Online or Cloud Backup

We have often been asked to suggest offsite (or off-premise) location where data can be backed-up or stored. This note, hopefully, answers the question without complicating matters.

A hard drive crash means information loss. If that information is critical in nature, that could mean heartache! To protect yourself, then, always backup data onsite and offsite. It is the latter we are referring to when we talk about "cloud" storage and backup.

What's this Cloud?

In two words - the Internet. The terminology comes from depictions of the Internet in illustrations - a cloud! Clouds can be internal or external. Internal cloud refers to a private network built and managed by a company to allow employees to store and access information. External cloud refers to networks created by companies outside of your home or business (on
the Internet, that is) that rent storage space, usually for a fee.

What's "Sync" and What's "Backup?"
Sync is where a the information is synchronized between two locations, one of which is your computer. The system will keep information synchronized between the computer and off-premise location.

Backup is where a copy of the information on your PC is copied to, and stored in, an off-premise location on the Internet.

Which is Better?

If one wants access to documents from multiple computers or from anywhere on the Internet, sync works better. If one does not need to use documents from multiple computers or multiple locations, backup works better. Either way, one will have a copy of their computer information in an off-premise location.

CAUTION: In a sync situation, if you delete some document from your computer, it will get deleted in the other location, too, when your computer is connected to the Internet.

Some Popular Sites

Box.net - 5 GB of free storage for personal use
DropBox - 2 GB of free storage
Google drive - 5 GB of free storage
Microsoft's Skydrive - 7 GB of free storage

In addition to the above, anti-virus companies, such as Norton, McAfee, and the like, also offer free storage space.


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