Why make online backups?
Our lives are becoming more and more digital, and now all our photos, music, work, studies etc etc are stored on computers. If your entire life is stored on 1 machine, what happens if it fails? This is what backups are for, and while physical backups like external hard drives are one option, online storage is good as you can access it anywhere, and it’s stored away from your physical location.
How secure is my data?
This is of great concern to all users, as you are uploading personal data to a third party. This is why it’s good to use a legitimate company, with proper terms and conditions, where they state that they will treat your data with respect. All providers encrypt the data, so any hacking problems are very unlikely to affect you.
What kind of files can I upload?
Music, photos, work documents, study documents are usually what people back up. You need to check that the provider allows for the types of documents you want to store. Also make sure that they provide enough space for what you actually want to store, as the size of your data is usually the weakest link in what service you choose.
Can this be done automatically?
Check if the provider has software / options for automatic backups. This will make it much more convenient for you to back up your data daily, as you don’t need to do anything and everything will be safely stored for you online.
How do I make changes to backups?
Depending on the software that comes with the online storage service, you can easily edit, modify, add or make any changes to the file that you already backed up on the cloud. There are even some companies which store up to 30 copies of the previous versions of the documents of files that you uploaded onto the cloud – so you can easily monitor how you edited each file.
To make changes to the files, simply work on your document as you would normally do. There are some online backup companies which have software that works silently in the background. This means that any changes made to the file will be automatically saved onto the cloud without you even noticing it.
What are the disadvantages?
There are a few disadvantages to using online or cloud storage services. Obviously need to have Internet connection before you can gain access to your files. If you are in a remote location where Internet service is hard to come by, then you will not be able to access your files.
Another disadvantage of cloud storage is that you have less control over how and where your data will be stored. Online storage companies have full control over how they store data on virtual servers – which is precisely the reason why you need to look for one with a reliable reputation, and has been in the online storage business for a good number of years now.
How to choose a provider?
Take a look at the reviews I have written, and the table I’ve made where I aggregate all of the providers. I’ve tried to make them as clear as possible about what features the providers have.