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The 3-2-1 Backup Strategy

So you've heard it all. Full backup, incremental backup, differential backup, yada yada yada. Before making these decisions, you must first think at the higher level.

So let me explain the 3-2-1 Backup Strategy:

  • 3 Backup copies

  • 2 Different locations (media)

  • 1 Offsite

In simplistic terms, think of your Windows 10 desktop. The first copy is your running copy. The copy you use everyday. The second copy is an image (or a snapshot) copied to external storage. That can be something as simple as a USB hard drive or NAS (Network Attached Storage) device. The third copy is another external device that goes offsite. Why offsite? What if you experience a catastrophic event (Fire, flood or theft)?

So, this leads us to the next questions. Why a backup image over just backing up files and folders? Very simply put, a backup image is basically a clone of your hard drive. When it comes to either restoring the whole drive including the operating system and all install programs or just restoring a single file or folder, you can do either. You have the best of both worlds with image backups. Image backups do take more storage space, but the benefits outweigh the risks. Besides, storage is very cheap these days.

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