- Backup Software
- Online Backup
- Free Backup
- DT Utilities
- Genie Software
- Sugar Sync
Thinking about using an online backup service but not sure if it will work for you? Read on to see what features and benefits you can get out of online backup services.
Anyone who stores documentation on their PC needs to be aware of the data storage facilities that are available – the most prominent is currently online backup services. It does not matter if your documentation is business or personal, if it is of value to you it is not enough to rely on your computer’s hard drive.
Not only is data loss an important aspect of why one would need use an online backup service, but also it is a convenient way of gaining access to your files from anywhere in the world. Taking a closer look at the reasons for using a backup service, the different systems available and the benefits of online backup services should help to figure out what sort of service will best suit your needs.
Why Would You use a Backup System?
If you work in an office you may have found that your IT department has disabled the use of its local drives (i.e. My Documents and the desktop), to discourage staff from saving documents to these locations. There is substance to this theory as if there is a power outage, or the building burns down, it is imperative that the saved information is returned as this could be detrimental to the company’s productivity.
An office will have a backup system in place known as servers, usually under their Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery strategy as this means documents are stored externally and not on your computer. In the event of a disaster, the same principal applies in personal computing; a spilt cup of tea in the wrong place could mean a brand new computer and a lot of data loss if it is not backed up.
Backup System Options
Establishing whether you need a backup system compared to choosing which one is easy, but with so many different options are available the choice can still be difficult. Fundamentally, you have two options:
- External hard drives; and
- Online backup systems
External Hard Drives
External hard drives are great for storing information so it is off your computer. There are many convenient options now, with a range of types and sizes that can easily plug into your computer via a USB port.
Traditional backup software, such as Genie Timeline Backup or PC Backup Pro will store backup versions of your hard disks onto a selected external hard drive. However, unless you store your external hard drive offsite, you will still have the same problem of data loss if something goes wrong. Using external hard drives and backup software can also be quite costly compared to the online alternative.
Using An Online Backup Service
When the risks of using external devices is too great, people now turn to the cloud. Even though the term is still relatively modern, the theory behind cloud computing and cloud storage has been around for years.
Using online backup services not only stores your information in a centralised place away from your computer, but you can gain easy access to it from anywhere in the world. It is secure, but as with most services make sure you pick a reputable brand, for example Dropbox, which offers services for Windows, Linux and Mac operating systems.
Services like Dropbox or Windows Live SkyDrive tend to offer smaller amounts of storage, like 2GB of space, for free, and then larger amounts are made available for a fee. Because online backup is becoming more popular there are a lot services, like Mozy Backup and Norton Online Backup, which offer discounts at different times of the year.
The best online backup services will give users the facility to share files and folders as well as the option to send documentation via direct URL hyperlinks. There is even the facility for image sharing with some services, including Dropbox and the very popular SugarSync which also syncs data from your hard drive with the storage service.
When it comes to deciding on an online backup service, the best thing to do is consider the type of data you want to backup and the amount you are willing to pay to back it up. Prices for this type of service range from around $30 to over $100, but the security features, ease-of-access and peace of mind can make any amount a worthwhile investment.
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