Sunday, 1 December 2013

What Do I Need To Know About Online Backup Before Picking One?

You've always heard it – backup your files often, and back them up in several places. Many people have done this by using external hard drives and/or USB flash drives, but there is a surge of online backup services out there nowadays as well. In this article, we’re going to explore online backup services and see how they may be a benefit to you, your family, or your business.

Why Should You Use An Online Backup Service? 

There are a number of reasons that you should be considering online backup services. Here are some of the most important reasons that you should just buckle down and do it.

- Because of the portability of mobile devices, we have more videos, photos, and music saved on our devices than we ever have before. That means that we’re either maxing out our space, and we need more, or there will be a lot of things that we will be upset to lose if something happens.

- As our devices get older, they become more apt to crash, thus getting rid of all of those files.

- Fires, floods, and other disasters could cause your hardware to be destroyed.

- Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, and you could unintentionally delete some of the files.

- It’s much easier than using an external hard drive or another external device to store your files.

- Online backup services are safer and more secure than they ever have been.

How Do Online Backup Services Work? 

Now that we've seen what they are, let’s take a look at how they work. The process is usually very simple. First off, online backup services are similar to cloud services, except that with most cloud services you have to manually download the files onto the cloud.

Instead, most online backup services have a client that you have to download in order to backup your files. But that client will allow you to do a number of different things, including scheduling backups.

When you first download your client, you will find that there are a number of things that you can do. You will have to do an initial backup of your computer, and depending on the bandwidth allowed by the service and your own speed, you may take a couple days to get that first backup down.

Then, you can either schedule your backups to happen on a regular basis or you can manually backup your files. The online backup service that you choose will help you figure out exactly how to do those things, but many of them are self-explanatory.

What Services Should I Be Looking For? 

Some online backup services have more features than others; some may only offer data, some may offer a certain amount of data, and some of them may offer unlimited everything. There are both free and premium ones. Here are some of the most popular things that you should be looking for (and at) when picking an online backup service.

- How much does it cost? Some premium services can cost up to $50 a month, but those are usually for business-level accounts that use a number of computers and other devices. Most home services try to keep it in the $15 and under range; some are as low as $2 a month, and some are free (but the free ones have very limited services).

- Mobile access is becoming more popular. Most online backup services have mobile apps for smart phones and tablets that grant you access to your files. Some of the more advanced apps allow you to send those files to contacts, too.

- Folder syncing is something else that you should be looking for in an online backup service. Syncing can help you do a lot of things, but is especially useful when you have files that you are modifying frequently. Instead of having to backup the file multiple times, the service will automatically sync the newest version of that file onto the server, making your life much simpler.

- File sharing is also becoming a popular addition to online backup services. File sharing is useful in businesses; you can share your files between computers without having to use a messaging service or email in order to send the files. Even though every company does not offer file sharing, it is becoming more common in paid services.

- As you would expect, you want to make sure that the service you are choosing is compatible with all of the devices you will be using it with. Almost all services are compatible with Macs and Windows computers, but you may have to dig if you’re using an operating system like Linux.

These aren't the only things that you need to be looking at, but they are a good start for when you start doing your research. As you can see, online backup services can be incredibly useful. There are number of them to choose from, and you can look at our reviews of them on this site. Do your research and see which ones may be best for your needs before you commit to one!