If you don’t read any further, take only this away: cloud storage is not the same as cloud backup.
If you didn’t know that, or don’t quite understand the difference, you’ll want to read on. Just because your data is ‘in the cloud’, it doesn’t mean it’s well protected or recoverable should a disaster strike.
As an average consumer, you are probably well aware of cloud storage services. Many large technology companies, like Microsoft and Google, offer their own solution. They are usually available for free – or at least with a certain amount of data for free – to hook you in and hopefully get you paying for an upgrade.
These cloud storage services undoubtedly have their uses. They are perfect for storing files in a centralised location. You can access the files from your desktop, mobile and tablet and keep them in sync. You don’t need to carry around multiple copies of the same file on a USB stick or email them to yourself; a cloud storage solution takes care of that.
This is great in a business setting if you’re moving between offices or often have to travel. You can easily share these files with coworkers. Often, if you’re within the same network, you might not be aware that a cloud service is even involved because the sharing setup is so efficient.
However, cloud storage doesn’t offer the same data protection that cloud backup does. It’s fine for that data sharing across devices and people, but it isn’t good if you actually need to keep things safe or restore from it should you suffer data loss.
First, cloud backup is automated. This means you don’t need to designate things as being in the cloud. It backs everything up with you being involved, every time you create a new file or change an existing one.
With cloud storage, if you delete a file then chances are you can’t get it back. That’s different with cloud backup, which will have versioning so that multiple versions of the same file are saved. This means that you can rollback should you accidentally delete or save over something you need.
Second, cloud backup usually has stronger encryption and privacy. The safest place your data can be is offline, since it then can’t be intercepted by hackers, but if you do need it in the cloud then you want it to be securely encrypted in transit and in rest. This means that even if the data does fall into the wrong hands, it can’t be opened without the key.
Finally, cloud backup is designed for recovery. If you have a local device or network failure, you can sync everything back from the cloud. You can set your own policies and control the solution. Of course, this does rely on the uptime and upkeep of the cloud backup provider, but you should be going with a tried and tested provider who can guarantee a certain percentage of uptime.
Cloud storage is great and so is cloud backup. Just remember that they’re not the same thing.
Cloud Storage vs Cloud Backup: What's the Difference?
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