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Back up and protect your data

More back-up tools and tips
Discover how to store your backups online for free, plus save different revisions of your files so you can go back in time

FEATURE INDEX
Introduction
The why and where of backing up
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Back up files and settings
Protect your irreplaceable documents, email, images and program preferences
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Back up to the internet
Discover which online tools offer the best value and features for your money
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More back-up tools, tips and techniques
Back up different versions of the same file and more
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Copy your hard drive
Drive imaging tools enable you to back up your entire Windows installation
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Free backup is finally here.  Mozy Remote Backup.
Y
ou can never have too many backups, which is where all of these free tools come into their own. We're going to start with a free program called BuddyBackup. Let's say you like the idea of backing up to a remote computer, but you can't afford the cost. BuddyBackup enables you to back up to other computers over the internet or the network in the form of friends and family who are in a similar boat.
 
   The principle is this: each person signs up for their own BuddyBackup account and agrees to host the other's backups in return for that person hosting their own. You can have multiple buddies, enabling you to store your backup in two or more separate locations for greater security.
 
   Everything is encrypted, so your files are perfectly safe on the target computer - only you can access them through your own account if you need them. Should you ever need to restore your data, just scoot along to the program's User Guide here for the full low-down.
 
   One caveat: the backup will only take place when both PCs are switched on and connected to the internet, so it's feasible that files don't get backed up for some time if you keep missing each other. Of course, increasing the number of buddies you back up to (or including another PC on your network as a back-up destination - if you go down this route, you'll need to set up another account to cover that computer) helps to alleviate this problem.
 
 

Step-by-step: Back up to another PC with BuddyBackup


1. DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL


2. SELECT BACK-UP SIZE


3. CHOOSE NUMBER OF COPIES


4. RESOLVE CONNECTION ISSUES


5. CHOOSE WHAT TO BACK UP


6. CONNECT TO BUDDIES



Trip back in time
It's all very well having a backup of the latest version of your files, but what if you suddenly realise you need an older version of a particular file? Some online back-up services - including Carbonite - store multiple revisions of the same file, but you have no control over which revisions are kept.
 
   FileHamster Lite can be set to watch specific folders for file changes, enabling you to store different versions of the same file - now if you accidentally make an unwanted revision, you can undo it quickly and painlessly. You set the program to watch specific files or directories, set wildcards or filters (so you only watch Access database files, for example) and choose where to stop your backups. You also control how many revisions are stored and when they're taken (either on every save, or you can set a specific delay between revisions).
 
   The only downside is that the free version is no longer in active development, and pops up an ad from the Notification area of the Taskbar at regular intervals. Thankfully the Plus version currently costs a bargain US$14.95. Find out more and download either version from here.


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