In the past, finding enough storage for all your work required having some sort of external device such as a Zip Drive, Jump Drive, CD’s, DVD’s, External Hard Drives and so forth. Today, cloud storage is the best way to back up and store data for those with access to the Internet.
When the cloud first came into our vocabulary there were a lot of security concerns. But, the fact is, data stored in the cloud is often safer than data stored on a DVD, Jump Drive, External Drive or your computer.
Software offered as a service “in the cloud” is updated often, and there are geeky people who are constantly updating the security, and ensuring that your data is safe. Of course, it is important that you choose a legitimate company with whom to trust with your data storage. In order to choose a good company do your due diligence and check them out. Find out who they are, when they came to be, and whether they are a legitimate company.
Find more than one, and study them side by side so that you can determine which backup and data storage service fits your needs. Here is a small list of backup services that you can take a look at and compare. There are even more plans than this, do a Google Search for “Online Data Backup and Storage Solutions” and you’ll find many.
Backblaze — This is an easy service to use if you’re not totally sure what you’re doing. The interface is pretty awesome, and you can set some specifics if you want to. One of the few still offering “unlimited” plans for a reasonable price per computer.
Carbonite — This is one of the backup services that is probably better known due to their early entry into the backup data business and prolific advertisements. They have two plans, one for a small business and one for a home or even a freelancer who works from home. It is more of a “fix it and forget it” type of service than some of the others, but like the others you can access your files from any computer or device as long as you have an Internet connection.
CrashPlan — This online backup service allows 10 GB of space beginning at $2 per month up to a family plan of unlimited storage for 10 computers under the cost of $9 a month. It offers triple redundancy secured data, real time continuous backup, and more. Don’t let the small monthly fee fool you. This backup service is robust enough to offer data service to enterprises
IDrive — This plan offers a free version and works much the same as most other online backup services. It’s in the cloud, secure, safe, and with the free version you can try it out forever as long as you don’t go over 5 GB of space. You can back up your phones too!
JustCloud–This service has 100% automated backup for both free and paid accounts. For home users, they have unlimited cloud storage of data. The stored data can be synced across multiple devices whether laptop, desktop, or mobile. If you computer is lost or stolen, your computer can be tracked hourly using an app. There is 24/7 tech support if you have difficulties.
Mozy — Touted as easy to use, and very reliable, this back up service is well known in the industry. You can get up to 2 GB free and then they have different plans based on your usage.
All the above cloud backup services have been around for awhile. I have used various offsite backup services since 2004 and I feel the fees charged are reasonable, especially if you consider your data and photos are probably irreplaceable.
Or you may search on your own to find an online data backup service which works for you.
There are several free options like Google Drive or Dropbox but I find these two a little more clunky to maintain.
Google also own Picasa, a free picture storage site. I use Picasa and love it. It is fast and convenient. But I also have my photos backed up to a paid cloud storage. My gut feeling is that any service which is free has the potential of shutting down on short notice.
With so many choices, don’t get overwhelmed and do nothing. One never knows when disaster might strike in the form of bad weather or a failed hard drive. It can happen to anyone at any time, any day.
Be prepared. Storing your data in the cloud is safer and easier than ever, there is no excuse not to use one of these services. Try it. You will love having your data safely stored on the cloud.