How to make a free backup of all your files

Although sometimes we do not take seriously having to back up our files regularly, we must keep in mind that it is something important. From one day to another we can lose all our files, photos, videos and documents if we have never made a backup.

In addition to the possibility that the device on which we store our files will fail or be broken, there is also the possibility that a virus or malware infects it or even that hackers encrypt your files and you can't access them until you pay what he or she hacker asks.

However, all these possibilities are avoidable if the necessary precautions are taken, such as making a backup of your system and files on a regular basis.

To help you, we have prepared this guide in which we explain how to quickly make a backup of your most important files. We will also present the different options to create system backups of your entire PC or laptop, so that if the hard drive fails, you can restore it as it was.

In addition, we offer advice on how to make backup copies of your mobile devices as well, since much of the data we generate today begins to work under our wireless devices.

If you are specifically looking for free ways to make backup copies, see the section on cloud storage in this article, as many services offer plenty of storage for free.

What kind of backup do I need?

There are a variety of ways to make backups available, so we break down the main types below. You may initially only want to make one type of backup, but it is advisable to use multiple techniques to have multiple copies.

1. Backup to an external hard drive

This is the easiest way to back up your computer files. Simply connect a USB hard drive or flash drive and use Windows Explorer (File Explorer in Windows 8.1 and 10) to copy the files from the computer to the removable drive.

It's completely manual, but if you set a reminder to do it once a month and leave it copying while you're doing other things, it doesn't really require much effort. In addition, once the backup has been performed and the unit disconnected, be out of line and safe from attacks by software.

You may be interested in consulting our article with the best hard drives and NAS available.

Another option is a NAS drive. It is a hard drive that connects to the router through a USB. This system has in its favor that it is accessible to all computers in your home (including phones and tablets) and that you can buy models with multiple internal hard drives, so if one fails, there will be another copy of your extra files.

You can check which are the best NAS units available by clicking on this link.

2. Cloud backup

Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, pCloud and many other cloud storage services make it easy to back up your files. In many cases, the free storage that these cloud storage services offer can be more than enough.

If it isn't, you can pay a monthly or annual fee (fairly reasonable prices are found) to get much more storage space.

Keep in mind that most cloud storage services synchronize the files in a specific folder on your computer. This means that if you delete a file inside that folder on your PC, it also disappears from your cloud storage.

Many services have a recovery function (such as a recycle bin) so you can undo your mistake, but this can be limited to 30 days, so check it out so you can rest easy if you delete something by mistake.

A real advantage of cloud storage is that it creates a copy of your files in one location on-line. This means that everything is safe from floods, fires and thefts.

Cloud storage also has many other advantages: you can access files from virtually any computer with an Internet connection and you can keep files in sync across multiple devices.

Normally, everything is encrypted so that no one else can see or access your files, but some services focus more on security than others.

To find out which cloud storage system suits you, we recommend consulting this other article on The best cloud storage systems.

3. A full backup of your computer or laptop

The first two methods make backup copies of certain files, but they are not enough for your PC or laptop to work after a hard drive (or SSD) failure, or if your computer is stolen.

Making a backup of all the files on your hard drive is also known as 'disk image' or 'ghost image', and need a software specialized for it. This does not have to be expensive, as there are free and paid versions available.

Acronis True Image It is a popular payment package that allows you to cover three different computers. The free options available are (among others) Macrium Reflect Y EasUS Disk Copy (free for hard drives up to 1TB).

How to make a backup of your phone's camera

The best way to make an automatic backup of the photos and videos of your phone (or tablet) is through Google Photos. If you choose the option 'High quality' instead of 'Original quality', you will get free and unlimited storage.

This is practically impossible to overcome, and you can get the Google Photos application for a wide variety of devices.

For the rest of things stored on your mobile, such as contacts or notes, you will have to use the backup tools available on each device.

If you have an iPhone, the iCloud option is the most recommended. If the 5 GB that come with the free version are not enough, you can subscribe to one of their payment options.

You can find all the information and methods of Subscription to paid versions of iCloud by clicking on this link.

Which backup method is the best?

First of all, it must be admitted that no copy guarantees absolute protection for the life of your files. In fact, many methods evolve over time (for example, almost no one uses DVDs for copying files).

By this we mean that you have to adapt to the times in order to always have our files protected.

By this we mean that it is crucial to keep up and make sure that the oldest backups are removed from any device or platform that cannot be accessed for much longer.

Another important point to consider are the versions of the files. If you are modifying a file because you are working on it and developing it, it is useful to be able to go back to the previous versions. Some backup programs support versioning, as do some online backup and cloud storage services, including Dropbox.

If you use a software To make backup copies of all equipment, keep in mind the difference between incremental and full backups. Since only a subset of files changes between backups, it is not necessary to perform periodic backups of all 500 GB, for example.

It is only necessary to make a backup copy of the new and modified files, which is called incremental backup.

Another point to consider is the ease of restoring files from the backup. Some programs and services allow you to access a backup and recover specific files, while others force you to restore the entire backup. This is why it is important to read the reviews of the software backup.

Whatever backup method you decide, the important thing is to be aware of the importance of making regular backups so you can always have all your files protected.

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