There is nothing more irritating than losing a big chunk of data. Whether it is work files or personal photos, the end result is the same: the data has gone and in many cases you can’t retrieve it. Of course if a computer has died there is a possibility that the data can be recovered, but this takes time and if you were working on a critical document, you might not have the luxury of time. But there is another alternative to such a miserable scenario: online data backup. So what are the advantages and disadvantages of backing up data online and is it a good way of keeping valuable files safe?
How Does Online Backup Work?
In order to back up files online, you need to sign up for an online backup service, of which there are many. Some online backup services are free, but if you have more than a certain amount of data, you will need to pay a fee for the extra storage capacity. The cost of using an online backup service will vary, depending on how much data you need to backup. Once you have created an account, you need to backup your files. This may take some time, depending on the size of the backup, but thereafter it will be far quicker because files will simply be compared between the two locations and only updated if there have been any changes.
The Pros of Online Backup
- Easy to use – Online backup services are very simple and it is very easy to retrieve files via the online interface if necessary.
- Safe and secure – Files are stored on secure servers and all data is encrypted during transfer so files are kept completely safe at all times.
- Set up and forget about it – Once you have made your first backup and allocated set times for the system to back up your files, you can pretty much sit back and forget about it. The backup process will run in the background and unless you lose some data, you won’t need to log into the online interface.
- Easy to restore lost files – Online backup systems have online interfaces where users can check files and restore missing files if necessary. You can choose to restore everything or just a few files—the choice is yours.
- Can be expensive – If you have a huge amount of data, it may be expensive to use an online backup service.
- You need a reliable internet connection – An online backup service is not much use if you don’t have a reliable internet connection. The system can’t work if you have no online access, so bear this in mind if you live in a part of the world where internet services are very intermittent.
- Initial backup can take ages – If you are backing up a huge amount of data, the first backup can take hours or even days.
The Cons of Online Backup
Online backups are a useful way of making sure you don’t lose valuable data in the event of a hardware failure or human error. If you don’t have much data to backup, look for a free service, but if you need a commercial data backup service, do some research into the best facility in order to secure the best prices.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Today’s guest author, Ken Rogers, is the general manager at Steamatic, a company that specializes in document restoration services. He has a helpful and humble personality and he enjoys interacting with people.