Keep at least3

copies of your data

The first principle of 3-2-1 backup strategy is to keep at least 3 copies of your data, including the original copy and at least two backups. For instance, there is File-A on the hard drive of your computer. You need to create at least two backups of the File-A which can be named to File-A-backup1 and File-A-backup2.

You have to admit that it is less likely to lose data saved in multiple places than lose data saved in just one place. To have data saved in multiple places, you need to create several backups first. In this principle, 3 copies are enough. Well, in the 3-2-1 backup strategy, what does the “2” stand for?

Although you have created 3 copies of your important data, it would be easy to get corrupted if you put them on one place. One damaged, all damaged. As a result, it is suggested to store the two backups on 2 different storage types, such as external HDDs/SSDs, USB flash drives, portable drives, SD cards, pen drives, CD/DVD discs, etc.

This action reduces the risk of data loss. Even if one of those storage devices fails, the backup on another would be readily for restoring. Then, what does the "1" stand for?

Keep the backup data on

2different devices

Keep at least1

copy of the data offsite

In general, offsite means remotely. However, it is safe enough if you can keep at least 1 backup stored in another place long distance, i.e. not onsite. Hard drive devices fail eventually, so a perfect place for offsite would be cloud drive, NAS or network share.

Physical storages may be damaged by human error, flood, earthquake, or stolen by theft, but that is hardly appear on network drives especially on the cloud storage that offered by well-known service providers. Believe it or not, they have more strict ways to ensure data security.

After the brief understanding of 3-2-1 backup strategy approach, you may wonder how you could make it easily. In the next part, an easy-to-use yet professional backup solution, AOMEI Backupper, would be introduced.

How does AOMEI Backupper comply with the 3-2-1 backup strategy?

AOMEI Backupper is all-around and comprehensive backup software designed for Windows operating systems only. It has different editions that apply to different operating systems (PCs or Servers) on different occasions (Individuals or Enterprises).

Multiple Available Editions for Different Purposes

AOMEI Backupper has six different editions: Standard, Professional, Workstation, Server, Technician and Technician Plus. Therein, the AOMEI Backupper Standard edition is free of charge and earns good reputation among thousands of users. Windows PC supported. The Professional edition and Workstation edition are embedded with more powerful features that the Standard one does not have. Also Windows PC supported. For Windows Server users, the Server edition is applicable.

As for an enterprise backup strategy service provider, AOMEI Backupper also offers advanced editions, which are Technician edition (for Unlimited PCs) and Technician Plus edition (for Unlimited Servers & PCs). With so many different editions, you could absolutely find the most suitable one.

Reliable Software with Powerful Features

The software is embedded with many powerful features that could help you start with a 3-2-1 approach. In detail, it allows you to backup files, folders, partitions/volumes, system drives, hard drives, etc. in the way of full backup, incremental and differential backup. You can choose to backup to local disks, external drives, flash drives, CD/DVD discs, NAS, network drives and cloud drives.

In addition, you can also compress backup image to save disk space, split image to fit CD or DVD ROM, password encrypt backups to provide additional protective layer, or set email notification to monitor backup tasks. The Backup Scheme in paid edition saves disk space while ensures backup up-to-date all the time.

For backing up drives or disks that need to be readily all the time, it is suggested to perform cloning features like System Clone, Disk Clone or Partition/Volume Clone. To learn more, you can go to the Overview page. Then, let's get the steps to execute this backup strategy.

How do you implement the 3-2-1 backup rule step by step?

In the first place, please install AOMEI Backupper on desired computer(s). Connect the external storage device(s) in advance. Here we take File Backup with AOMEI Backupper Professional edition for example. Run the software.

Ensure 3 copies of your data

1. At the main interface, click Backup and then File Backup.

2. Click Add File or Add Folder to select the files you’d like to back up.

3. Select the destination path to store the first backup. Here we choose the E drive on the external storage. You can also copy Windows OS to flash drive.

4. Click Scheme and tick Enable Backup Scheme to select a strategy to delete old backups that are no longer needed automatically.

5. Finally, click Start Backup on the main interface to execute the task.

On 2 different types of storage and 1 offsite

1. Repeat Step 1, 2 mentioned above to create another backup task. Then, select a different destination path this time. Take network location for example.

2. Select the path. Click the blue button on the right. Then, input username and password as required if you backup to the network drive or NAS for the first time.

3. Click Scheme to set backup scheme again. Finally, click Start Backup on the main interface.

  • To backup to a cloud drive, please first install the desktop application of your cloud on the computer.
  • After creating backups with AOMEI Backupper, you can manage your backup tasks under the Home tab. You can use the Check Image feature to check the integrity of your backup image file, which ensures that your "backup" will not be blank or corrupted when you need to restore.