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What You Need to Know about Online Backup

When you think about it, it’s amazing how quickly computers have become a part of the average person’s life today. It wasn’t long ago that
computers were left in the realm of geeky tech aficionados such as myself. Now, the majority of households in developed countries own a computer.

The one area of concern that I have is that we are now so willing to store important personal information on these computers, but most of us still don’t think about backing up that information. There are multiple ways to back up your information, but online backup is quickly becoming the go-to solution for everyday computer users.

Online backup sounds like the perfect solution for information security, but it’s not a perfect fit for everyone. Today, I’d like to talk about the strengths and weaknesses of using the cloud to back up your data. With this information in hand, you can make an informed decision about whether or not online backup is the solution for you.

How Online Backup Works

In short, online backup connects to remote servers via the internet and stores your data on those servers. You install the backup software, pay a subscription fee and store your information “in the cloud.” This information is kept safe by the backup company until the day you need to retrieve that information.

If your computer goes missing, is destroyed in a fire or otherwise rendered useless, you can log in to your online backup account from a new computer to download everything again. You can also use your online backup account to access important files when away from your primary computer.

What Online Backup Does Well

Online backup is a simple way to back up your files. It requires little technical know-how. All you have to do is sign up for a backup account and select the files that you want to keep safe. This is one of the greatest advantages of online backup because it makes it easy for the average person to keep his or her most important data safe.

Another advantage of backing up files in the cloud is that it creates physical distance between your original files and your backups. If you simply back up to an external hard drive at home, there is little separation between the two sets of data. A fire, flood or thief can easily wipe out both sets of data.

The third advantage of online backup is its accessibility. When you back your data up online, you can access that data from anywhere in the world. This comes in handy if you go on a vacation or business trip and leave your primary computer at home. An internet connection is all you need to access your files.

Finally, online backup is automated. This is a huge advantage because most other backup methods require someone to manually back up data on a regular basis. Not only is this time consuming, but it is prone to user error. Online backup companies take care of the time-consuming process of backing up data while you focus on the day-to-day operations of your job.

What Online Backup Doesn’t Do So Well

I’m a big fan of cloud storage, but it’s not the perfect solution for everyone. For one, you give up some control you back up files to the cloud. Cloud storage places your files on servers that are managed by someone else. If that company goes out of business or suffers from a security breach, the response is out of your hands.

Online backup also opens you up to new security risks. No matter how secure your backup company claims to be, the simple fact remains that you are transmitting important data over the internet. Any time you transmit information over the internet, there is a potential (no matter how small) of that information being compromised.

Having said that, I still think online backup is worthwhile for most people. Online backup companies take security more seriously than the average computer user. Personally, I feel more at risk of having my own computer hacked than of my backup provider being hacked.

Is Online Backup Right for Me?

This is the key question. For most people, I believe online backup is the best solution. Even though there are security concerns, most people are more at risk of losing data at home. Every single hard drive eventually fails. Whether this is due to hardware failures, hackers, stray cans of Red Bull or user error, the risk of losing data at home is high.

There are certain instances in which online backup is not the best route. Businesses that operate in highly regulated industries (such as healthcare and legal services) are often restricted from storing customer data online. In these cases, a local backup solution is the better alternative.

For the average user, though, online backup is a good bet. It’s easy to set up, it creates backups automatically and it adds geographic distance between originals and backups. The prices of online backup make it the most affordable backup solution for normal computer owners.

Guest Article by Wes Burns

This guest article by Wes Burns is about all the facts which a user needs to know before start using online backup services. To write guest articles for us, please follow the link below.

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