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Backing Up Your Data

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a young student points to several oversize folders

Regular file backups are a part of good digital hygiene. It's important to back up your data for those unexpected moments when something goes wrong and years' worth of photos are suddenly erased (or worse, stolen). We tend to ignore the need to back up our files until it's too late. Fortunately, modern technology is making it easier to back up files quickly—even automatically. It's a great relief to know your data is secured and available.

Cloud vs. Local Storage


For decades, the safest and best way to preserve copies of data was on external drives or servers—USB sticks, DVDs, even floppy disks. With the advent of near-universal internet access, many people are switching to cloud storage services, like Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive. Here's a breakdown of each type of storage:

Cloud Storage

Local Storage

Pros

• Affordable (subscription payments)

• Upgrade-able

• Available on multiple devices

• Secure (encrypted by storage service providers)

• Ready for sharing

• Affordable (one-time purchase)

• Fast data transfer with new connections

• Portable

• Local security

• Not dependent on Internet connection

Cons

• $$/month or year

• No Internet? No cloud.

• Not all cloud services are created equal

• Can break, decay, or get stolen

• Limited space

• Drive must be physically connected to device

Box: Our University's Solution

Our university officially uses and recommends Box, a cloud storage service. Box integrates with the Microsoft suite, giving you all the functionality of OneDrive. It also supports sharing, collaborative editing, and near-universal file previewing. All students and employees automatically have a Box account attached to their NetID - it's a simple as logging in. With Box, you'll have unlimited storage space until you graduate or leave the university.

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