Top 5 Benefits of Online Backup

Benefits of Online Backups (Online Backup Services), also known as cloud backup or backup-as-a service is a method of offsite data storage in which files, folders, or the entire contents of a hard drive are regularly backed up on a remote server or computer with a network connection. The purpose behind online backup is simple and straightforward: To protect the information – be it business data or personal – from the risk of loss associated with fire, theft, hacking, or any other kind of technological disasters.

The following are the top five benefits of online backups:

  1. Convenience

    The convenience offered by online backup solutions is indisputable. Though data can be stored on other transportable devices such as external hard drives or flash drives, even they require manual, physical handling. Online backup is accessible from anywhere, so long as there is internet connectivity; information is saved automatically as it streams in. You do not have to proactively save, label and track information. Rather, the convenience of online backup allows for you to concentrate solely on your work without worrying about data loss.

  2. Safety

    As your data is stored in the Cloud, you are not subject to the typical threats of fire, flooding or theft. In fact, data that is stored in the Cloud is generally stored on secure, encrypted servers and systems, which minimizes the risks your data can incur. However, it must be noted that while some cloud storages do tout encryption services, you can never be too secure – and depending on the type of data that you’re looking to store, you may want to invest in additional cloud security services.

  3. Ease of Recovery

    Due to multiple levels of redundancy, if data is lost or deleted, most likely through individual user error or deletion, backups are available and easily located. Multiple levels of redundancy means that your online backup service stores multiple copies of your data in locations independent of each other. The more levels you have stored, the better as each ensures that your data is safeguarded against loss as much as possible, allowing you to access a backed up version of your data should it ever get lost.

  4. Ease of Access

    As the Cloud has no singular physical location, remote access is also a simple and feasible benefit to online backup. So long as you can connect to the remote server, you have access to all the data that you have stored in the Cloud, without having to do anything differently. From wherever your contact point is, gaining access to your information backed up online from your remote device is done the same way, ensuring consistency and an easy approach across platforms.

  5. Affordability

    Cloud-based back up can be less expensive than the cost of tape drives, servers, or other hardware and software elements necessary to perform the back up; the media on which the backups are stored; the transportation of media to a remote location for safekeeping; and the IT labor required to manage and troubleshoot backup systems.

  6. Know Your Options, Know Your Benefits
    In conclusion, online backup is beneficial overall. However, different services can have more benefits in some areas than others. Before looking to make this investment, you must first determine what you need. Do you need to store large amounts of data? Do you need to look into cloud security? Once you determine what you require from your online backup service, you can go forth to find a service that will provide you with that. The benefits of online backup are many; just be sure that your online backup service fits your needs.

    cloud backup (online backup)

    Posted by: Margaret Rouse

    Contributor(s): Erin Sullivan
    This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Cloud-based backup: Best strategies and practices

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    Cloud Backup and Cloud Disaster Recovery Essential Guide
    Cloud backup, also known as online backup, is a strategy for backing up data that involves sending a copy of the data over a proprietary or public network to an off-site server. The server is usually hosted by a third-party service provider, who charges the backup customer a fee based on capacity, bandwidth or number of users. In the enterprise, the off-site server might be owned by the company, but the chargeback method would be similar.

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    Implementing cloud data backup can help bolster an organization’s data protection strategy without increasing the workload on information technology staff.

    How data is restored
    Online backup systems are typically built around a client software application that runs on a schedule determined by the purchased level of service. If the customer has contracted for daily backups, for instance, the application collects, compresses, encrypts and transfers data to the service provider’s servers every 24 hours. To reduce the amount of bandwidth consumed and the time it takes to transfer files, the service provider might only provide incremental backups after the initial full backup.

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    Cloud backups often include the software and hardware necessary to protect an organization’s data, including applications for Exchange and SQL Server.

    Most subscriptions run on a monthly or yearly basis. While initially used mainly by consumers and home offices, online backup is now used by small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and larger enterprises to back up some forms of data. For larger companies, cloud data backup may serve as a supplementary form of backup.

    loud Storage is a service where data is remotely maintained, managed, and backed up. The service allows the users to store files online, so that they can access them from any location via the Internet. According to a recent survey conducted with more than 800 business decision makers and users worldwide, the number of organizations gaining competitive advantage through high cloud adoption has almost doubled in the last few years and by 2017, the public cloud services market is predicted to exceed $244 billion. Now, let’s look into some of the advantages and disadvantages of Cloud Storage.

    Advantages of Cloud Storage

    1. Usability: All cloud storage services reviewed in this topic have desktop folders for Mac’s and PC’s. This allows users to drag and drop files between the cloud storage and their local storage.

    2. Bandwidth: You can avoid emailing files to individuals and instead send a web link to recipients through your email.

    3. Accessibility: Stored files can be accessed from anywhere via Internet connection.

    4. Disaster Recovery: It is highly recommended that businesses have an emergency backup plan ready in the case of an emergency. Cloud storage can be used as a back‐up plan by businesses by providing a second copy of important files. These files are stored at a remote location and can be accessed through an internet connection.

    5. Cost Savings: Businesses and organizations can often reduce annual operating costs by using cloud storage; cloud storage costs about 3 cents per gigabyte to store data internally. Users can see additional cost savings because it does not require internal power to store information remotely.

    Disadvantages of Cloud Storage

    1. Usability: Be careful when using drag/drop to move a document into the cloud storage folder. This will permanently move your document from its original folder to the cloud storage location. Do a copy and paste instead of drag/drop if you want to retain the document’s original location in addition to moving a copy onto the cloud storage folder.

    2. Bandwidth: Several cloud storage services have a specific bandwidth allowance. If an organization surpasses the given allowance, the additional charges could be significant. However, some providers allow unlimited bandwidth. This is a factor that companies should consider when looking at a cloud storage provider.

    3. Accessibility: If you have no internet connection, you have no access to your data.

    4. Data Security: There are concerns with the safety and privacy of important data stored remotely. The possibility of private data commingling with other organizations makes some businesses uneasy. If you want to know more about those issues that govern data security and privacy, here is an interesting article on the recent privacy debates.

    5. Software: If you want to be able to manipulate your files locally through multiple devices, you’ll need to download the service on all devices.
    Why Is Online Storage Useful?
    obrBy Mauricio Prinzlau — Last Updated: 03 Jan’13 — Google+
    Probably you know that you can store data online and you have heard about online storage. But you keep asking yourself how can you use online storage and why is it useful?
    Online storage services can be used in many ways. You can be more productive, organize your computer files, synchronize data among several devices or just backup your computer. In this article will have a look at several things that you can do with online storage.
    What is online storage?
    Before we start diving deeper into typical use cases for online storage, let’s have a look at what online storage really is.
    Online storage services provide space on their servers for your files so that you can access them independently from your location. After uploading your files to an online storage service, they are “in the cloud”. Just like you can access a website, you can now access your files for example via a web browser. Obviously, those files are private unless you want to share them with other people. So it is not like websites where everybody can access them.
    Many online storage services come with a software that you have to install on your computer. You may be able to drag-and-drop files into that software or select your files and folders manually that you want to upload. Generally, online storage services are very easy to use because they guide you through the setup with a wizard.
    Many online storage services have some free plans that allow you to upload a limited amount of files. Generally, between 2 and 5 GB. If you need more space, you can sign up for one of their payment plans. As storage space has become cheaper over the years, so have online storage services. You can get 100 GB storage capacity for less than $10 per month.
    Be more productive!
    Online storage services are a great way to be more productive. If you are using a service like SugarSync (Editor Rating: , 30 GB for 30 $/year) you may upload your files and share them with colleagues or classmates. That way, you can collaborate on the same file and get the paper or presentation done more quickly.
    Being able to access all of your important files from any device will make working a lot easier, because you don’t have to remember where a file is stored. Also, you’ll save time because you don’t have to transfer files onto an external hard drive and take that with you.
    Synchronize your files
    Online storage services may offer the possibility to synchronize your files across multiple devices. One of the most famous services is certainly Dropbox (Editor Rating: , 2 GB for 0 $/year). Here, at the offices we use SugarSync. It offers us more flexibility when it comes to file sharing and collaboration.
    If you are very security concerned, you may want to use SpiderOak (Editor Rating: , GB for 0 $/year) – certainly the most secure online storage service we came across.
    File synchronization will change the way you think about your files. It is just so convenient not having to think about if you are working on the most current version of a document, like a text file, and Excel spreadsheet or a presentation. The online storage service will handle file conflicts automatically. So if multiple people are working simultaneously on a document it will store so-called “conflict of copies” and later decide which version is the right one.
    Use online storage services as a backup
    Normally, we wouldn’t recommend using online storage service as a backup but if you only have a couple of files that are important to you, an online storage service might be the right solution for you.
    You can just import a folder into the online storage service and keep it there. Whenever you add a file you can upload it to that folder and it is backed up automatically. However, always keep in mind to have a second backup of those files. Never rely on one single backup solution.
    Hopefully, we could show you some interesting use cases for an online storage service. If you are interested in learning more about online storage and choose a provider you may want to have a look at our comparison chart. Or just have a look at the table below with the top online storage services of 2013: