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How To Explain Backups To The Tech Shy

How To Explain Backups To The Tech Shy

We all know that we should have at least one backup of the files on our devices, preferably two, but for people who aren’t confident with technology, arranging and running regular backups is a stressful concept.

With so many people forgetting or ignoring the need for backups, data loss is a continual risk. Here are some tips for creating a system for helping the tech-averse people in your life without losing all your time (and sanity!) to tech support.

1. Set aside dedicated time for explaining backups

It always seems like a friend or family member calls to ask tech questions at the worst possible time. For this reason, we’d recommend arranging a specific day and time to explain data backups without interruption or distraction. This instantly puts both parties on an agreeable footing and ensures there’s no rush or inconvenience.

2. Prepare in advance

Prepare however you think is best for you and the person you’re explaining file backups to. That might be making a few notes, creating a little cheatsheet or screenshare video for them, or even setting up a step-by-step tutorial so that you can demonstrate and they can repeat it in real time.

However you choose to prepare, be sure of the steps before you start the session. There’s nothing more confusing than someone doing extra unnecessary clicks, changing the sequence of actions, or pausing to figure out where to go next or what to explain.

3. Start with why

If people don’t understand the purpose of what they are being asked to do, very often they won’t do it because they don’t see it as important.

Start by explaining the importance of regular backups and present some real-life scenarios where a data backup could be a lifesaver. Be clear and cautious without being overdramatic or scaremongering so backups don’t become a source of stress and anxiety for the person you’re educating.

4. Only explain the necessary

The temptation is to provide as much information as possible to avoid endless chains of tech questions, but instead your best option is to only cover the very essentials.

Only providing the bare minimum makes it easier for people to remember what you have said and how to protect their data most effectively. It also means they are more likely to carry on with the backup system you have implemented for them because it doesn’t seem too overwhelming or time-consuming.

If more questions come up over time, for example how to restore backups to a device, you can answer them as and when if needed.

5. Keep backing up simple

The best way to ensure that people will follow your steps and back up their files after you’ve taught them how to do it is to keep it easy and straightforward.

We recommend using an automatic cloud backup service – that way you only need to set it up once for people who aren’t tech-savvy. After that all you need to do is explain the importance of backups, and then you’re good to go.

Check out our comparison of the best backup services. Best of all, they only need to purchase one low-cost backup service to cover all their devices. The more ways you can keep it simple, the better!

We recommend performing the first backup with the person if possible. This is because it takes the longest and that way you can ensure yourself that it has been set up correctly and completed successfully.

6. Ensure conscious awareness of backups

The final step is to ensure that the person you’re helping remains aware of backups and their importance. Even though they have an automatic cloud backup service, it’s important they aren’t complacent and remember to check the service from time to time and even download their own copies of backups to store on a separate hard drive. Depending on their device they may also need to connect it to their computer in order to trigger the back up.

We recommend adding a calendar reminder for them, either on a physical or virtual calendar of choice, and also asking them how they are getting on with their backups every so often.

Once you’ve taught someone how to protect their data with a backup service, both you and they will feel empowered and have complete peace of mind. To get started with automatic backup services, check out our list of the most affordable backup service providers.

How long does it take to backup Android phones?

How long does it take to backup Android phones?

When you’ve got piles of files on your device the first thing you want to look at is how to backup Android phones.

As Android supports external memory card storage, the average amount of data stored is typically higher than an iPhone.

While the stock internal memory on an Android device when it is brand new might be 8GB or 16GB, expandable memory can increase this limit to 64GB or 128GB.

What to do first

You may want to check how much and what kind of data is stored on your phone’s removable memory card before starting your backup.

If you don’t need all of it and can delete or exclude any before initiating your backup, this significantly speeds up the process.

You can check your storage use from your phone’s Settings menu under Storage or About.

What to do next

If you have many gigabytes of data, your first backup can take several hours depending on your internet speed.

This will depend on how fast your current upload speed is. You can test your home upload and download speeds using this industry standard Broadband Speed Checker.

We recommend you transfer data by connecting your phone to your computer using a USB cable for faster transfers.

The first time you back up your phone, all files are being copied fresh, so it is not unusual for the process to take 6-10 hours for 4GB.

After your first backup has completed, subsequent backups will be much faster.

Find out the best-rated products to backup Android here.

How long does it take to backup iPhone?

How long does it take to backup iPhone?

The amount of time it takes to backup iPhone messages, contacts, photos and other data depends on three things:

  1. The amount of data you’re backing up,
  2. Whether you’ve backed up your phone using the same cloud backup service before,
  3. Your broadband upload speed.

Before you start to backup iPhone data, delete anything you don’t need and ensure you only check folders you want to be backed up to save uploading unwanted data.

The first time you back up your iPhone to the cloud it can take several hours for the backup to complete.

This is because the files are being uploaded fully for the first time.

In subsequent backups, only changed or additional files are uploaded, making the whole process much faster.

If your WiFi connection is slow (for example at 1Mbps, 4GB of assorted files could take 10 hours to upload!), connecting your phone to your computer and using a faster service such as iDrive can dramatically reduce the time it takes to backup iPhone messages, data and contacts.

How to backup iPhone for beginners

While we’ve produced a full guide here if you’re ready to backup your iPhone right now, here’s a quick summary if you’re still mulling over your options.

Simply sign up for the backup service of your choice, download the app, and follow the onscreen instructions to create automatic and on-demand backups of your files and data.

They are stored securely and you can choose which files are saved to the cloud if you don’t want to copy everything across or replace older files with newer versions.

Some cloud backup providers, such as Carbonite, let you view your photo backups and listen to your stored music straight from the app itself.

Find your best backup solution in our latest reviews and comparison tables.

How to make an image backup of your files

How to make an image backup of your files

Backing up data is one of the least exciting aspects of owning a digital device, yet it’s also uniquely important.

Computers are susceptible to viruses and malware, and they tend to fail suddenly rather than gradually.

The prospect of losing irreplaceable data is unthinkable for many people.

However, conventional methods of data backups are slow and inefficient, even if you’re disciplined enough to make data backups a regular process.

Knowing which files and folders to back up is hard, yet copying them all may be inefficient if most of the data is already backed up somewhere.

USB-based storage devices like data keys and external hard drives transfer files slowly, and cloud-based solutions are only viable if your broadband provider offers rapid upload speeds.

Even then, you may back up documents but forget about phone contacts – or copy email folders while overlooking the stored web browser login credentials.

To have a working copy of absolutely everything – programs, sub-folders, settings and communications – you need to create an image backup of a specific device.

How does it work?

An image backup is effectively a mirror image of your device’s hard drive at a given time.

It copies the operating system, application configurations and personal settings, alongside any user-generated files and folders.

There are several advantages to this process:

  • It generates a complete replica of the hard drive at a particular moment in time
  • Creating a full backup can be undertaken with a single instruction
  • It avoids any deliberations about which files to update, since everything is copied
  • The image ought to be stored in an unrelated location, so corruption or malware on the main device won’t be reflected in its image

How do I make an image backup on a Windows computer?

You can use Microsoft’s proprietary System Image Backup to copy the C drive in its entirety, assuming the PC is running Windows 7, 8 or 10.

(If it isn’t, the inability to create image backups is probably the least of your concerns.)

The software will ask for a suitable location to save the backup – typically on a network, a removable hard drive or a series of DVDs.

As long as the destination location has sufficient free space, a system image backup will be created. It’s also important to burn a system repair disc, simplifying the process of restoring an image back onto the original device further down the line.

How do I make an image backup on a Mac?

A broadly similar tool is pre-installed on Apple computers, called Disk Utility.

However, it’s more complicated.

There are various methods of formatting, depending on the total file size, whether or not the image can be retrospectively edited, etc.

It’s also necessary to create an empty location in preparation for the disk image being copied.

Apple Time Machine is a simpler alternative, but needs a permanently connected hard drive.

Integrated into OS X 10.5 and above, Time Machine automatically saves copies of files, applications and folders into a designated backup location.

The only things it overlooks are trash bin contents, or temporary items like cache files.

Time Machine stores hourly backups for the last 24 hours, then daily backups for the previous month and weekly backups stretching back to the device’s original setup.

Can I make an image backup on an Android or iOS device?

The principles of image backups aren’t really applicable to mobile devices.

If your Android handset is rooted (also known as being jailbroken), NANDroid will back up everything from app data to system files.

If the device isn’t rooted, your best bet involves an official app like Super Backup & Restore, which will save apps, messages, bookmarks and APK files onto an external SD card.

Similarly, there’s no way to create a full image backup for an iOS tablet or phone.

Apple ID data will be copied (contacts, bookmarks, music, etc) to iCloud or iTunes, but this won’t include email settings, Apple Pay data or system information.

If your device has already been jailbroken, apps like FonePaw will duplicate everything from Safari’s browsing history to voice memos. Again, though, this is not a full image backup.

MAIN IMAGE: DoCChewbacca/CC BY-SA 2.0

How to back up iPhone

How to back up iPhone: the beginner’s guide

If you need to back up iPhone to the cloud, the instructions for doing so are often difficult to understand.

We often take our smartphones for granted, but losing your phone, damaging it, even an unlucky software failure can mean permanently losing irreplaceable family photos and videos, important notes, essential contact information, and much more.

With nearly half a million phone thefts in England and Wales last year it’s never been more important to have a secure, up to date backup copy of all your data.

But don’t worry. There are several different ways to safely back up your iPhone easily and automatically, so regardless of how you prefer to make a copy of and store your data, there’s a solution out there for you.

Why back up iPhone data?

It’s not just about making sure that you have a copy of your important data even in the event of theft, loss or irreparable damage to your phone.

Having separate backups of your iPhone files also means you can delete them from your phone to free up more precious storage space, so your smartphone runs optimally and you still have the capacity to install apps and take more photos and videos.

Just be careful you aren’t syncing these changes across to the cloud as this could potentially delete files from your backup; using a dedicated cloud storage provider with clear settings and syncing options eliminates this issue as you control what’s backed up, how, and when.

Why use a dedicated cloud backup provider for iPhone?

Selecting a service provider that specialises in storing and backing up data has a whole host of benefits.

Multiple devices – Rather than having to pay per device and having numerous accounts and logins to remember and keep track of, specialist cloud backup providers offer a single plan that you can use to secure your whole family’s data. It’s ideal for households with several phones, tablets, and computers, particularly if you have teenagers who are forever losing their tech.

Device flexibility – Unlike with iCloud, you’re not tied to just Apple products, so with a family plan you can back up phones, tablets, computers and more regardless of manufacturer or operating system. For example, you pay once and can back up your Windows PC, Apple iPhone, and Samsung tablet freely and automatically without worrying about compatibility issues or proprietary device restrictions. Many providers even let you back up servers should you need to.

Revise & restore – With a dedicated cloud storage backup provider, you have a lot more flexibility regarding which versions of your files are stored, plus the ability to restore older copies to your device if needed.

Intensive high-level security – Cloud backup providers prioritise security and practise data compliance to exceptionally high levels as standard; their reputation and business depend on it. 128-bit or 256-bit encryption is typically featured, even on lower priced backup plans.

Cheaper prices – Backup solutions such as BackBlaze, Carbonite, Mevvo, and Acronis, offer unlimited storage space from just £3.75 per month, compared to Apple iCloud’s limited 2TB at a cost of £6.99 per month.

Buying a backup means never having to worry about hitting storage space limits, combined with the high quality service and security of a dedicated cloud storage companies.

How to back up your iPhone to the cloud

After carefully vetting numerous storage services all over the world, we’ve shortlisted the best cloud backup providers for UK iPhone users on our homepage so you can quickly compare them by price and features.

Simply sign up for the backup service of your choice, download the app, and follow the onscreen instructions to create automatic and on-demand backups of your files and data.

They are stored securely and you can choose which files are saved to the cloud if you don’t want to copy everything across or replace older files with newer versions. Some cloud backup providers, such as Carbonite, let you view your photo backups and listen to your stored music straight from the app itself.

However you decide to back up your iPhone, it’s crucial that you choose a secure and cost effective service to put your mind at rest should the worst happen.

Compare our top rated cloud storage providers side by side to see which is the iPhone backup provider for you.