To back up, you can buy an external drive and save your data to that, or opt for an online service such as Carbonite 3.5.

If you consider what you store on your computer, whether it’s critical work documents or priceless family photos, backing up your files really is essential. After all, no matter how much we all rely on technology, we also know it’s far from infallible and could you really face losing all that precious data?

There are various approaches to backup - you can buy an external drive and back up all your data to that, or you can opt for an online service such as Carbonite 3.5.

For around £25 a year Carbonite 3.5 offers a really easy way to protect all your files against a data disaster. Best of all you can try it for free without committing even a credit card number, so you can make a really educated decision about whether it’s right for your needs.

And we can tell you now that Carbonite 3.5 is certainly a great choice. It takes virtually no time to download and install, and after answering a few security questions you can start backing up immediately.

You can either automatically back up ‘My Documents’ and your PC's desktop, or manually select which files you want to save later.

If you choose to select your own files you can keep tabs on the backup status of each file using the coloured dot system. A file with a green dot has been backed up, a yellow dot denotes pending backup and no dot means it’s not selected for backup.

It will automatically back up your files in the background, and because it works when your PC is idle, we didn’t notice any slow down in performance. The first backup does take a while, but after that backups are incremental, so only things that have been changed will be stored again, which speeds up the whole process.

Restoring files is simple too. You just select the remote Carbonite drive from ‘My Computer’, open up the folder, which holds all your files and copy the ones you want back on to your computer.

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