It is not the world’s simplest data backup device, but it works in a non-intrusive manner.
Backup is a painful process. The Seagate solution is now available: an external hard disk called Replica PC. It may look like an external CD drive but is actually a 250 GB (or 500 GB) hard disk and connects to your PC with a USB cable. This device installs itself when you plug it into the PC. Once setup, it catalogues your PC’s contents—a very, very slow process. But I suggest that you leave this disk and the connected PC online, and come back to see the results in the morning. Once they are through, the data on you PC is replicated. You can use this device in the background (by keeping it plugged in while you are working) and also to synchronise your laptop periodically. Its software will also take into account all the changes that you would have made to individual documents. The Replica PC lets you do a full recovery, including files and installed software, to the last date where it was backed up. Also, you can (like in other backup utilities) do selective recoveries, just in case you deleted a file and later realised you needed it. It is still not as easy as it should be, but it is non-intrusive once set up. The Seagate Replica comes in single PC and multiple PC editions, so that if you have many PCs, you can use it for all of them.