Data Backup

Data Backup

Whether you’re a student, faculty or staff member, your data is important and needs to be backed up. Luckily, there are a variety of easy methods you can use to do this.

Cloud-Based Services

In general, cloud based services are the best and easiest way to backup your data. Some typical features include:

  • A local copy of your data on any device you have connected to your account. 
  • Some services provide a version history of your documents (good for recovering a corrupt file).
  • Easy to restore data to a device or bring data over to a new device.

There are a continually growing number of these services, all with slight variations on the features they offer. Here are some popular ones we recommend:

  • Google Drive – Your NYU NetID gives you storage on Google Drive. We strongly encourage the use of Google Drive using this account. Your NYU NetID grants you 30 GB's of space.
  • Dropbox – One of the original services, many users already have a Dropbox account. 2GB free to start with, and several paid tiers, depending on how much data you want to keep in Dropbox. Go to to get started.
  • OneDrive – Microsoft’s entry into the cloud storage services starts you off with 7GB free. Check out to get started.
  • iCloud  - For users with Apple IDs, go to to get your 5GB free.

Portable media

If you’d prefer to physically hold backups in your hand, go for one of these options. Sizes keep increasing as costs go down!

  • USB Flash Drive – Typically can fit in your pocket. Capacities range from a few GB up to 64GB in size … although that will inevitably go up
  • External hard drive – these drives will more happily fit in your desk drawer. Capacities range from a few hundred GB to the several TB (terabyte) range.
  • Optical media – CD/DVD drives are becoming less common on laptops. If you go with this option, capacities are CD-R (~700 MB) or DVD-R (~4.7GB