As many of you know, Windows 10 updates have been a bit unstable these days and for many, it’s created a whole host of problems – most of which have been crashed computers, printers not working or no Wifi connection. And while these are some serious problems, what’s more important is your personal files that if not backed up, could be lost forever should Windows have to be rein- stalled after a failed update. It for this reason, consumers who use Windows really should consider investing in some type of backup solution. Saving Files on Flash Drives or Cloud Storage One of the cheapest ways to keep files backed up is using flash drives. While flash or thumb drives, as their often called, have one major problem – they just don’t have enough storage space and using multiple drives can be a bit hard to keep up with. So, as an alternative, you could use off site storage such as Dropbox or Google Drive, and while these are a viable solutions, they should only be used as a temporary solution since the free storage space these services provide have storage limitations which is usually only a few gigabytes and because they are offline, you’ll need Internet access to retrieve them. However, if off-line storage does appeal to you, you can subscribe to one of the many available services and pay a monthly or yearly fee for a storage plan that would best suit your storage needs. But if you’re the type of person that would rather keep your files closer to home, then investing in an external hard drive might be the solution you can benefit from. USB External Drive As the name implies, USB External Drives attach to you computer using one of the USB ports on you computer via a USB cable which the Operation System detects which you can access and copy files like any other drive. As an added bonus, once you have finished backing up you files, you can eject the drive and keep in a safe place and because it’s portable, you can take it with you and use it with your laptop. External hard drives are available and are fairly inexpensive and as a recommendation, al- ways choose one with a capacity that is at least twice that of your internal hard drive so that you have enough space in the future for larger files like videos and music that you want to save. Wireless External Drives For those who have multiple devices like laptops and desktop computers and need the ability to share the backup drive with those devices, a personal cloud is what might meet this need. Personal Cloud Drives are connected via your home Wifi like any other wireless device and once installed, can be accessed from all of you wireless computers where you can move files to the drive wirelessly or even share them with other users in you house. While these type of drives are not portable, they do offer the same security of a USB external drive and can be password protected and secure from anyone within the range of you home Wifi signal. What To Choose? While currently there are two drive major manufacturers, both Seagate and Western Digital have excellent models to choose from and each are equally as good and although they can be purchased online through Amazon or at your local Walmarts, you might want to check prices, since buying online might be less expensive. While the initial cost of one of these drives may cost a bit depending on the solution you choose, keep in mind that not only can the operating system become unstable, but in the event of any other unforeseen disaster, you’ll at least have the peace of mind that all your files are safe and can be recovered at a later date. For more details regarding these drives and others, refer to Western Digital at https://www.wdc.com/solutions/ home-storage-solutions.html [IDR’s Tech Columnist, Kenneth Herring, is an Independence native with years of experience in various technologies. He served in the technology industry for more than 27 years, having active experience as an IT instructor and computer systems engineer. Have a question for Ken about your computer? Email him at kenstechtalk@gmail.com.]