What to Look for in Online Backup Service Providers?
Whether it is at home or in the office, we save quite a large amount of data, including worksheets, documents, pictures, contracts, music, videos, projects, drawings, etc., each passing day. Most of these data tend to be of high importance and hence, protecting them is extremely essential. But, in most instances, we realize the importance of storing such crucial data only after it’s too late! Conventional backup devices like external hard drives, DVDs, floppy disks, USB keys, etc. are no longer in use due to their unreliability, inconvenience, and high costs. There is a new service in the market, which actually has been into existence for a few years now, and has revolutionized the way we organize and protect our files: Online Backup. This article aims at guiding you by providing inkling on what to look for in a best online backup service provider.
What exactly is backup?
Backup basically means a copy of your data or files, which you store to prevent the happening of data theft or data loss. Every computer expert and system administrator recommends and insists people to protect their important data with one or more copies of backup.
An online backup service will usually be directed by software you will have installed in your computer, which will perform the job of storing and maintaining backup copies of your files or documents on a remote server by way of a secure internet connection. This service, unlike traditional backup devices, performs automatic backups of all your files.
Online backup procedure
The basic procedure of an online backup service is as follows: you will first have to download the software from your service provider’s website and run the installation wizard. Once the installation is complete, you will get to choose whether to backup your whole computer or just a specific choice of files or folders. Once you make this selection, the selected files or folders will now on be monitored by the software frequently in order to update any changes made to them, backs up the updated files again, and protects the same from disasters. Some online backup services even allow you to schedule backup times and frequency of updates as per your convenience.
Online backup provides you with several benefits when compared to conventional backup devices, some of which include the following:
- Secure transfer and storage of files. There are online backup services that make use of 128 bit encryption method to protect your files, which is equal to the security levels used by banks.
- The backup copies of your files will be stored in a separate physical location, thus protecting them from being lost due to theft or other forms of natural disasters.
- The amount of storage space you get to access is usually large. You will also be offered flexibility to increase or decrease the space you need based on the amount of data you wish to store.
- You can access your backed up data from anywhere and on any device connected to the internet, with just your password. Most online backup service providers have launched apps for different mobile operating systems, enabling you to access your files even on your mobile phones, thus eliminating the need to carry your laptop or tablet wherever you go.
Features to look for in an online backup service
There are several online backup service providers in the market and the number keeps increasing along with the demand for the service. Every new service provider tries to attract customers by differentiating their services by offering various additional features. Therefore, it becomes difficult for you to choose the best online backup service provider that will satisfy all your needs. Following are some of the most vital features that you should look for in an online backup service:
- Easy access: All the files or documents that you store on an online backup service remain protected and you will be able to access the same at any time, directly from the software or client you have installed on your computer. In addition, you can obtain access to your files even from your laptop, tablet, smartphone, or any other internet connected device from anywhere around the world by entering your password on the online backup service provider’s website.
- Usage of the same account on multiple computers: While most service providers implement the concept of one account, one system, there are still providers that allow the access of a single account through different computers. This system enables you to backup both from your home computer as well as your office PC, and accesses the same from any of the computers without regard to where the data was saved from.
- Perennial storage: The length of storage is something you should carefully look for. Some service providers offer storage and protection for infinite amount of time, according to the length of your subscription package. But, there are also providers that perform backup only for a specific number of days, usually 30, which means that you should recover all the backed up data within that particular amount of time, failure of which would lead to permanent data loss.
- Completely automatic: The provider you choose must provide automatic backup options, so the backup can take place on its own continuously in the background without needing any human interference. You should also be able to schedule backups for a time that is convenient to you.
- File sharing: Online backup is essentially considered to be an extent of file sharing, through which you get to share your files or documents online with your friends or colleagues. However, online backup is quite different from this concept. With an online backup service, the data or files you wish to share is already present on the internet and gets uploaded when you are on some other work. This uploaded data can be shared on an immediate basis with just a single click.
When you try to share files through conventional email portals, the size of the file determines whether you will be able to transfer it or not. But, in case of online backup, the file’s size does not matter and you will be able to share any file or document. Choose a provider that offer you unlimited file sharing options.
Always remember, not all online backup service providers offer the same set of services. Therefore, it is important that you choose a provider whose services meet your requirements, without regard to the price, focusing mainly on the unique features.