cloudbackup2This is a topic that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.  I recently had a hard drive break on me (a power supply unit blew and took the drive with it) and the only thing that saved me was that I installed a test version of Backblaze up on that computer as a backup backup.  Well, since I’m horrible at keeping my backups up to date, I had to rely on that Backblaze backup to get me back on track.

The only problems I had was download reliability.  I’m now testing out Crash Plan on a new computer.

Since computers were invented, backing up data securely has been treated as one of the most important needs in computing. And regardless of whether the loss occurs as a result of hard disk failure, computer theft or any other cause, it’s still very easy to lose data without proper back up.

The technology community currently argues about the best backup to stick to. However, storing data online or offline can still be a good option.

Although at some point offline data storage was popular and expensive, cloud backups have since taken charge because they are efficient and inexpensive. Cloud backups are also fuss-free, meaning the moment you pay for the service, you will not have to undergo the hassles associated with traditional backup systems.

However, the big question is, how do you go for the best backup service amid competition by companies offering these services?

Realize that there are two categories of cloud backups. These are cloud sync services and dedicated backup services. Cloud sync services add a magic drive or folder to your PC, and the content therein is automatically and invisibly synced on the cloud. A good example of this service would be the famous Dropbox platform.

Other cloud backup options provide client software that watch files and folders situated in the PC hard disk so they can be automatically backed up. A good example is the SugarSync platform.

Cloud sync is considered an immediate form of data backup. So when you create or even edit files within the magic folder, they will automatically be backed up in the cloud.

On the other hand, a dedicated backup service is a client system that will watch files and folders and back them up in case there’s a change. A good example is the Mozy platform. But the flipside of using a backup service like Mozy is that restoring files can be quite involving. Because of this, it is not expected that PC users will restore, unless it’s something very necessary.

The question of which computing platforms are supported by the cloud backup service

If you are a user of Mac computers, then being able to access your data from a PC client when your Mac dies is something important. You see, PCs are common place. But on the other hand, Macs are rare. Nevertheless, look for a platform that not only supports Macs and PCs, but supports mobile platforms like Android and iOS.

The issue of security

Data will be stored encrypted. However, if the sign-on information is weak, then it means anybody can access that information. Some cloud backup providers will need you to use your email address when signing in. So what this means is that someone who wants to hack into your account will only need to guess your password (if they already have your email address). But of course when you choose a strong password, it shouldn’t be an issue.

Cost of the backup program

A cross-platform program will be ideal for you when you want to restore files remotely and access them from any device. Furthermore, if you’re using a platform like S3, then you will need to pay for data transfer and the storage space your data consumes. The individual fees should be very low. For example, 50GB of data transfer will only cost you $5. They will charge you 9.3 cents per gigabyte transferred, and this is very affordable compared to facing the aftermath of losing data.

Conclusion

There are many businesses offering cloud backups for consumers who would want to keep their valuable data safe. If you’re one of them, consider the above tips to get the best backup service you will find.