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Backing Up Your Files on the Cloud

This is a guest post by Lauren Bailey about backing up files in cloud . If you’ve read any recent technology-related article on the web lately, it has probably been about cloud computing services. These services are all the rage these days, and with this budding industry come hundreds of startups trying to outcompete each other for your business.

Where My Cloud Computing Began

For a good while, I had been a big proponent of Dropbox, which is a great thumb-drive cloud service. I essentially use Dropbox as I would a flash-drive; it holds 2 GB for free, and I can access it from any computer with an internet connection. However, when you get to larger data-storing cloud services, Dropbox has some steep pricing ($9.99/month for 50 GB and $19.99/ month for 100 GB).

Massive Cloud Storage

Thankfully, I never bought into the higher storage pricing for Dropbox because recently I have come across. I never really considered Dropbox a backup service because the company seemed to be focused on easily accessing a small amount of storage rather than on providing a massive cloud storage solution.



With a massive cloud storage service, you have quite a few options:

Jungledisk/Amazon S3 – This is a joint service with Jungledisk performing as a front-end for Amazon’s powerful S3 cloud service. I found this easy to setup, very secure, and reliable. However, the upload/download speeds could be a bit slow compared to other services and if you are storing more than 20 GB, this service really starts to add up.

Carbonite – For $5/month, this service will back up all the data on your hard drive. However, they won’t back up any external or multiple internal drives (for all you desktop hard drive junkies). They also restrict file types as well, such as large video files. The speed of this service can also be incredibly slow as well.

Backblaze – Also for $5/month, this service will back up all the data on your hard drive, including multiple internal and external (except for some system files). Out of these services listed, I have experienced the best speeds with Backblaze which has so far utilized the full speed of my connection, but you can also throttle or pause the client if you need your full connection speed for your own use.


Out of all these services, I have had the best experiences with Backblaze. I still continue using it today and have had no problems at all. The one nit-picky thing about Backblaze is that you can’t restore your files through the Backblaze client; you have to go through their website, specifywhich files you would like to restore, and then they will create a zip file of those files and email you when it is ready for download. Still, I don’t find this too inconvenient as it is still incredibly fast. So it tends to work faster than the other services I’ve tried that allow you to restore files within the client.


Practical Uses for Cloud Backup Services

If you aren’t quite convinced that you need a backup service on the cloud, allow me to explain just how amazing it is. I know many of you probably already backup your data on external hard drives, so what is the benefit of backing it up online? First off, you are just backing up your data on one extra drive. Cloud backup services tend to backup your data on multiple systems in case one drive might fail.

Also, it’s important to backup your data in multiple physical locations. If you are backing up your data with an external hard drive at the moment, chances are it is sitting right next to your computer. So if a flood, fire, or some crazy electrical surge destroys both devices, you are out of luck.

Finally, backing up your data constantly can be a huge pain. Do you back up your data
everyday? Do you ever forget to back it up? Are you sure you are backing up everything you need? Backblaze handles all of this for you; it backs up continuously (or by whatever intervals you specify) and it backs up everything.

As a final bonus point, you don’t just have to use Backblaze when you lose data and need to restore. I have used Backblaze numerous times how I would use Dropbox. If I did some work from home, I no longer need to email it to myself or make sure it is saved in the Dropbox folder. If I saved it anywhere on my computer, I can restore exactly what files I want from my work computer. This convenience is just icing on the cake in addition to the amazing backup service they offer.

By-line

This guest post is contributed by Lauren Bailey, who regularly writes for best online
colleges
. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: blauren99 @gmail.com.

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