What is Online Backup?

With today’s modern technology, many things are moving to the online world.  With valuable information stored on computers and handheld devices, it has become more important than ever to back it up to prevent loss in the event of a power outage or computer shutdown.

When it comes to backing up data stored on computers, there are a number of ways to utilize the online technology.  Online backup is the process of protecting various files and data through utilization of a remote location or device.  In the past, many computers have been backed up with physical hard drives and other devices.  These devices are often kept in the same location as the original computer files.  Online backup services allow users to keep their data backed up in a different location.  The information can be accessed from many different computers and it is easy to update the backups on a regular basis.

Data Back Up Options

When it comes to copying data and files, there are many different options for computer users to select from.  Offline options include computer hard drives, external hard drives, jump drives, DVDs, CDs and many others.  Most of these options work very well if something were to happen to a computer and the user would need to rebuild the files.  The biggest problem users have with these back up systems is that they are often kept in the same location as the computer itself.  Therefore, if something happens to the computer such as a fire or theft, the backup solutions may also be damaged or stolen.

Storing data in an entirely different location is always a good idea.  Users can store information on any of the external data backup options listed above and then simply transport it to another location.  This option, however, is not very timely and it is hard to keep the stored information up to date.  For those who want to store information away from the original source, online back up is a great option.  If anything happens to the computer or original information source, the online storage system will have everything the user needs to start over.

Offsite data storage is a third option.  This type of back up includes physical back ups that are stored in different locations, away from the original source.  It can be difficult to transport the physical back ups back and forth between the original computer and the storage location.  But in some cases, it is worth the effort.  If there is enough information involved, physical storage may simply be added.  That would mean no CDs would go back and forth between locations.  New CDs would just be added to the pile in the storage location.

Advantages to Online Storage

There are many great reasons to use online storage.  Not only will the information be safe if anything happens to the original computer, but the user can access the information from any other computer.  Users no longer have to worry about keeping track of CDs, jump drives, or other small devices.  They also do not have to think about labeling systems or cataloging any physical items so they can find things later.  When they access the remote backup system, the items they have stored will look just as they did on the original computer.

Online storage is also a great way to keep up with the data  users are constantly putting into their computers.  The information in a home or office computer can change on a daily basis.  If users do not constantly back up their systems, they risk losing parts of their personal or work data.  When users have an offsite backup system, they can set the system so their data is backed up on a constant basis.  Since it is easy to access the online back up systems, it is simple to keep the back up of the main computer up to date on a regular basis.

The other advantages of online storage include:

-Low running costs
-One fixed monthly payment and no set up fees
-No staff needed to help with recovery
-Faster setup and installation
-Instant data recovery
-Better automated backup
-Better protection
-Access to the files from anywhere
-World-class and secure technology
-File sharing abilities

Disadvantages of Online Backup

Any backup system will also have its disadvantages.  One of the biggest disadvantages to backing up information online is the cost.  Most computer users do not want to pay the money to back up their data each year.  The more data they need to have backed up online, the more they will have to pay.  Online back up makes perfect sense for larger companies and corporations that have many gigabytes of important information.  Though backing items up online may make the most sense, even for home computer users, the cost often does not outweigh the advantages.

The other issue with online backup is the idea that the online backup company could always change hands, or go out of business completely.  There is no way to tell what would happen to the remotely held information if this were to occur.

Users need to make a decision about which option is worse; a nominal cost to protect data annually, or the possibility of complete data loss!

Online Backup Process

Creating files takes long enough and many users wonder how long it will take to back up services or bring files back from an online server.  Backing files up in a remote manner online is actually much faster than burning a DVD or creating new folders on external hard drives.  High-speed Internet connections speeds things up greatly, but even dial-up Internet users can save time in the long run.

When users first back up their files, it can take hours or even days for everything to load onto the online system.  That all depends on how much data needs to be backed up.  If there is a large amount of files that need to be transferred, it is a good idea to transfer the files on the weekend or other off-peak hours during the week.  After all of the files are initially loaded, any changes that are made in the future will be much faster to backup and update.

Once the initial transfer takes place, users can actually schedule automatic backups to take place so they no longer have to transfer information themselves.  Users can choose a specific time, day, week, or month for the backup to happen.  It is important to consider the frequency of the backup when making these decisions.  It never hurts to back up the files on a regular basis.  More often is always best so the user can assure him or herself that nothing will be lost.

What Can be Backed up and When?

Users can back up any type of file and even all applications.  Online back up providers are equipped to handle files, databases, MP3s, pictures, spreadsheets, computer programs, emails and much more.  These providers can protect any type of information and data.

The back up can even happen when users have files open and programs running.  Users can back things up as often as they would like.  They can do so manually, or on a scheduled basis as noted above.

For those who are not quite certain of the efficiency of the online back up system, testing the process is quite simple.  After the information has been transferred to the online database, the user can go to another computer and attempt to restore the files.  If the computer is connected to the Internet, all of the stored files should be easy to move to the second computer.  This test is a good way to assure the user that the restoration process works.

Disaster Recovery

When it comes to recovering important files on any computer in the event of a fire, theft, or some other kind of disaster, some sort of back up is essential.  If the files are not kept in some other form, the user will have lost everything and will simply have to start from scratch.  Rebuilding information on a computer can be very harrowing, but when the information is available elsewhere, the process becomes much easier.

For a full data recovery, online back up is often the easiest for of back up on the market.  The data can simply be backed up on a regular or even a continuous basis.  The risk of losing any information because due to theft, fire, natural disaster, or even file corruption is practically gone.  Users can restore any files that are lost to any other computer as long as there is a high-speed Internet connection available along with a web browser.  All of the online back up companies offer some sort of security and privacy assurance when it comes to the information.  Data is always encrypted and protected by passwords so no one else will be able to steal the information.

How to Choose an Online Backup Provider

There are many different companies in the online backup business and when a user or business decides to back their computer files up online, it can be overwhelming to choose between the various options.  Research is key when choosing the right company.  The customer will first want to assess their needs, their budget, and their overall goals.  Then, look at the security, affordability, and reliability of the online backup companies on the market.  Most of the companies offer many of the same services, but the processes are often different.  Customers will need to look at the various features, the technical support, the customer service, and the financial stability of every company they consider.

There are many different things to consider when choosing a company, but the most important is the security of the information they store.  Many online data services have plenty of efficient safety measures when it comes to protecting data.  Files are always encrypted when they are transmitted through the network as users store data on remote servers at another site.  As customers investigate the various companies available, make sure to clarify how security is conducted within that company.

It is always a good idea to go with a proven online backup company.  No matter how much data you have, it is important and no user wants to lose everything they have because they chose the wrong backup company.  The following is a short list of some of the best online backup companies in the industry.  These companies have a solid background that cater to every user from personal to small and even large businesses.  These ten companies have been ranked 10 of the top 25 companies in the online backup world:

-Allmydata
-Backup.com
-Carbonite
-CopyCloud
-EVault
-IBackup
-Iomega Corporation
-LiveVault
-Mozy
-Strongspace

Who Should Use Online Backup?

Anyone can use online backup, but it is mostly used by businesses that have large amounts of important information.  Online backup is very useful to lawyers, manufacturers, universities, distributors, and even non-profit organizations.  Business of any size that have a high-speed Internet connection can benefit from this type of storage.  Even personal users with a lot of information on their home computers may find that online backup storage is a good idea.

Computers have completely revolutionized the way people do business.  They have also changed the way people store information within their homes.  They are wonderful tools to work with, but when information is lost due to the lack of back up storage, the result can be devastating.  When dealing with important data of any kind, whether personal or professional, data back up is the only solution to protecting the information.  Online backup is the newest, safest, and most efficient avenue for storing data, files, and information of any kind.  While cost can be a concern, the safety and easy access to the information is always appreciated if something happens to the original source.  In today’s world, the ease of anything is also key.  Online backup is simply easy compared to other manners of storing information.  Since it is efficient, easy, and reliable, it is quickly becoming the best and most trusted way to back data up in a remote manner.

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