Did you know that World Backup Day takes place on 31 March each year? Presumably, this date is deliberately chosen as it falls just before April Fool’s Day and you would be very foolish to ignore online backup! However, it would also be folly to wait until this hallowed day before securing your data. You should be aware of the many disasters that can befall you and ruin your data store: Accidental deletion, theft, fire damage, spilling coffee on your laptop!
Option A, which is to use an external hard drive or memory stick, is a good idea but there is something about online backup that makes it extra secure. It allows you to place your encrypted data in a secure off-site server and the information can only be accessed by you at any time and from anywhere with an Internet connection. If your computer or external memory device is lost, damaged or stolen, you still have a reliable plan ‘B’.
Choosing An Online Backup Service
The main function of an online backup service is to upload important files to a secure server at regular intervals but there are quite a number of features and functions to be aware of when choosing your provider. For example, you need a service that immediately uploads changed files, allows data to be synced and shared, has the ability to backup files that are open and has a Web client for easy restoration of files. Not all providers offer all of the above. Then there is the issue of cost.
Before even looking at the pricelist of an online backup service provider, you have to define your needs. For instance, do you have a huge amount of files from a single computer that need to be backed up? If so, you want unlimited storage. On the other hand, you may run a business and need backup for several different computers.
Providers such as Carbonite and IDrive offer unlimited storage plans for a reasonable annual fee and both companies are respected in the industry. It should be noted that both companies slow the transfer speed once you exceed a certain limit on their cheapest plans. Carbonite’s cheapest plan sees the transfer speed slow down dramatically at the 200GB mark and data from only one computer is allowed.
An increasing number of people now use their Smartphone for almost everything and with 1 billion Smartphones in existence this need is only going to grow. SOS Online Backup enables users to access files through their Smartphone and also allows for file download links to be sent to different contacts. IDrive offer a free backup service with its packages which can backup a Smartphone’s photos and contacts.
The best online backup service depends on what you need though a quick browse through industry and customer reviews will reveal the same names keep cropping up. As your data is a precious commodity, it is best to stick with tried and trusted companies. It is a competitive market so you are guaranteed to get value for money to go along with reliable service.