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Backup Over The Internet

An increasingly popular backup solution for users is to use the internet. There is an ever increasing amount of websites out there that offer their own backup solution. However, whether or not you decide to go down the online route depends on the type of backup you are performing. How much data you have and what files you need backing up are just a couple of the questions that need to be answered before you can decide whether or not to use online backup facilities.

Many services offer online storage for backups: Dropbox, SkyDrive and SugarSync to name but a few. Although these are great for keeping secondary copies of some of your files in the cloud, they don’t act as a solution to keep a backup of your whole system. The first problem is that they don’t offer enough storage space for you to do so – unless you pay. For example, Dropbox for Teams charges $795 a year for 5 users to have 1000 GB of storage in total. That’s quite an expense, especially when you factor in the extra $125 a year for every additional user.

On top of how much it will set you back to get the required storage space, the amount of data being uploaded has to be considered. To do a full system backup will take a long time to do on an internet connection and will use up a lot of bandwidth. As such, if using internet backup services, it is recommended to use them for personal data only. This includes things such as word documents or spreadsheets rather than system files or installed programs. When these files are modified, the program, be it Dropbox, SkyDrive or whatever, will then sync the changes to the cloud. This means that only things that are being altered are updated on the online backup. It makes sense.

Perhaps the best approach would be to use a combination of online and traditional backup. The great thing about a lot of online backup services is that they allow you to access your files wherever you are. Having your personal files backed up online will mean that if you’ve headed to a meeting without your spreadsheet, you’ll still be able to load it up online with ease. These personal files could be backed up quickly overnight without putting any strain on your internet connection. However, it is not necessary to have program or registry files backed up online. It is very unlikely you are going to need access to these system files wherever you are, thus having them stored online would be a waste. To handle these types of files you could employ a NAS device or an external hard drive. Full backups could be taken every month, for example, with incremental backing up occurring every day.

Backing up over the internet is a great, viable option and it will come in handy for both personal and business users. However, make sure it is just one part of your backup program. It is not enough to just use online backup by itself; other, more traditional, methods also need to be employed alongside.


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