It is very important to make sure that your backups of your computer are setup and working properly. It is cheap insurance, if your main drive fails, you lose everything, documents, pictures, videos and other important information. Backup drives can be purchased for only around $50-$60 for a 1tb external drive, which is usually more than enough to cover most users files.
Depending on the version of the Windows OS, there is a basic backup program built in and covers most options average users need. If your needs are higher or you want more control, then some of the better known programs that are recommended are: Acronis True Image and StorageCraft ShadowProtect 5 Desktop
When backup up files, there are 2 general ways that files are stored for recovery. One is to do an image/clone copy and the other is incremental copy, the main difference between them is with the incremental method, you can choose older versions of files in case newer ones get corrupted or they accidentally get trashed and recovery them.
Note: with Windows OS and hardware, restoring image copies can only be done when you are using the same computer or an exact replacement computer. When moving to any different hardware, you can only restore your saved documents, pictures, videos and other important information files, some preferences files. You then have to reinstall all additional software.
When backup up files, there are 2 general ways that files are stored for recovery. One is to do Time Machine backup and the other is an image/clone copy. The difference between them is that Time Machine backups are a form of incremental backup and allow you to choose older versions of files in case newer ones get corrupted or they accidentally get trashed or restore a full copy at any previous saved time slice. The only other difference is that when restoring the entire system, Time Machine has to go thru the entire restore before booting from that restored system. With image/clone backups, they can be booted from directly and used on same computer that was backed up or to any other mac computer as long as the version of the OS is compatible with the hardware.