3-2-1 Backup Rule: Effective & Secure Data Backup Solutions

  •  Pradeep Kumar
  • Published on:  January 13th, 2023
  • Updated on:  April 26, 2023
5/5 - (4 votes)

Summary: Are you also interested in learning more about 3-2-1 backup rule? Then, it is a proven and authentic technique to secure your data at various stages. So, in this article, we will elaborate on the 3-2-1 data backup strategy. In addition, you will also learn the functionality of the Email Migration Tool which is a comprehensive solution to execute this 3-2-1 storage rule.

What Is the 3-2-1 Backup Rule?

The backup strategy 3-2-1 term was first coined by Peter Krogh. His occupations included consulting, writing, and photography. This 3-2-1 backup strategy was first used by Peter Krogh in his book: The DAM Book: Digital Asset Management for Photographers. In 2005, the CISA (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) emphasized its users and the use of this strategy for individuals and businesses. Below is an elaboration on how the 3-2-1 storage rule works.

Stages to Execute 3-2-1 Backup Rule

You might be astonished at how this backup rule is executed in reversal steps 3-2-1. Why not 1-2-3? So, below is the solution to the query.

Here’s what the 3-2-1 backup rule involves:

  • 3 copies of your data: This number allows you to have a copy of your data in three stages: Create one primary backup and two copies of your saved primary backup data.
  • 2 different storage media: The number denotes saving your backups in two different types of media.
  • 1 copy being off-site: Finally, this number explains why you should keep at least one backup file offsite or on Cloud.

Why 3-2-1 Data Backup Strategy is Important for Data Protection?

Any strategy is worthless if it does not make an impact in the upcoming years. The same thing applies to your data as well. Because once it is lost, you don’t have more options to recover it. In other words, there are several other advantages to using the 3-2-1 backup rule. These are listed below in more detail.

  • Allows you to access your data in case of internet outages.
  • You have the option to recover your data in case of system crashes.
  • You can access your data around the globe.
  • Having a backup offers you to retrieve your data in case of discrepancy.
  • You can save your business or data from unprecedented situations. Such as hacking, data manipulation, etc.

3-2-1 Backup Strategy: Best Practices to Store a Full Backup

Though, having a backup of your data always gives you a feeling of security. However, if you chose the 3-2-1 Backup Rule to save your data and use it as a data or cloud backup solutions. It will add a feather to your security cap. Below is the full description of the 3-2-1 data backup strategy.

3-Save Your Data in Three Copies of Your Data

This approach recommends you create a replica of the primary data you saved in two different storage devices and create one primary backup and two copies of your saved primary backup data. It will help you to access and recover your data in the event of an unfortunate circumstance.

2- Save Two Copies of the Primary Data in Two Different Storage

During this stage, it is advisable for you to use two different devices to save your primary data. If the device fails, you will be able to retrieve your data. For instance, you can use a hard disk, hard drive, CD-ROM, pen drive, or any other storage media that works offline. In case one of the devices crashes or sustains physical damage, you can still use your data. In the following section, we will learn the advantages of saving data on two different devices and following the 3-2-1 backup rule.

1- Migrate Primary Data to any Online Storage

In this stage, users are shown and advised to save their important data to the Cloud or another online storage. Why is it advisable to save data on Cloud? Well, it gives you another alternative to data protection solutions. There are certain advantages to making an effective Cloud Data Migration Strategy and staying by the 3-2-1 data backup rule.

The above is a complete description of the 3-2-1 data backup rule. The above techniques have been given to you by an American photographer. However, it is still relevant today. In addition to protecting their data, many users want to implement this 3-2-1 data backup strategy.
It is possible to execute this 3-2-1 Backup Rule using the automated Email Migration Tool. This comprehensive utility allows users to save and store their data in different media storage at separate cloud spaces.

Secure Data Backup Solutions to Implement 3-2-1 Data Backup Rule

The Email Migration Software is a comprehensive and reasonably priced tool for converting, saving, or migrating emails in more than 26 file formats and email clients. After several thorough tests by subject-matter experts, this tool was created. It is the result of the brilliant minds that designed such a sophisticated tool that provides you with the safest ways to save, back up and migrate your data into several file formats and email clients. To avail yourself of its desperately astonishing and cutting-edge features, try its demo version, which offers you many of its advanced features.

Additional Features of Best Email Migration Software

Though the 3-2-1 backup rule is quite enough to save your data. But it has certain limitations. However, after availing of the above-advanced utility tool. You will get cutting-edge features of the utility. Below is a list of a few of them.

  • The Email Migration Software allows one to back up data into the most recent file formats and email clients. Such as PST, PDF, MBOX, CSV, Gmail, GoDaddy, Hostgator, Office 365, MSG, iCloud, and others.
  • The utility acquires the feature of splitting large resultant PST files according to your need.
  • This tool is highly compatible with removing duplicate files and is highly smart in saving your machine storage.
  • You can save your mailbox to various file and image formats like GIF, JPG, TIFF, and PNG.
  • Allows you to save your emails within two specific date ranges.
  • You can save your emails with or without attachments. Additionally, you can also save machine storage using this software.


The above article describes the complete description of the 3-2-1 backup rule. Although it still has some relevance in today’s world, there are many limitations. Additionally, you might lose your data if your devices are corrupt or damaged in some circumstances. To avoid all of these risks, you can use an automated solution. It does more than save your data to various file formats or email clients. However, it also allows you to take advantage of its numerous advanced features. According to the 3-2-1 data backup rule, you must perform several steps and stages to save your data. On the other hand, the automated tool is simple to use and saves you time from getting bogged down in numerous stages.

FAQ 1: What are the variations of the 3-2-1 strategy?
Answer: Although the above 3-2-1 Backup Rule is one of the best methodologies to take a backup of your data. But over the years this technology is mutated and changed its variant. Check its updated versions 3-2-1-1-0 and 4-3-2 in the following task.

  • 3-2-1-1-0 Backup Rule: The 3-2-1-1-0 rule is based on the same principles as the 3-2-1 data backup rule, but it crosses a step further by requiring an extra check procedure or offline backup to guarantee that all backups are error-free.
  • 4-3-2 Backup Rule: 4-3-2 recommends that enterprises managed by MSPs or IT Service Providers have four copies of their data saved in three locations (onsite as the source, onsite with the MSP, and one in the cloud), two of which are offsite.
FAQ 2: What are the few constraints of the 3-2-1 backup rule?
Answer: The above method shows its relevancy in today’s scenario. And it is quite popular and trending. However, it is subject to many limitations, which are listed below.

  • There are several chances of hard drive corruption.
  • Your data may be bulky, and in a few cases, your chosen storage device unable to save the complete data.
  • It is hard to manage each storage device separately.
  • You need to fulfill separate conditions for maintaining devices.
  • The more we move towards smart technologies, the lesser reliable and outdated are these storage devices.
  • The above process is tedious and requires too much time in executing this method. In addition, it is much more hectic in maintaining the storage of these devices.

These are a few constraints of the 3-2-1 data backup rule. If you use the automated Email Migration Software, you can save your data with less effort.

About The Author:

Pradeep is a dedicated technical content writer who thrives on the intersection of technology and storytelling. With a background in engineering and a passion for writing, he brings a unique blend of technical expertise and creativity to his work. Pradeep’s articles not only educate but also entertain, making complex technical subjects approachable and intriguing for a broad audience. His work has been featured in numerous tech blogs, making him a trusted source for tech enthusiasts and novices alike.

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