Using a third-party storage unit, such as Tivoli Storage Manager or SyncBack, is one way to copy and save backup files from your computer. Other methods include external hard drives, CDs and DVDs. Considerations when choosing the right method include cost and the size of the storage required.
Third-party storage managers allow you to back up files and save them on a secure external server. The backup supports systems of any size, and users should perform them regularly and according to a preset schedule. Storage managers have the ability to archive, recover and provide snapshots of data files.
CD writing software saves files to disks that can restore data or reinstall programs if necessary. An external hard drive is another way to do this, and they are available for purchase in different sizes, depending on the amount of space needed. An external hard drive connects to the computer when performing the backup, but users can disconnect and transport it for use on other systems once a backup has completed. Mac users can use Apple's Time Machine program to schedule regular backups to a hard drive, while Windows XP uses Microsoft's System Restore.
Other considerations for backing up a computer include making sure the computer is on during the window for a scheduled backup, verifying the files after a backup is complete and storing the backup in a safe place. It's also advisable to perform regular frequent backups after heavy use of the computer.