We all have data on our phones and computers. When we stop to think about it, our biggest concern should be–if I lost my phone, can I recover the data? If my computer crashes or gets destroyed will I lose important documents and photos?


 Backup your data

Having a backup (a copy) of your phone’s and your computer’s data can save you loss, heartache, and stress. So, how do I choose the best backup software?


Backups, what’s the best? Literally, just get one.

The best backup is the one you will actually use. Windows, Mac OS X and Linux have either built-in backup utilities or free software to use.  Here are the utilities for the most common operating systems.



  • Backup and Restore (pre Win 10) or Windows Backup (Win 10) 

Mac OS X

  • Time Machine


  • Bacula, Amanda, Rsync, Time Vault & Clonezilla


Back up with comfort

Get to know your what you are using. Typically, a backup is performed with an external hard drive connected to your computer. Then with a friendly “how-to” you can set up the software to backup your computer. With a bit more reading, you can configure and tweak the backups to run automatically on a schedule that you choose. 


Management of backups 

We would like to think that all backup software is “set it and forget it”—this is not the case. You will need to check your backups periodically to ensure they are working properly. Every 3 to 6 months, pick a file to restore and confirm that it was successfully restored. This can be as routine as checking the oil in your car or checking the air filter in your furnace. 


Verifying your backups will help confirm two points

  1. The data is good. (Over time data can become corrupt.)
  2. The Backup device has not failed. (What good is the software if the storage media has failed? Worse case scenario, when you need to restore a file and then you find out your external hard drive is broken!)


Local vs Online backup solutions



The built-in or free backup applications require some level or management by you. Paying for a backup solution will defer most of the management to the provider.  However, you will still need to check your data to make sure you can recover when it counts.




Peter Stauner, Jr. attended the University of Wisconsin-River Falls as well as Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College for his computer and electronic education. While working in a local computer repair shop he refined his troubleshooting skils for Macs, PCs, tablets, and cell phones.


Later, he was a network administrator in the world of corporate IT. He has fulfilled his dream of starting his own business with Computer Support Group. When Peter isn’t working on computers you can find him working-out, biking, swimming with his F3 group, or rough housing with his 3 children.