How to Back Up Home Computers: Susan's Story

How to prepare before things go wrong, and respond when do.

Are you in the dark when it comes to home backup?

Then you're in the right place! This story below will talk you through an ideal home backup configuration, as well as touch on some major options.

There is additional information at the end that goes into further details. Good luck!

For more technical information

read our Home Backup Configurations section at the end of this page or The Complete Guide to Backups.

The Tale of Susan

Susan is a cool mom: she drives a hatchback, attends the local farmers market, and coaches a soccer team. But when her eleven year old son Derek decides to make more room on his computer for his Minecraft game, he deletes last years family photos and all her digital tax returns.

Ouch! Not cool, Derek. Not cool.

But Susan is a cool mom; she instantly realized that yesterday was time time to have online backup, and that today was the time to make lemonade and finally set it up. Carpe diem, amirite?

With Derek busily weeding their lawn and a glass of lemonade in her hand, Susan went to where she created an account and downloaded the KeepVault desktop application to her Windows computer.

Before her glass was empty, Susan had installed the software and chosen the folders to back up; even her son’s Minecraft, because Susan is a cool mom.

The Family Grows

It isn’t long before Susan decides it’s time for Derek to have his own laptop. After activating every parental control known to man, she adds KeepVault, validates it with her existing licence key, and chooses the folders to back up.

Because devices are unlimited, she doesn’t need to worry about additional licensing.

Disaster Averted!

“Mom!” yelled Derek at the top of his lungs. Susan rushed to the scene where her two year old Anna was splashing the contents of her sippy-cup onto Derek’s laptop. By the time Susan retrieved Anna and dried off the laptop, it was too late.

While Derek fumed in a sort of dejection only a tween could project, Susan logged into to check the status of his backups. 100% Great. Super-cool, even.

Susan phoned her husband to pick up a replacement laptop. When it arrived Susan installed and validated the KeepVault software, then with a few clicks started the process of restoring Derek’s files. By morning it was like nothing happened: all his files were back and he was up and running again.

Stepping it Up

Susan liked to take family videos with her phone and DSLR camera. This large files were starting to add up. Soon it seemed excessive to back them all up in the cloud, especially since she eventually would delete many of them.

But Susan is a cool mom, and the solution was as simple as picking up a USB hard drive at a local electronics store. She then altered the configuration in her KeepVault software so that most of her directories would back up online, but her video folders would back up to her new USB drive.

The software made this easy, and worked so well that, as usual, Susan was free to forget all about it.

Technical Details: Home Backup Configurations

Home backup should be simple.

Basic Setup

Most users have a situation similar to this:

This provides two layers of protection by backing up both to a USB drive and to the cloud. It also increases the speed and convenience of file restoration.

Many people simply elect to have it all in the cloud for convenience.

You can get creative. In the diagram below two computers are backing up directly to the cloud, but also to each other.

Power User

Some home users desire a more advanced configuration.

Here the home PC's are being backed up to a NAS device. The NAS device backs up to the cloud. The laptop backs up directly to the cloud and to a USB drive.

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