How To Back Up Your Computer and Smartphone

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It’s fairly evident to me that backing up your technology is important to everyday consumers.  I’ve received numerous emails from viewers asking me to repost the solutions to back up copies of your computer, smartphone, and tablet on CityLine.ca.  Due to popular demand, here are the links from my segment on Monday, October 17th, 2011.

Backing Up – Dos and Don’ts:

DON’T – Ever only keep one copy of your backup files.

If your computer fails, and your only backup is lost or broken, you will have lost everything.  Don’t risk it.

DON’T – Trust ALL online backup software websites.

Always know who you are giving your confidential information to.  Some are dangerous and are setup as “bait” to compromise your privacy, and potentially your identity.

DO – Keep Multiple Backups – “3 ‘O’ Rule”

On-site – In your home or office.

Off-site – At another home or workplace

Online – Many websites online offer a service to securely back up material online

Back Up Your Computer:

Carbonite.com – PC/Mac

You can start off with a free trial.  If you love it, it’s only $59/year per computer.  Less than a cup of coffee a day.  It keeps you backed up, all the time.  All it requires is that you install a small piece of software, and the computer automatically does the work behind the scenes and slowly “trickles” your content onto their online storage servers.  They do all the hard work, you sit back and relax!  When your computer crashes, you download the software on the new computer, and because it is all online, the software will help you place it all back.

Time Machine – Mac

This free solution is built into every Mac.  All you do is simply plug in a hard drive.  Turn Time Machine On and everything is automatically backed up!  It is transferrable to other Macs, so if you lose your computer, or get a new Mac, it will load everything back automatically!

Back Up Your Smartphone/Tablet:

BlackBerry – BlackBerry Desktop Manager

Most of us have one, and with emails that we can’t live without, backing up is more important than ever!  Many don’t know there’s a CD in the BlackBerry box, or available for download, called BlackBerry Desktop Manager with Backup.  There is a back-up utility to back up your apps, contacts, music, photos, videos, emails, and more. If you lose your BlackBerry and get a replacement, simply restore the file, and everything is put back to place, as if nothing happened at all!

iPhone/iPad – iTunes

This solution is built into your iPhone.  You can set it up so that every time you plug it in to the computer, iTunes launches and an automatic backup is started with barely a lift of the finger!  It’s simple, it backs up everything including photos, videos, contacts, email, settings, apps, and podcasts.  If you get a new phone, or you lost your phone, you can get the backup file and restore your settings, media, and emails, so that everything is back to the way you had set before.

Transferring your photos and videos – Dropbox

This allows you to choose your photos/video on your BlackBerry, iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, or Android smartphone.  Simply click upload, and it is securely placed online.  Additionally, you can download software on your computer, and your media files like your photos, from your smartphone/tablet, will magically appear on your computer, for your family’s viewing pleasure!

Hopefully that helps answer your questions, and as always, you can feel free to send your questions to me@winstonsih.com, or Tweet me @WinstonSih!  You just may be featured on CityLine.ca or a future episode of CityLine on Citytv!