10 Tips to Picking the Best Online Backup Provider
The market has become flooded by companies offering to back up your important documents online recently and, simultaneously, millions of people have realized the importance of keeping their irreplaceable data in a secure, safe place that can’t be affected by the theft, natural disaster or hard disk failure that would cause the originals to be damaged or lost. But how can you know you’re picking the best online backup provider?
Tip 1: Find out how your online backup provider service works
Our first tip is to find out how your online backup provider will ask you to interact with the service and your data. Do you need to download software and, if so, can your current computer run it?
Tip 2: Find out whether you can access your service from other devices
Secondly, you will want to look into whether your online backup service allows you to access your data from devices other than your computer. In this day and age, we use more than one computer during the working day and also our tablets, mobile phones and laptops. Which of these will you need to be able to use?
Tip 3: Try the software to see how it works for you
It can help to investigate the software you’ll be using to access your online backup provider. Is it easy to use and simple to understand? We all have different preferences when it comes to the software we interact with and each provider will offer a bespoke interface – does this particular provider work in a way that’s intuitive for you?
Tip 4: Does the online backup provider offer the amount of storage you need?
It’s all very well finding a provider that has simple software and can be used anywhere, but it won’t be much use to you without the next three important questions: does it offer the amount of storage you need? How many gigabytes of data are stored on your hard drive and what proportion of them are vitally important, whether for personal or business reasons? Do you want to store a particular set of documents or back up your entire hard disk?
Tip 5: Find out whether you can store the file types you’re looking for
Does the provider you’re considering allow you to store the file types you want to keep secure, or does it limit you to certain types of document that don’t cover your needs? For example, some online backup providers won’t accept movie files, which won’t be much use to you if you’re looking to keep your family videos secure. Others won’t accept music files or photographs – what you need your online backup provider to offer will depend on what files you need to store.
Tip 6: Find out how fast you can upload your files
Once you’ve discovered how much storage you need and whether the online backup provider you’re considering can provide it, and you’ve identified a provider that will accept the file types you need to store, there’s still one important question: does it allow you to upload your files at an acceptable speed or does it cap you at a snail’s pace limit? There’s little point having unlimited space to fill if the service won’t allow you to upload at an acceptable speed.
Tip 7: Consider the cost of the online backup provider
The remainder of your investigation will probably be taken up with searching for the additional features that the service provides, but the most important of these will always be cost. The next tip we offer is to question whether the service offers the right amount of storage for you at a cost you believe to be reasonable. Most online backup providers will offer you packages according to the amount of data you want to upload, so you’ll want to compare the specific packages that apply to your own stash of files.
Tip 8: How secure will your data be once it’s uploaded?
You will also want to know how secure your data will be once you’ve uploaded it. To find this out, you should take a look at the security measures the online backup provider will use to keep it safe. Do they have mirror websites, data encryption and access control? Free and cheap online backup providers seldom place as much emphasis on security as subscription alternatives, so your choice should be based on how sensitive and replaceable your files are.
Tip 9: Find out what extra options your provider can offer
Our next tip is to investigate the extra options an online backup provider will offer you. For example, is there an option to automatically back up your data on a regular basis, without the need for you to press the button manually? Will it allow you to only save files that have been modified or newly created since your last backup? Can it save documents you’re currently working on? Can you archive your documents in case you need to access an older version of a file for some reason?
Tip 10: Try before you buy!
And finally, perhaps the most important tip of all: does the online backup provider you’re interested in offer a free trial? Without a trial period, it can be difficult to be sure that an online backup provider works well with your particular data and is easy and secure for you to use – not to mention intuitive to work with. A trial period can enable you to check out the features first hand and see how useful they will be to you and test the upload speeds to make sure you can back up your data at a reasonable speed. If you can, it always helps to try before you buy!
Here is the list of Top 10 online backup providers.