According to statistics, more than half of people reports they either know someone or themselves have lost data due to a system outage, natural disaster, hardware failure, etc. This is devastating. Sometimes the lost files can be recovered by a piece of data recovery software like MiniTool Power Data Recovery. But prevention is better than cure. If they take advantages of some basic security practices for their computers, for example, backup, then things will become easier.

As to computer backup, it is necessary to implement a backup strategy. Today, we will focus on the best practice – 3-2-1 backup rule which is available for home computers and small businesses.

Implement 3-2-1 Backup Strategy for Home Computers/Business!
Implement 3-2-1 Backup Strategy for Home Computers/Business!

What Is 3-2-1 Backup Strategy

This strategy refers to having at least 3 copies of the computer data, 2 local copies on 2 different mediums and 1 offsite backup. And it is quite simple and effective and users can customize the strategy to meet their needs by following the detailed principles below.

Backup Strategy
Backup Strategy

Have At Least 3 Copies of Data

To get the less risk of data loss, it is recommended to own at least 3 copies of the data including documents, files, pictures, videos, etc. To put it simply, it means the original data and two backups. Once there is some issue with one backup, another backup can be used to restore lost data.

Store Copies on 2 Different Media

As is well known, any storage device may fail sooner or later due to a defect or simply wearing out. The risk of failing at the same time on two devices of the same type is much higher than two different storage media. Thus, if users keep the primary data on an internal hard drive, it is necessary to save backup copies on different media like an external hard drive, the cloud, a network attached storage, etc.

Keep 1 Copy Offsite

A local disaster like earthquake, flood or fire can damage all copies of data stored in one place. Hence, remember to keep at least one copy in a remote location, for example, the cloud – Google Cloud Storage, Microsoft OneDrive, etc. Additionally, “remote” even means as far away as possible, i.e., in another city, state, or country.

Is 3-2-1 Backup Strategy Perfect?

There is hardly anything perfect in the world, but 3-2-1 backup rule is the best practice for home computers and small businesses. It ensures that users have a copy of the data no matter what happens. Besides, to own multiple copies can prevent from losing the primary data together with its only backup copy, whereas multiple locations ensure that there is no single point of failure and that data is safe from disasters including fires and floods.

More importantly, this backup strategy has been recommended by some information security professionals and government authorities. For example, Carnegie Mellon recommended this approach in Data Backup Options publication in 2012 paper for US-CERT (United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team).

How to Implement 3-2-1 Backup Rule

How can users back up their important files by following this strategy? Now, read the guide below to defend against data loss.

Local Backup

As to the second part of the 3-2-1 rule, users should create a backup of their computer on a local location. As mentioned above, an external hard drive, NAS, etc. is available. Well then, how to do this? A piece of professional, reliable and free backup software should be recommended. Here, users can choose to download MiniTool ShadowMaker or its alternatives like NovaBackup PC to a computer and have a try.

Usually, users can choose these two best practices – image backup and cloning. In addition, for an ideal backup solution, incremental backup and differential backup are worth recommending. After getting the MiniTool software, run it to the main interface. Then, users need to select the backup source and storage path by entering the corresponding section. At last, start the backup right now.


  1. Automatic backup, incremental and differential backup are supported. So users can use its Schedule or Scheme to configure the backup.
  2. As to the storage location, NAS is also supported.

In addition, its Clone Disk allows users to clone the entire disk data to another local disk. Just enter Tools page and choose this feature to start a backup.

MiniTool ShadowMaker
MiniTool ShadowMaker

Keep PC Backup Offsite

After backing up the computer to a local drive, now it is the time to back up computer data to the cloud. Here take Google Drive as an example. Just go to, login in and then users can choose to drag files into Google Drive or use the Backup & Sync to protect computer data.

After that, users have three copies including the original data and two backups on different locations. In conclusion, 3-2-1 backup strategy is the best method for home computers and small businesses to prevent from losing data. Start to create backups now!

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