Should I Backup To 2nd External Hard Drive

Dear Computer Lady,

Read your newsletter every week & love it, have learned from it!

I know how strongly you feel about backing up ones files. Is a 2nd external hard drive a good back-up for my 1st external hard drive, or am I being redundant?

Gary (in Philadelphia)

Dear Gary,

The reason I feel so strongly about backing up ones files is because I have seen how devastated people are when they realize that their photos or work documents are gone. If your files are important to you, you need to take care of them.

I like to keep my files in three locations.

1. On my computer.
2. On an external hard drive that is connected to my computer.
3. In a remote location that is not connected to my computer.

The first two locations protect me from hard drive failure, which is still fairly common.

The third, remote location, protects me from fire, flood, theft, natural disaster, and a type of nasty malware called, ransomware.

If your files are already on your computer, and also on an external hard drive, putting them on another external hard drive won’t help much, unless you are keeping one of the external drives in a different physical location.

You could use two external hard drives, and rotate them, keeping one at another location and switching them every week. An easier offsite backup would be one of the backup services like Carbonite or Mozy.

I’m glad you are thinking about backing up, many people don’t until it is too late.

Elizabeth

 

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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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