Today is World Backup Day, a holiday that celebrates the task we all know we should be doing, but one that's way too easy to ignore—until your hard drive starts to grind or your phone decides to go for a swim. Lucky for you, World Backup Day falls on a Saturday this year. You've got the time. Now let's back up that data.
We've covered backup from virtually every angle, and for every platform. Think of this post as the index for all your backup needs.
Priority One: Your Computer
First, let's start with the big one: Your computer.
Whether you're a Windows, Mac, or Linux user, here's our recommended method of backing up your computer. This post will help you back up your hard drive both locally (so you can quickly get back up and running if anything goes awry) and off-site (so that if your computer's stolen or your house burns down you can still get your data back).
Already got your computer backed up. Congrats, redundancy pro! You deserve a badge! Now let's turn to that other device with a hard drive you count on daily: Your phone. This section is divvied into iPhone and Android backup options.
First, for the iPhone crowd:
You already know that iTunes backs up your phone when you plug your iPhone into your computer and sync, so that's kind of a no-brainer. But if you really want to back up that iPhone and you don't mind jailbreaking, you've got an even better option:
This guide will walk you through how tofully back up your iOS device's data, and do so wirelessly and automatically. Here's how it works.
Oh, and even if you decide you only want to back up your iOS device using the default iTunes route, you may want to keep two things in mind: First, make sure you back up that back up. If you're already backing up your computer (remember that backup method we linked to above?), then you're already on top of this. Second, you may want to consider encrypting your iPhone backups with iTunes. Doing so means you won't have to re-enter your passwords in the event you have to restore your device at a later date.
In an ideal world, your Android's apps, their settings, and your system settings would automatically back up to the cloud so that if you lost your phone, bought a new one, or installed a new custom ROM, setting up a fresh device with everything in place would be a piece of cake. That's not how it works by default, which is why we've detailed how to set up a fully automated app and settings backup on Android. Do it!
Most of us have had our email accounts for years, which means your inbox is more than just a tool you use to communicate daily; it's also a shoebox of digital memories. So back up those memories, already!
In many ways, the web is a great place for your data. Most serious web companies follow a considerably more rigorous data backup and redundancy strategy than you do. That said, the world's not perfect. A service might shut down overnight, or one web site might not be taking backup as seriously as they should. Here's how to protect your data in the event of a webapp shutdown or other data loss. Basically how to back up that business.