Here's how I backup my PC's SATA drives. I will go ahead and admit that this has the problem of it's hard to do and therefore doesn't get done too often. But, I STRONGLY prefer CLONE backups. If I have a clone backup, and my main drive goes down, I just put in the backup drive, boot, download new stuff like email, and go. I use POP for my email instead of IMAP. That means I can have years on archive on the PC. I download the email on multiple computers. I use a clone box to do the backup. There are many with various reputations. But, mine is a Kingwin Powerdock that's a few years old.
Before I clone my drive, I run a chkdisk on it. So, you just put your source drive in the source slot, put the target drive in the target slot, make QUADRUPLE sure you didn't reverse them, push a button, and walk away for 5-6 hours for a 2 TB drive. It probably doesn't copy at full SATA speed, because it's probably limited either by the drive or the box. But, it's WAY faster than USB 2. Once it's done, I boot the target drive in the laptop, let it stabilize, and run a chkdisk on it. Then I shut it down, swap the source drive back in, and go back to my normal routine. The target drive has to be as big or bigger than the source. That's the one hitch. Even a small discrepancy in the wrong direction may prevent the cloning.
You can also do similar things with an external drive case, as mentioned. Actually, this device can function as a dock. In the past, I've used Terabyte Image For Windows at @Steve S
recommendation. This can copy most things while Windows is running.
If you have a virus in your system, you're going to end up backing it up. This doesn't solve that problem. BUT, if the PC is shut down, and the drive is in a clone box, I can guarantee that the virus will not be ACTIVE at that time.
I have all my data files set to backup online with an old copy of Jungledisk storing to Amazon Web Services. I use the "backup everything I don't exclude" philosophy. Most of Windows and most really enormous things are excluded.
This all works reasonably well with the laptop. Now, the hard drive in my laptop is pretty easy to remove and clone. That's not true of all laptops. It is also not true of my desktop machine. Therefore, my great strategy isn't so great there. It does have the online backup. And, I try to run SpinRite a couple of times per year. I would certainly force myself to do a backup if I thought the drive was starting to get wonky. But, even so, I've never had what I consider to be a really great backup strategy. To me, a great strategy would be weekly or biweekly clone backups and daily differential backups with target drives being rotated offsite as well as online backups. I've never been able to make all that happen.
Anyway, hope this info is useful to someone.
May your bits be stable and your interfaces be fast.