ways: a protected partition on your laptop, a USB drive, a CD or DVD or even to a secure Internet site.
  • Compare features such as customizable schedules, data compression and incremental backup functionality that only backs up changes since the last backup, allowing for faster backups that take up less storage space.

For instance, True Image 2013 by Acronis meets all these criteria for the home user and allows you to back up your entire computer with just one click. Acronis True Image provides unparalleled local PC backup that can recover your entire computer--including the operating system--in minutes. It also integrates with Acronis Cloud to secure important files from up to five PC's and laptops in your home in a remote, secure location in the event of fire or natural disaster. Acronis True Image can even sync its .tib backup files (.tib) to the virtual hard disk files (.vhd) used by Microsoft Windows 7 backup.

Set it and forget it

With the right backup product, you configure it once and system backups are performed automatically. You can also elect whether and how often to schedule a complete PC backup with disk imaging as opposed to backing up individual files, folders or file categories.

Acronis True Image, for example, offers a powerful scheduler designed to run backups at a preset time or after a designated period has elapsed. You can choose to schedule backups when the user is idle, on user log-in or log-out, on system start-up or shut-down and more. You can also suspend and enable tasks, specify dates to run certain tasks and copy tasks to new dates, viewing all scheduled options in the at-a-glance Calendar View.

Acronis True Image also features continuous data protection with Acronis Nonstop Backup™, which automatically creates incremental backups every five minutes allowing users to roll back their system, files, and folders to any point in time.

Restore your system instantly

In the event disaster does strike, you need to be able to restore your entire system as quickly as possible to minimize downtime.

With the type of complete PC backup and restore offered by Acronis True Image, you can rest easy knowing your computer will be back up and running in less than 15 minutes. And you won't need to go through the laborious process of reinstalling your operating system, individual applications, drivers, etc.--Acronis True Image captures all of those elements and restores your computer to its pre-disaster state with the click of a mouse.

Best of all, you can restore your data anywhere you choose. Faced with a stolen laptop or fried desktop? No problem. Acronis True Image will restore your systems and data to the PC of your choice without you having to search for original hardware and software.

So if you've been guilty of putting off implementing a backup system for your PC, follow the steps above to protect your valuable data. By taking a few minutes now to set up your computer backup you can save hours or even weeks of lost productivity when--not if--your computer fails.

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