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Backup Solutions for Home Computers and Home Networks.
If you have valuable documents, photos, music, videos and other personal data you need to have made proper provision for storing that information in a secure and reliable manner. This does need to be an over complicated affair but a couple of things you should bear in mind are as follows:
If your data is only stored in the personal folders of your C drive you are very vulnerable. If the C drive wears out or the computer is subject to a virus attack which wipes out the filing system on the C drive, then you are likely to lose all your data.
If you have backed up to a writable CD or DVD don't think your data is safe. The photo sensitive layers on these disks degrade over time according to the temperature and light conditions they are stored in. Some lose data after as little as 12 months.
The cheapest, quickest and most reliable strategy at present is to store at least two copies of your data on different hard drives. These need to be physically different devices, not different partitions on the same hard drive.
Three options are easily available for this. If you have a modern computer then adding another hard drive inside the case is a relatively cheap, simple option. This extra drive can not only be used to back up its own files but also files from other family computers on the same home network.
Another option is to have a portable hard drive which connects to a USB port. This can be connected to any computer that needs to have files backed up. A word of caution here though. Hard drives frequently fail is they are dropped on a hard surface.
The third option is a NAS device. This is also a hard drive or series of hard drives in a standalone case with a network connection to the home network. These Network Attached Storage devices are the more expensive option. All home computers can connect to them and deal with their backups individually. When buying one ensure that the cooling system is adequate to keep the drives cool when working hard. Hot hard drives are more likely to fail than last a long time.
USB Pens are very useful for document backups but would be an expensive way to backup photo, video and music collections.

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