Backing up Data: Online vs. External Hard Drive?

Backing up your music, videos, files and photos is something most people remember too late.

Sadly, it’s no good remembering that you should have been backing up your data after your computer crashes, a power surge fries the motherboard or your laptop gets stolen.

There are a variety of options which can be confusing if you don’t know what is available to you. Let’s look at a couple of popular options:

Online Backup

With internet speeds increasing all the time and the safety of keeping your data online, safely away from your physical location there are clear arguments for backing up your data online.

A lot of the online backup services such as & also allow your files to synchronise your files from your phones and tablets too – meaning you can have all your files on the move.

One drawback from online backups is that the initial back-up can take quite a while if you have large amounts of data. And if you have access to internet then this backup becomes unavailable.

You can’t ever be 100% sure that the service won’t get shut down without any notice. So some people prefer to have something physical to store their data on.

External hard Drive

One of the biggest reasons to use an external hard drive is its simplicity. It is easy to understand exactly how to copy files over to a physical drive. However, if you want this process to be automatic then you will need to invest in some software.

Hard drives now come with huge storage capacity. You can buy hard drives with over 1,000GB and larger. More than you probably require at the moment.

A key difference is how much quicker initial backups are with an external drive.

Make sure an external hard drive is kept away from your computer (in case of fire or other damage). Although, you can now get waterproof and fire-proof harddrives such as the ioSafe they are much more expensive than the other options.

Mixture of Both?

Ideally you should be backing up your important files, videos and music both online and on an external hard drive regularly. So you have two backups of all your vital data and can restore it in case of any major problems.

For more information and a quick chat about what would be the best solution for you drop us an email:
or give us a call: 01494 730 120


Jim Harmsworth Cowles

Can I add our personal favourite to your suggestions… Crash Plan from Code 42 (… works in the background seamlessly and allows Backup Sets as well as unlimited storage. Offers plans so you can backup all the machines in one house using one account… can’t recommend them highly enough


This software is really great! I feel another blog post coming along…

Thanks Jim.


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