For as long as people have been using personal computers backing up our data is something that’s always been of concern. Catastrophic data loss, whether from system crash, disc failure, theft, hacking, or some other random occurrence, has always been a risk posed to computer users.
Backing up to disc was once the way to secure your data. Then came remote hard drives that could be used to backup files and storehouse data consuming media files.
Cloud computing is the newest craze to hit the backup market. Offsite, online data storage backups up your data “in the cloud” through storing it with a remote server that allows you to access it anytime you like. Backing up your data online is inexpensive and minimizes hassles.
Choosing a Cloud Backup Service for a PC
The cloud market has expanded rapidly and there are many available providers in terms of cloud services for backing up your PC. But basically there are two different types of cloud storage backup services available. These are dedicated backup services and cloud sync services.
Dedicated backup services like Mozy come with a client that’s able to monitor files or folders and back them up again whenever they are modified. On the other hand, cloud sync services like Dropbox add a magic folder or drive to your desktop. Other services such as SugarSync offer client software that watches files and folders located anywhere on your hard disc and backs them up.
If you’re looking for a more immediate form of online backup, you’ll like cloud sync. If you create and edit files that are located within the “magic folder,” they will be backed up automatically.
Compatibility is Key
Compatibility is key when it comes to choosing cloud backup for PCs. If you’re using a Mac you’ll want service that’s not only compatible with Mac, but also with PC in case your Mac should die. You may also want to find service you can use for your device is you want to equip your iPhone, tablet, or Android phone with online backup.
Security is another factor to consider when choosing a cloud service for your PC. Data stored in the cloud is usually encrypted. However you want to make sure your sign on is secure. Some providers merely request you sign on using your email address. That means by simply guessing your password, a hacker could potentially access all your backed up data.
Different services use different methods to back up your data. Some services back up entire files every time they are modified. This sounds commendable, but it can consume bandwidth unnecessarily if not all your modifications are in dire need of being backed up.
Another method is to determine the difference between old and new files and to only back up the data that is new. This process is known as diffing and can save you bandwidth and save your Internet connection from being overly taxed.
Some cloud backup services can severely tax your Internet connection. Others are less intrusive. You may have to try a few out to find the one that works best with your system. Thankfully most major cloud backup service providers will offer you a free trial of their service.
Find a Reliable Provider
It sounds like a cliché, but in the cloud market you need to find a reliable provider. The market is new and seems to be booming. However some providers will last and others inevitably will not. Providers like Mozy and Livedrive make it known that larger corporations back them. It’s probably a good idea to find such a provider for your cloud backup service.