Online Backup and The Myths...

19 Jul 2013

Online backup, cloud backup, or remote backup; whatever you choose to call it, is (put simply) a method of offsite data storage.

A copy of your data: such as files, folders, or the entire contents of a hard drive, are sent over a proprietary or public network onto a remote server or a computer, using a network connection; usually hosted by a third party service provider.

Your data is regularly backed up and the host will charge you a ‘backup fee’ depending upon factors such as capacity, number of users or bandwidth.

Data backup is essential, whether it be for personal or business reasons. Online backup can typically be seen as part of a business disaster recovery strategy; as data is protected against risks from disasters such as fires, theft from employees or flooding.

Online backup has really propelled in popularity amongst business and home users alike. Not only is it convenient, it also offers safe off-site storage solutions with little hardware requirements, and not to mention the removal of human error, for any business of any size. However, as with any product or service gathering a head of steam, there will be myths about how ‘it won’t suit you’ or ‘it’s not reliable’ or ‘traditional methods are much safer’, from those in the skeptical camp. Below we tackle a few of the common online backup myths you may have heard…

Online backup is unreliable and untrustworthy – I hear this allot and I am not sure why. Firstly, online backup volumes are offline and files are compressed and encrypted. This means the files are secure and cannot be browsed or opened by just anyone; unlike traditional data storage such as a USB, external hard drive or disc – that if lost or in the wrong hands, could be damaging to you or your business.

Secondly, online backup records changes at each subsequent backup, in accordance with an automated schedule you have chosen. The process comes with built-in ‘retry’ to account for any possible disruptions; unlike the unreliability of human error or hardware or software faults of traditional backup methods.

Online backup is expensive – I totally accept that pricing for online back up can vary, but that is case with the majority of products and services available pretty much anywhere! However, online back up is more often that not better value-for-money than the traditional storage methods. Consider the significant cost of hardware, software, upgrades, maintenance, and human intervention; online backup escapes these!

Online backup is only for small business – Again, not sure where the skepticism about this comes from? Medium sized businesses or organisations, and also large enterprises, cannot help but benefit from the increased security and reduction in overall cost that online backup offers.

Traditional data storage such as hard drives or USB is better than online backup – Online backup is free from a high risk of human error, being lost on the tube home, trod on by someone, being sabotaged or damaged because you forgot to remove that USB from your trouser pocket…oops. Moreover, drive failures are common, especially with any regular physical impact from transport; another reason why online backup is better.