How to Choose an Online Backup Service
We all know that losing data is a real possibility. Whether a server crashes, a virus infiltrates your hard drive or you accidentally delete files, data loss can be catastrophic.
For this reason, it’s vital to back up your data – ideally to at least two locations, one of which should be offsite.
Why do you need an online backup service?
Backing up data to physical devices isn’t the safest option. For example, an external hard drive may be stolen. It may break, be wiped clean by a virus or malfunction. Instead, one of the easiest and safest ways for individuals and businesses today to protect their data is to back it up to the cloud.
Online backup services provide software that makes a secure copy of all of your files, storing them on an online server.
The best software will automatically back up your files, encrypting and compressing them before uploading them to remote, redundant servers.
What to consider
Many online backup services are available, so how do you choose the right one? Ask yourself these questions before making a final decision.
What are your space requirements?
Before you start researching online backup service providers, evaluate your storage needs. You can do this by looking at the amount of space that the files you want to back up occupy on your internal or external hard drive.
Once you know how much space you need right now, consider how much additional space you will need in the future, and choose an online backup plan that will accommodate this projected increase in data.
What other features do you want and need?
Once you know your space requirements, evaluate providers in terms of how well they’re likely to meet your backup needs. For example, does the provider offer an intuitive, easy system for automating the backup process? If automatic updates are provided, how frequently will these occur?
Depending on your requirements, also find out whether an online backup service offers:
- support for all file formats you need to back up; many online backup services don’t support backups of .exe, .dll or .app files
- support for backups of data from external hard drives – and if this is supported, the period for which a drive must remain attached (some software will interpret data as deleted if a hard drive doesn’t remain connected for 30 days)
- use of data encryption for extra security – most online backup services provide 256-bit SSL connections, but there are exceptions
- technical support for in case something goes wrong
- support for backups from multiple devices.
Also find out about the provider’s data retention policy – are there conditions under which the provider will remove your data from its servers?
What is your budget?
After you know how much space you’ll need, you should consider your budget so that you don’t waste time looking at service providers and plans that you cannot afford. Whether you want a free service or a paid plan, there are many options for you to choose from.
Once you know what you need and what you can afford to spend, you can start looking for a service that suits your requirements.
Our backup services for businesses
At PM&A, we offer small to medium businesses a comprehensive backup service at an affordable rate, giving you peace of mind and ensuring the stability of your business systems and processes.
Our backup service includes making a full, initial backup of your company’s critical data; determining the optimal backup schedule for your business; performing automated backups and updating data at regular intervals; and maintaining offsite backups of your company’s data for added security.
Contact us for more information or to discuss your backup needs.