Posted On 13 Dec 2018
We are increasingly keeping large amounts of data on our phones, but a phone is also the most likely technology device to be stolen, so it pays to know how to back up your data.
If you use iOS devices (iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch) you can back it up straight to the iCloud, onto your computer with iTunes, or use both methods.
iCloud is free for up to 5 GB of data, and charges on a sliding scale up to $19.99 per month for 1 TB of storage. To back up the data from your device on the iCloud, simply go to Settings> iCloud> Backup, sign in and press backup. From then on, backups will be performed automatically when you’re in range of Wi-Fi and plugged into USB. You can also backup manually at any time.
The iCloud backup is thorough and very useful for those who don’t normally plug their device into a computer. The amount of free storage is quite limited, as all the newest iOS devices have larger than 5 GB storage, and also there is no option to revert to previous backups.
To back up through iTunes, you simply plug an iOS device into any computer containing iTunes, go to “Summary” on your device, and click the “Back Up Now” button. There’s also a “This computer” radio button, which will launch backup every time you plug into a computer. There is an option to encrypt your backup so that you are the only person who can access it on any computer. This method is quick, easy, and you’ll never run out of storage on a normal computer; however, you do need to remember to back up regularly, and it’s no good if you want to back up at a time when you can’t access your computer.
To be really thorough, you could use both the above methods. Then your data will be stored in three different places: Your iOS device, your computer, and on iCloud. However, you still face the iCloud data restrictions and have to remember to perform iTunes backups.
There are a number of ways to back up your Android phone or device. Google Sync can be activated simply by going to Settings> Backup and Reset> Backup my data. Google will then automatically download all your data onto new devices when you sign in with Google. However, it’s worth remembering that this method does not backup apps, so you’ll need to re-download them on new devices.
Alternatively, some device manufacturers offer backups to their own clouds, e.g., HTC Backup and Samsung Kies. Again, this won’t back up your apps or files created by them.
There are apps that offer to store your data for a fee; generally, you must download these and then specify the sorts of data you want to save.
The last, and possibly simplest, way of backing up data from your Android device is simply to plug into a computer. It will appear as an external hard drive, and you can simply copy and paste all the data you want to save into a folder on your computer.