Back the f**k up. No seriously

3 external storage solutions for your backup woes
(Image credit: WD, ADATA, Samsung)

Each and every one of us has experienced some form of data loss—from the miniscule "Crap, I forgot to save for 20 mins," to the utterly catastrophic "Everything I've ever saved is gone FOREVER!" While it's easy to dismiss the niggling thought in the back of your mind that tells you you should probably backup your computer, today is the day to embrace it.

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March 31st is World Backup Day, and it comes just one day before April Fools, no less. So, if you don't want to be the butt of a cruel prank on the part of your hardware, take some time out of your busy lockdown evening to backup, and avoid potential devastation.

You might be in the mindset of, seeing as there's not many precious files on your PC that need backing up, why should you bother? All your save games are on the cloud and, worst comes to worst, it'll take maybe half a day to re-download those epic, open-world, AAA games you've been hoarding on your internal storage—depending on your internet speed. Then there's always cloud gaming services to tide you over of the worst happens, right?

But there are more things to consider here. It may not just be your storage device that goes kaput. You could easily be subject to a power surge, or something a little more dramatic like a lightning strike or a typhoon, that leaves you completely PC-less.

You may not care about losing those few random pics from college, an old tenancy agreement, and tickets for that gig you never got to go to because the world stopped turning. Still, let's say you were sitting on an earlier version of Windows and upgraded to Windows 10 for free. If you haven't as much as grabbed your product license key, you're going to end up forking out for more than just a new PC. Then there's all those settings you've perfected, so it might be an idea to backup your OS along with your preferences.

Even if you decide not to backup, now might be the time to invest in a power surge protector socket for your PC, or even a few sandbags. You never know what's lurking around the corner, waiting to corrupt your files.

If loss of data is something that worries you, you've got several options when it comes to backing up your PC. For those few files you're worried about loosing, or for an OS mirror, grabbing one of the best flash drives will see you right. For a slightly more beefy backup, you might require a larger external storage device. Having one of the best external hard drives will give you more storage space to play with, but isn't the best option if you want super fast access to your files. In that case, our best external SSD guide is where you want to look.

Then there's always the cloud. An online, file-based storage solution is a great option and there are some reliable services to chose from. You can even bag a fair bit of storage for free, but it will leave you always at the whim of your network status. It's easy to take internet access for granted, but if your router breaks too you're going to be a bit screwed until it's sorted.

Read more about getting the perfect PC backup here.

Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been demystifying tech and science—rather sarcastically—for three years since. She can be found admiring AI advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. She's been heading the PCG Steam Deck content hike, while waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.