Updated: 09/12/2023 by Computer Hope
Computer backup

A backup is a copy of important data that is stored on an alternative location, so it can be recovered if deleted or it becomes corrupted. Data should be backed up at an interval determined by how often the data changes, how valuable it is, and how long it takes to perform the backup.

For example, a company with customer records that change frequently may back up their data every few hours. Even more sensitive data such as bank records may be stored on redundant RAID (redundant array of independent disks) drives that help protect the data even if a drive fails.

Today, there are several ways to back up your information and mediums to keep your data. For example, CD-R (compact disc recordable), DVD-R (digital versatile disc recordable), USB (universal serial bus) thumb drives, external drives, and in the cloud are some popular places to back up your data.

Why should I back up my data?

A computer could stop working at any time, and data on a hard drive could become corrupted or lost if the hard drive fails. When hardware or the computer stops working, data on the computer could be lost. Any important files should be backed up to prevent loss of data and ensure you can recover those files if needed.

How often should I back up my computer files?

The recommended frequency for backing up your files depends on the types of files and where they are used. Companies often back up files on a server at least weekly, if not daily. Company employees should also back up their work files daily or weekly to protect their important information from getting corrupted or lost due to a storage device failure.

On a personal computer, we recommend backing up files at least once a month. If you have any files you cannot afford to lose, backing up weekly or even daily is best.

Should I use "backup" or "back up" in my writing?

Both forms of the word are correct. However, when using the word as a noun or adjective, it should be one word, and when used as a verb, it should be two words. Below is an example of how both forms of the word could be used.

Make sure to back up your important data and store it somewhere safe. If your important data is deleted or lost, you can restore it from the backup.

Archive, Differential backup, Drive image, Full backup, Incremental backup, Off-line storage, Selective backup, Software terms, Sync