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Backup Solutions for the Student

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Backup Solutions for the Student

It’s the middle of the school year and for many students in both high school and college; research papers and other projects are on the horizon.  Being someone who has been through both, I understand how stressful and time-consuming it can be to work on one or more papers at the same time.  As tough as typing an 8+ page paper is, what’s even worse is finishing it and having to re-type the entire thing.
I went through this exact situation multiple times while in college all because I didn’t back up my work.  Without backups, you would typically do your work on your laptop or desktop computer.  That’s fine, but what if your computer or laptop fails?  What if you only use a desktop computer and want to do your work elsewhere?  You’d need some other kind of storage, but even something could go wrong with that.  The key to ensuring that you never have to re-do your work in school is to back it up.  You need to store everything in multiple places.  
The most convenient solution is to purchase a USB Flash Drive.  I recommend one that is 8 GB or more in size.  That will be large enough for all your classes or you can purchase multiple 2GB drives and use one for each class.  Flash drives are very inexpensive and allow you to do your work on any computer or laptop (assuming that it has whatever software is being used to complete the work).  The best way to back up your work using this method is to save a copy of what you are working on, on both the flash drive and whatever computer you are using.  That way, you could lose your flash drive and you still have a copy.  Your flash drive or computer could fail, but you will still have a copy of your work.
An External USB Hard Drive is also a convenient solution.  These drives are more reliable than USB Flash drives, however they are larger, cost more money, and have a much larger capacity than what you need for schoolwork.
The last solution is completely free of charge and is very convenient, but you must have an internet connection to use it properly.  Google Drive provides storage to users for no cost and allows you to access your data from anywhere so long as you know your Google Account login and have an internet connection.  To use this method, you would work on your document and save it as you normally would.  Once you’re done for the day, you can then go to Drive.Google.com and login.  From there you can upload your document to Google Drive.  You can then go to a different computer, pull up your Google Drive account and download it so that you can work on it, and then re-upload the revised copy.  You can download the Google Drive application onto your computer so that you are able to drag and drop your files rather than going to the website in order to upload and download them.  Google Drive does have a space limit, but it’s not likely that you would exceed it for schoolwork.  The only drawback to Google Drive is that it requires internet access in order to work.  Relying solely upon Google Drive is not a good idea because of this, however your data will still remain if a fire or other disaster wiped away your belongings.
In order to ensure the safety of all your data, the best recommendation I can provide is to use all three of these methods together.  Take a Word Document for example.  Save a copy to your computer.  Copy and paste that file onto some type of removable storage.  Lastly, you should also upload it to Google Drive.  This way you are storing your document in 3 places. With 2 of them being accessible from any device.  The only inconvenience is having to save your file in 3 spaces, but it’s better to be safe than sorry


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