Backing Up: What Are the Best Solutions For You? (Students)

Backing up your important documents and files is vital and there are various ways to do so. Computers will always eventually fail and often this will happen when you least expect it. We recommend backing up data at least once a week.

This article is intended for full-time Wharton students.

For more information on the differences between various cloud storage solutions, see Cloud Storage Options (Students & Staff).

Common Backup Options

MethodDescriptionStorage SpacePortabilityDurabilityEase of UseArchive Quality1
Flash DrivePlug into any device with a USB port1GB - 256GBHighHighHighMedium
External DriveStores lots of data; semi-portable128GB - 4TBMediumMediumHighMedium
Cloud StorageAlways available onlinePenn+Box: Unlimited
OneDrive: 1TB
Google Drive: Unlimited
Dropbox: Unlimited
HighHighHighPenn+Box: Low2
OneDrive: Low2
Google Drive: Low3
Dropbox: High
Network storage provided by Wharton5GBMedium4HighMedium4Low3

1Archive quality denotes the ability of the media to be used as a long-term (many years or decades) archival medium for data.

2Your PennO365 account (including OneDrive storage and files) and Penn+Box account will be deleted within 60 days after graduation.

3Your MyWhartonDrive (Y:) and Google Drive will be deleted 1 year following graduation.

4You can access your MyWhartonDrive (Y:) via any Wharton public computer or the vLab.

Additional Considerations

Flash Drives

  • Convenient, but easy to lose.
  • Works with any computer that has a USB port.
  • Widely available for sale at sizes starting at 1GB.
  • Also known as a thumb-drive, Jump Drive, or memory key.

External Drives

  • There's a variety of inexpensive external hard drives available.
  • Many external hard drives come pre-loaded with software to schedule automatic backups. 
  • Mac computers come with a program called Time Machine, which backs up up your data to another place on your hard drive.

Cloud Storage

  • Your data is always available and is not reliant on physical media
  • Some people have concerns about having their data stored in the cloud.
  • For a list of options, see Cloud Storage Options.

MyWhartonDrive (Y:)

  • This space is available from the Wharton computers, or online.
  • This option is only available until 1 year following graduation