Networking & Security

4 Steps to Choosing an Online Backup Service

In today’s technological world, it’s more important than ever to protect your data.  Computers are hardware, after all – and hardware does tend to malfunction occasionally.  An online backup service will allow you to store your important computer data in a remote and secure location.  This way, in case anything unfortunate befalls your computer, you still have access to your important files.  Looking to choose an online backup service?  Follow our guidelines below!

What platform are you running?

The programs available to you will depend on if you’re running a Mac, PC, or Linux.  Some online backup programs will work with all programs, but some are platform-specific.

What do you need to backup?

The most important consideration here is file type.  Obviously, if you are backing up a photo collection, you’ll need more space than if you were just backing up text.  If you’re doing a full-computer backup, you’ll need to work with an online backup service that can handle a lot of data and store it securely.

Do you want real-time backups or backup software?

Real time backup means that the program will automatically save your files to the remote server at the exact same time that you are saving it on your computer.  In comparison, backup software requires you to either set up a weekly (or daily) time for the backup to occur automatically, or you might have to manually go to the service and upload your files.  Real time backup tends to be more expensive, but it does take all of the thought out of the process.

Reviewing the Options

There are tons of options when you are choosing an online backup service for your needs.  Let us offer you some suggestions to get you started:

Live Backup Now: This service is exactly what it says – live backup that will save your information to their service the moment that you save it on your computer.  Their servers are secure, but this is not a free program.  You can download a free trial to see how it works.

SpiderOak: Those who are looking for a free backup service should check out SpiderOak.  You can choose to either set it up like a real-time service, or set periodic backup times.  You can store up to 2GB of information for free.  You can also select a paid option that will allow you to store up to 100GB of backup for $100 a year.

Backblaze: This is a wonderful program that will allow you to back up an unlimited amount of information starting at $3.96 per month.  You can try it for free for 15 days.  Backblaze backs up your information automatically, but you can also choose to backup at any point.

Dropbox: this is a service that is both free and paid, depending on how much space that you need.  This service does not do automatic backup, but you can upload as many different kinds of files as you wish, and it works across platforms.  Bonus: you can also choose to share your Dropbox with others, so if you want to be able to share pictures or music files, connecting through Dropbox is a great idea!

With this information in hand, you’ll be able to protect your files by backing them up.  Watch out for your data – or you’ll be sorry when it’s gone!