Online data backup vs. cloud backup services 07/07/16

Family vacation photos, music albums, school projects or sensitive corporate information. No matter what your most important files are, you need to keep them safe and make sure you don’t lose access to them in the event of an accident. Not that long ago, people used to do backups by copying data themselves on physical storage devices like USB drives, hard drives, CDs, DVDs and even floppy disks, but this method is now so time-consuming and obsolete that you shouldn’t even consider it. To keep your valuable files safe, you can store them online or in the cloud. These two options might sound like one and the same thing if you’re not familiar with the niche, but there are in fact great differences between online data backup and cloud backup, not only in terms of functionality, but also in terms of price and scalability.

What is online data backup and when is it recommended?

Online data backup services are quite straightforward: for a monthly fee, you get unlimited storage and you can select the files that you want to back up. Once you select them, they are copied on a new computer, where they are kept safely until you want to restore them. Needless to say, all data is stored on state of the art devices protected by multi-level encryption, so you can rest assured that no one will tamper with it. Online data backup services are relatively inexpensive, so for just a few dollars a month you get the peace of mind that the files that matter to you will never be lost. Many clients choose online backup before they upgrade to a new OS, so that they don’t lose anything in the process, but you can also back up data as a preventive measure, in case your device gets lost, stolen or corrupted.

How does cloud backup work?

Cloud backup is in many ways similar to online backup, but it offers more flexibility and versatility for clients who are always on the go. Unlike online backup, where file copies are stored on just one computer, cloud storage allows you to access your files across multiple platforms. You have your own user account, which you can log into from a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or platform and you also get extra features, such as being able to download and sync files and share them with other users. This option is recommended if you are an active user of multiple platforms and if you usually collaborate with other people. Most cloud storage services start with a free plan, but the storage amount is limited, so most of the time you have to upgrade to a larger plan that can be quite expensive.

What makes choosing between online storage and cloud storage somewhat complicated is that no option is universally recommended. To get your money’s worth and make the most out of all your paid features, you need to understand your requirements and decide how you will be using your backups. If you usually only use one computer, then online backup will do the trick for you, but if you want to access files from multiple platforms and share them with friends, colleagues and family, then you should consider storing data in the cloud.