We like the title of this article from the Mobility Guru a great deal. Backup is something we save for the last minute too often…and ultimately forget, dooming us in an emergency. It is not a matter of IF you need to back up your data, it is WHEN.
For the frugal individual, try an old hard drive. For a minimal fee, you can convert it to USB operation and use it as backup. There is also the CD/DVD option, which will definitely work for some data. For the average person remember…your media files will not change, and thus can be backed up on a few DVDs rather efficient. For frequently updated information, such as application data, a copy of your registry, and your documents, you can use the old hard drive, supplemented with regular optical disc backups to back that drive up.