Looking for the best online backup service?
By 2020, almost 70% of the world will be connected to the Internet, using and generating data. But unfortunately surveys show that only 7% of people have a reliable backup ritual that can reduce the impact of data loss in the event of disasters or accidents.
As we shift to an increasingly digital lifestyle, this is unacceptable.
Businesses are more proactive when it comes to creating exhaustive backups of key files and settings that are essential for smooth operations. But even those who do not own a company must practice backing up where sensitive information is concerned. It is just the smart way to avoid anxiety and hassles.
Backups are time consuming. And often you simply forget to archive information.
This is why conventional options like external hard disks and magnetic tape aren’t adopted with enthusiasm.
Online or cloud backups come in as a life saver.
What is Cloud Backup Service & is it the same as Cloud Storage?
The cloud is a consolidation of virtual servers with the associated hardware spread out over different locations for added failure safety.
Cloud backup and cloud storage seem similar. But in reality, there is a significant difference.
Cloud Storage refers to the practice of storing different file formats in dedicated space on virtual servers. The information is actively used from this cloud platform, shared with collaborators, and can be tweaked by multiple people in real time. Dropbox and Drive are the two most popular examples of cloud storage technology.
Cloud Backup refers to the practice of configuring a system that first creates a foundation by replicating the hard drive content of the device on which it is deployed and then automatically schedules incremental replications whenever there are changes made to files and folders.
In short, cloud backup aims to archive for retrieval. Cloud storage, on the other hand, aims to document real time changes and alterations and supports virtual teamwork.
4 ‘Signs’ of a Best Online Backup Service:
There are dozens of cloud backup services available in the market. They run the gamut from Backblaze which is capable of archiving only data files to more advanced options like CrashPlan that has the ability to offer a snapshot of the backup progress including number of changes, data in queue, and status of existing files.
However the four signs discussed here are the basic criteria you can use to judge the performance and effectiveness of any online backup service and eventually decide what is indeed the best online backup service for you.
1. Speed: Speed is a critical factor. How fast can the cloud backup service replicate the data and the changes made to it? Not only should the actual transfer of information from your system to the server be reasonably fast, the set-up should also not slow down the processing speed of your computer because it is generally configured to work in the background and this will be an annoyance for users.
The first time that an online backup service looks to archive your hard disk – the wait time may be anywhere between a few hours and a few weeks based on the volume of data you have in the device and the speed of the system. If a disaster strikes in the interim, you might be left high and dry without any backup.
2. Encryption: The online backup services with the most robust set of features allow you to replicate not only the data in files but also system settings. This is sensitive information. As a result, it is essential to choose a solution that encrypts the data while transferring it to the servers so that “eavesdropping” is not a threat. In most cases, double encryption is preferred. There should be an additional layer of scrambling that protects the key which encrypts the actual content.
3. Redundancy: Backups stand for redundancy. The sole purpose driving their creation is the retrieval of important data in the event of hardware failure. So going with a service that doesn’t put all your eggs in one (hardware location) basket makes a lot of sense. Ensure that the cloud platform of your backup partner is based on servers spread out over different geographical locations. Even if a natural calamity or manmade disaster strikes one area, you will lose only a portion of your information. The rest will still be safely archived.
4. Genuine “No Deletion” Policy: Don’t get taken in by promises of ‘unlimited storage’. Scrutinize the plan details and ensure that what you replicate is not deleted within a month. Most online backup services do just that. Also the data transfer speed falls drastically if you consume more than 200 GBs per month, and files older than 30 days are deleted from the archives. These are two tricks of the trade that you should be on the lookout for.
Now that you are familiar with what to look for in searching for the best online backup service, it is not enough to simply invest in regular backups. You must go with a provider that fits all your requirements and passes the four basic tests discussed above.