Our PCs and laptops often work as virtual treasure chests in which we can store a wealth of vital information – from photographs of our loved ones to files containing personal details, all precious items which we undoubtedly want to protect. However many of us only think about backing up when it is already too late and around 45% of computer users lose irreplaceable files every year.
While you can take out insurance for the physical component of your computer you can’t insure the files that you store on your hard drive, so backing up your valuable hard drive assets is extremely important.
There are a growing number of methods that you can consider when it comes to protecting your files; back-ups no longer have to be a complicated process involving hundreds of disks or a heavy external hard drive. One of the newest options on the market is online backup software and the free dropbox alternative; internet-based applications which allow users to deposit their data and restore it at the click of a button should disaster strike.
How do they work?
Using remote servers, a third party application will automatically store users’ data using the internet. When new files are created or others are modified, the application will instinctively update this ensuring that all your files are looked after. Should you need to restore, at the click of a button the application will replace all the files that have been successfully backed up.
Is it safe?
Probably the most frequently asked question regarding this online backup software. With the prominent notion of Cloud Computing, virtual storage is beginning to overtake the more traditional methods. Obviously storing important files and documents using the internet begs security questions for many, however it is far from the case that your documents will be floating around online for anyone to access. In order to prevent unauthorised access to your files they are encrypted first and then typically uploaded through a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) – a system also used by banks and for e-commerce transactions to ensure optimum security.
Obviously nothing can be 100% guaranteed safe but leading providers of data storage solutions ensure that only the highest standards of security are applied in order to offer their users complete peace of mind. You should also consider how safe the other options are in the event of the unforeseen occurring – external hard drives could go missing with laptops as could disks filled with your data.
What are the advantages?
- Typically, remote backup systems operate significantly quicker than traditional methods meaning that your all your data could potentially be restored within minutes rather than spending hours uploading separate disks.
- This method also tends to automatically back-up new and modified files meaning that you do not have to worry about executing this manually when you upload files.
- As your files will be stored on an easily accessible internet application, you do not have to worry about external hard drives or disks which could also save you money.
- In the event of a disaster occurring, online backup solutions could prove to be the most effective method as regardless of what happens to your physical products, your files will be stored securely.
What are the disadvantages?
- Despite the extensive security measures applied, some people may not feel comfortable storing their files in this manner.
- Some systems may not allow you to back-up the contents of multiple computers or hard drives meaning that these may need to be stored separately which could incur additional charges.
- As this type of software is still relatively new in comparison, some of the applications may require regular updates as they are often being adapted for ultimate user-friendliness. There are also a number of offerings on the market – some which may be less reputable than others which is why it is important to shop around.
Should I try online backup or stick to what I know?
There is no one right answer when it comes to how you should backup your files but it is essential that you do it to avoid the risk of losing irreplaceable data. Cloud Computing is becoming a more prominent feature of the technology market by the day therefore it is likely that the notion of virtual storage is only going to become more dominant.
There are clear advantages to storing your data online such as the fact that your files will be updated automatically and accessible no matter what but for many people the prospect of storing their precious documents online raises concerns. Regardless of how you choose to back up, you should ensure that you do it before it is too late.
Author Bio:- Lucia Harris writes for Competent Solutions, a full-service Bristol IT Solutions company offering expert support and an extensive range of technology services including Cloud IT to help your business move forward.