Online backup services are a great way to safely and securely backup computer documents, pictures, videos, and other valuable files. When using a service, all the files you select are stored on a remote server, typically encrypted for safety. If your laptop or data is stolen, lost, destroyed, or held for ransom – you can simply download all your files from that remote server onto a new computer. We’ve been writing backup service (now called cloud storage) reviews since 2008 and have helped thousands of people and small businesses get peace of mind.
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Need online backup for your small business? Be sure to read our business online backup reviews.
Choosing online backup software is a smart move if you want to be sure that you are covered should something go wrong with your computer. While you may be tempted to go for a cloud backup service that is the least expensive, you should consider a few things before you look at the price.
Here are some pivotal factors that you need to take into account when reading reviews of online backup and cloud storage services:
• How it Works: Some remote backup software is meant to be used with a healthy running computer, while others are meant to be used with hard drives that are already having problems. So, the first thing you need to consider is how is your computer behaving? It will do you little good to get the wrong type of application for your needs as it will only result in you wasting some of your money.
• Specifications Needed: Another item to consider is the specifications needed in order to use the online backup software or service which you are considering. Your computer may have an operating system installed that is either older, or just not compatible with certain online backup software programs. If you purchase a cloud storage service for your small business that will not work with your specific computer, you will once again have wasted your money.
• Ease of Use: Find out how easy the backup software you are looking at is to use. Some backup services come ready to run in your background with little else for you to do and others are more along the lines of what a professional might use. While the cloud storage software program that you end up with does need to be effective, you don’t want it to be so complicated that you can’t use it properly.
• Ease of Recovery: How easy will it be to recover your lost data files should something go wrong? A quality backup program will allow you to fully recover your data files with a few short keystrokes and mouse clicks, while others are lot more involved. There are also some that will only allow you to conduct recovery at certain hours of the day. So, go with what will be the easiest, and most convenient, for you.
• Security: Most computer experts recommend software programs which allow you to store your data files in an unlimited capacity, so you should find out how secure those data files will be. Most backup services will actually encrypt your data files and still others will double encrypt your data files. What this means to you is that nobody will be able to use those files even if they steal them as the files will not resemble anything other than complete mumbo jumbo.
Your computer’s data files are too important to be left to chance. With the proper backup software program at your disposal, you will never again have to fret about anything that goes wrong with your computer. You’ve probably accumulated a lot of data files over the years that simply can’t be lost. Protect them all with a quality cloud storage service. Be sure to read the online backup reviews posted on this site to help you choose the best service for your needs.
There are two types of data backups, offline backup and online backup. An offline backup, also known as a “cold” backup, is a backup that is taken while the database is shut down. It includes all database files, a copy of the current control file, and all online redo log files. An online backup, also known as a “hot” backup, is a backup that is taken while the database is operating. It includes copies of database files, a backup of the current control file, and redo log files written during the period of the backup from the online archives. Backup services allow you to make a copy of your computer files including photos, videos, and documents in case the originals are lost or destroyed. Companies like Ironmountain.com not only provide online backup but disaster recovery, record management, and consulting.
Cloud storage has many advantages and if you haven’t tried yet, you should do it. Online backup systems require a fast Internet connection but since nowadays broadband access is becoming the norm, chances are that your connection is fast enough to accommodate all the traffic between the storage server and your computer. In any case, if your broadband connection is still your bottleneck, you can resort to backing up only the most important 1-2 GB of files (rather than your whole 500GB+ hard drive) and still enjoy the numerous benefits of online backups. Here are some good reasons why you should use a cloud storage system – especially for your small business:
* With a backup provider your files are always accessible. File accessibility is one of the unbeatable advantages of remote storage. When you store your backups locally (on your hard drive or in a drawer next to your desk), you can’t access them remotely. Online backup is another story – you can access your files remotely from any place, where an internet connection is available.
* Remote online backup companies provide protection against hardware/software failures, theft and natural disasters. The second most important advantage of online backups is that your data is physically safe. When you make a backup and you keep it on the same hard drive, this does not provide any protection because if your hardware and/or software becomes defunct, your backup dies together with your original data.
A step ahead is to keep your backups on CDs, DVDs or tapes instead on your hard drive but in case of identity theft or natural disasters, this provides no protection at all. There are many stories (for instance the disaster that happened to Mr. Coppola) when thieves or natural disasters steal your backup and you lose the last copy of important documents.
While there is never a 100% guarantee that this will not happen with your data, the fact that online backup service providers employ rigorous practices to physically guard your backup (including a backup of the backup), the chance that your computer files will be physically destroyed is one in a million.
* Cloud storage is much more reliable than CDs, DVDs, tapes and other traditional backup media. Keeping your backup on CDs, DVDs and tapes is still more than nothing but compared to remote backup it is a poor man’s choice. Even if you don’t get robbed, or hit by a fire, earthquake, hurricane and other natural disasters, CDs and DVDs are very easily destroyed. It is enough to scratch the surface or to drop it on the floor, and a CD/DVD is gone forever, together with your important data.
* Best Practices recommend data vaulting. Remote backup is important for individuals but for businesses they can be vital. There are many Best Practices, which strongly recommend to make periodic backups and to store them in a physically protected space. In some cases you might not even have to decide whether your company should use data vaulting (this is the technical term for online or remote backups) because company regulations dictate you to do it.
* Backup can provide real-time protection. Maybe you are not a bank or another institution for which real-time data protection is a must but in any case, the more recent your latest backup, the better. Many cloud storage providers offer real-time backup protection at no additional charge, so you should seriously consider using it.
* Remote online backup is secure. Probably one of the fears many people have in regards to backing up their files online is that their data is exposed to risks when not under their control. Usually such fears have no grounds (unless you choose a really amateurish online backup service review). On the contrary, backup services are very secure because they include traffic encryption and password protection of the stored file and in many cases secure file sharing (i.e. you can choose whom to share your backups with). Try running a reliable PC audit software through your computer to get a comprehensible listing of all your software and hardware you have on your PC so your old computer inventory matches up with all the programs you backed up to your new computer!
* These services are easy to use. Last but not least, comes ease of use. Most software solutions require just basic computer literacy in order to use them. Additionally, compared to onsite backups, there is less hassle when you have to restore the contents from a cloud storage provider.