Cloud Storage FAQs |Online Backup Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to our readers most commonly asked questions. If you cannot find an answer to your question here, do not hesitate to use our Contact Us page for further assistance.

Commonly Asked Questions

 

What is remote file backup?

Why would I use a remote backup provider?

What does gigabyte, or GB, mean?

Can a hard drive really crash?

How secure is remote backup services?

How does a remote backup provider work?

Do I need to have my computer on and be online to use remote backup services?

External hard drive and remote backup difference?

That is cloud storage or cloud?

What size of storage space will I need for my data?

What are the data limitations of remote backup services?

I do not have that many important files. Is remote storage services still important?

Do remote backup services require me to buy any special equipment?

Can I restore my files using a remote backup service?

Does my operating system work with remote backup services?

Can I backup all of my music?

Will remote backup services store my applications and programs?

Will the data I have stored on an external hard drive be backed up?

When I use a remote backup service for my entire system, can I restore everything if my computer fails?

Will a remote backup service allow me to store data from multiple computers through one membership?

Can my company’s servers be backed up?

Are remote backup services compliant with HIPAA?

 

What is remote file backup?

Online, or remote, file backup is a new technology that offers a way of remotely storing your data, such as documents, photographs, music and movies online through a third -party service, commonly called cloud storage.

 

Why would I use a remote backup provider?

Using remote backup providers is a economic, simple and secure way of protecting all the data that you store on a hard drive. Your family pictures, loved music, favorite movies and irreplaceable documents can be uploaded in case your equipment fails or get corrupted. When your computer downloads a virus that makes your hard drive useless or your computer fails, you will always have the important files that you uploaded to an online backup provider. You can even share those files with a family member, friend or business associate.

 

What does gigabyte, or GB, mean?

Gigabytes (GB) is a measuring unit that calculates how much data a particular piece of equipment can hold, such as the hard drive on your computer. As an example, a 1GB hard drive can store approximately 250 music files that are in digital form.

Remote backup services use this measuring device to calculate the size of all your files being stored. Several of the top-ranked cloud storage providers do not limit data storage, but several cloud storage providers base their prices on the GBs you will need. This is particularly important to large companies that require a lot of gigabytes of storage.

 

Can a hard drive really crash?

Every piece of equipment eventually fails, even computer hard drives. According to a Google study, 8 percent of all hard drives crash, or fail, in the first two years. One out of every 12 computers will stop working and will lose all the data stored on those crashed computers.

The cost of restoring your files on a crashed hard drive is extreme and the guarantee of your files being retrieved is limited. This means that unless you back up your files properly, you take a big chance of losing all the data your store on a computer.

A failed computer is not the only way you can lose your files. Your computer can get lost or stolen, you may erase a file accidentally or your equipment can become destroyed in a natural disaster. In these cases, you will never be able to retrieve your stored data.

 

How secure is remote backup services?

The simple answer is yes. Remote backup providers offer the best security available. The top cloud providers use the same security technology that banks or credit card companies use to store your personal banking data. All the files you store on a cloud provider is as secure as your banking information stored on a bank’s website.

 

How does a remote backup provider work?

Almost every remote backup provider has their subscribers download a program to their computer, mobile device or laptop. Once this program is on your system, the application will let you choose the files on your hard drive that you want to upload and backup. You can even schedule a backup to be completed automatically.

When first using a remote backup provider, the initial backup service may take hours to scan all your data and backup each of your files on the hard drive. Once the initial scan and the original files are backed up, the automatic backup feature will only need to backup new or files that you have updated. Our experts suggest that you backup your files every day to ensure nothing is every lost.

 

Do I need to have my computer on and be online to use remote backup services?

Of course. These remote backup providers only use the worldwide web to transfer your files to its backup equipment. The best cloud providers perform the automatic backup process while you are online performing normal tasks, such as looking at your email or surfing the net.

Remember that once the initial set up is complete, the automatic feature will only take a few seconds or minutes to backup your new or changed daily files.

 

External hard drive and remote backup difference?

A external hard drive will allow you to transfer files and save those files that are on your computer to a different hard drive. Remote backup offers a much better capability for many reasons.

The first thing is that an external hard drives will have many of the problems you find in your computer hard drive. Eventually these external hard drives will crash or stop working and this places the same risks on your files that you already have. Remote backup services do not depend on one hard drive and the top cloud providers store all your data on multiple devices.

Secondly, an external hard drive can only be as secure as the security software you use on them. If the external hard drive is damaged or lost, you will lose all your backed up files. Remote backup services use the best security features to protect your files and this equipment is updated by IT experts on a periodic basis.

Thirdly, an external hard drive do have limitations on how much data you can store on them. The best cloud providers offer unlimited storage for one price. You will never have to worry about needing more gigabytes of storage, then have to go out and purchase another external hard drive.

Lastly, an external hard drive cost more, depending on the size of gigabytes it can store. Remote backup services are 50 percent cheaper, based on gigabytes, than an external hard drive that stores the same amount of gigabytes.

 

That is cloud storage or cloud?

Unlike your computer, which stores your files on physical equipment, such as CDs, DVDs, Zip disks or its own hard drive, a cloud storage provider stores your files on multiple hard drives. These are still physical equipment, but it seems like your files are being stored in a cloud, which refers to the Internet, that is floating around between any of the devices you use to access the cloud service provider. If you want to retrieve something from your computer, you have to be on that computer. However, if you want to retrieve something from a remote backup service, you can do it from anywhere or at anytime and with any piece of Internet equipment.

 

What size of storage space will I need for my data?

This really depends on how much data you need to backup, the size of your files and what you are storing. Music files are anywhere from 3 to 4MBs and video files are anywhere from 5 to several MBs and digital photographs can be the same size as videos.

If you are storing a lot of data, you need to use one of the better cloud providers that offer unlimited storage space. You will never have to worry about estimating how many gigabytes you need, because cloud providers will let you store as little or as much data you need to backup.

 

What are the data limitations of remote backup services?

The best cloud services do not place any data limitations on your files. You can store as much or as little data as your need for one price. You can pay these prices by the month or for other amounts of time, like six months or 12 months. Some providers even offer multiple year payment plans without limiting your data storage capacity.

 

I do not have that many important files. Is remote storage services still important?

Of course. It does not matter how many files you have on your computer’s hard drive. It depends on how important those files are to you. If you take the time to store the data on your personal computer, then it is important to backup those files.

 

Do remote backup services require me to buy any special equipment?

Of course not. All you need is a device that can connect to the Internet. Remote backup services conduct business over the worldwide web and use secure connections to conduct this backup service. The only thing you have to ensure is whether the remote backup service can connect to your operating system. Some remote backup services can only be used with certain operating systems. However, the top cloud providers work with almost every type of operating system.

 

Can I restore my files using a remote backup service?

Yes. All the top remote backup services will allow you to restore your files. All you have to do is follow the remote backup services procedures to ensure those files are restored. Each provider has different steps you need to take. However, it can easily be completed by getting into your account and downloading those files that are backed up on the remote backup service.

It may take some time to restore your files, because it depends on how many files you have backed up through the service and the size of each of those files. However, this restoring feature does not have a price tag on its value.

 

Does my operating system work with remote backup services?

There are very few operating systems that the best remote backup services will not connect to. Most personal computers are compatible with any remote backup service, even Mac users can use most of the top cloud providers and some of these providers even work with Linux systems. However, if you are concerned about whether a remote backup service will work with your operating system, you can use our comparison tool to find each provider that will work with your OS.

Can I backup all of my music?

Of course. You may have to manually upload your music to a remote backup service, but all the top cloud provider will let you store music in a folder and share that music with other authorized users. If you have an entire music library you need to backup, then make sure the cloud provider offers unlimited storage.

Will remote backup services store my applications and programs?

Event the top cloud providers will not automatically backup your applications and programs, but you can manually upload that data to your service. However, backing up this type of data will slow down your automatic backup feature. If you save a document, music or video, these files are automatically saved in the application or program they operate.

Will the data I have stored on an external hard drive be backed up?

Some remote backup services will let you to back up the data on your external hard drive. Other cloud providers may not. You will have to check with your service provider to determine whether that cloud service offers this capability.

 

When I use a remote backup service for my entire system, can I restore everything if my computer fails?

When you back up everything on your computer and your complete system data, the cloud provider will let you restore all that data back to its original location. However, if you decide to back up your programs and applications on a cloud provider, you will need to download this data individually and manually to ensure they get restored to your computer. Backing up applications and programs will cause your automatic backup feature will work slowly.

 

Will a remote backup service allow me to store data from multiple computers through one membership?

Cloud providers that provide unlimited storage space are generally only available for one computer. However, you can use a top cloud service that price their services based on storage capacity offer multiple computer capabilities. These providers do not really care about how many computers upload files to the account because you are paying for storage space. There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of packages, limited or unlimited, so take this into consideration when choosing a cloud provider.

Can my company’s servers be backed up?

Of course. Many of the cloud providers we reviewed has specific packages for businesses and let you back up your company’s servers.

Are remote backup services compliant with HIPAA?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects health coverage for families and workers, but also protects the privacy and security of each person’s health files. Since transferring a person’s health files electronically is quick and efficient, HIPAA has requirements that cover these type of transmissions.

Remote backup services do not tell you that they are officially compliant with all HIPAA requirements. However, some of the top cloud providers ensure their security features and privacy protection software meets certain regulations, including the requirements of HIPAA. These few cloud providers do ensure that data transmitted over the Internet is encrypted when sent to or from its servers.