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Backing up your data on a regular basis can help minimize the need to utilize data recovery software. In some cases, data recovery tools will not be able to recover your data, so having a backup decreases the chances of losing your valuable data. One of the first factors to consider before backing up your data is what type of media to backup your files to.

Tape Storage

If you need to backup a large amount of data on a regular basis, you should consider using tapes as your backup medium. Tapes are inexpensive, easy to setup and configure and reliable. Tapes are considerably slower than other backup media, especially if you need to access a specific file, so tapes should only be used if you are planning to backup a large amount of data and only access it if you plan on restoring the entire tape to your hard disk.

External Hard Drives

External hard drives may be used for backing up files. The cost of an external hard drive is much more expensive per gigabyte than tape storage and are more prone to failure than tapes. However, if you plan on accessing specific files from the backup, the performance is much quicker. It is much simpler and quicker to recover specific files from your backup using an external hard drive than a tape drive. USB and Firewire external hard drives are the most commonly used external hard drives for Macs.

Network Backup

Another option available for backing up data is a network backup. This requires having sufficient storage space on another machine or storage device on your network to backup your data.

Optical Media

You may also backup your data to CD-Rs or DVD-Rs. This form of backup is expensive, since the cost of recordable CDs and DVDs is much more expensive per gigabyte than tapes or external hard drives. If you only need to backup a small amount of files, you might consider this option if you do not have a tape drive or an external hard drive.

While prevention (data backup) is usually the best medicine, we understand that sometimes accidents happen. Check out our reviews of the best Mac data recovery software if you need to get back what you've already lost.

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