Few things in life are as devastating as the loss of family photos, home videos or important documents. Some people buy fireproof safes for the most irreplaceable of their personal belongings, but even a safe can be stolen. Worse yet, stuffing every single snapshot or home video you've ever taken into a box isn't exactly conducive to enjoying them or sharing them with others. Cloud backup services are ideal for giving your scanned and digital treasures a place to live that's safe from theft, disaster and the all-too-common reality of hard drive failure.
By using an online data backup service, you can streamline your entire digital life and have a user-friendly platform that will give you anytime access to those files, even on a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet. The best cloud backup services, Carbonite, IDrive and CrashPlan, each distinguish themselves by providing a wide range of automatic backup features, powerful restore functions and unlimited or near-unlimited storage capacity. Learn more by reading our articles about online data backup.
Without doubt, one of the most important considerations when choosing an online data backup service is storage capacity. Some cloud backup services place caps on the amount of online storage space that you can have, or charge an exorbitant amount of money to obtain what might be considered near-infinite capacity. In stark contrast, some of the best data backup services charge you a flat rate and impose no limits on the amount of storage space you can use. When seeking out a good cloud backup service, consider not only how much storage you need now, but also how much you will need in coming years. Doing so could save you a lot of time if you run out of space and need to migrate all of your digital data to another service that will give you more capacity.
Once you've nailed down the issue of space, you'll next want to look into the kinds of features that come included with the service. While some come packaged with software suites that do everything for you, others provide only the storage space itself and leave it to you to manually upload your files to the cloud and restore them yourself whenever necessary. Here are some of the most important criteria to bear in mind when perusing online data backup reviews in search of the ideal cloud service.
Backup & Restore Features
Look for services that include things like the ability to back up more than one computer at a time, continuous backup that saves all changes to the cloud in real time, and the ability to schedule backups at certain times to limit the amount of bandwidth you consume. Another important feature is called file versioning, which enables you to revert to earlier versions of a file you've already written over. Some online data backup services store an unlimited number of versions indefinitely, while others keep only a small number or give you access to only the last 30 days of file versions.
Using an online data backup service means you will be uploading all of your digital files through an internet connection. This is a process that, without the proper safety precautions, could leave your personal files and information wide open for hackers to intercept. All of the services in our top 10 online backup reviews provide high-level encryption before, during and after upload, but not all come with additional security measures.
Additional security features offered by some cloud backup providers include giving you the ability to set your own encryption key that nobody else can access, being able to set folder permission and restrictions, and letting you perform a remote wipe of a computer or mobile device in the event it's stolen. Look also for cloud backup services that own and maintain their own data centers and don't farm out the storage of your data to another party, leaving security procedures in the hands of others.
One of the many perks of cloud storage is having the ability to access your data remotely. All of the best online data backup services come with accompanying mobile apps that you can download and operate on Android and iOS devices. However, not all of them perform the same functions or at the same level. Look for services with a mobile app that will perform mobile backup, which can automatically back up all of the pictures and videos on your smartphone to the cloud. Some even provide full mobile backup capabilities, which include backing up apps, contacts and text messages.
Help & Support
Even working with the simplest of data backup services, there may come a time when you need to find information or talk to someone who can walk you through an issue. If an issue should arise, you should be able to find a solution by phone, live chat, email or through an online tutorial. Many cloud services include all of these options and even have active online user forums where you can seek out a wealth of information and even improve your awareness about cloud backup in general.
Hard drive failures happen every day. If you're stockpiling thousands of irreplaceable family photos on a computer and don't have them backed up elsewhere, your digital files could be living on borrowed time. An online data backup service can give you plentiful cloud storage in which to store your important files so they aren't lost forever to the random hand of chance.