Backing up your data is real easy to do, so you should never need to curse the day when you decided to leave early instead of save your files. But eventually your system probably will crash, and you most likely will end up cursing that day.
Having backed up your data in the cloud (where it can be accessed from any device whenever you need it) could be the silver lining on that fateful day when you get the blue screen of death.
Dropbox is an easy and quick way to store, sync, and share important documents or presentations that you’ll want to keep safe and portable. It’s cross platform and works on basically any smartphone. You get 2GB free but can upgrade to 50GB for $10/month and 100GB for $20/month. To store a file, just drag and drop it (or a copy to backup) into your virtual Dropbox directory. Access it whenever, wherever. You can install Dropbox on an unlimited number of devices to see and edit your files. Only the changed parts are synced, so your Internet doesn’t slow down.
2. Mozy Pro
This backup solution is meant for storing and syncing your data only. Mozy Pro also offers businesses the possibility of backing up their computers and servers, but each unit will need its own license. One desktop licenses is $3.95/month plus $0.50/GB per month, while a server licenses comes out to $6.95/month plus $0.50/GB per month. You can schedule automatic backups on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Custom settings let you choose how much bandwidth to use as and which files, or sets of files, to backup.
3. Jungle Disk
Jungle Disk is kind of like a combination Dropbox and Mozy Pro, but with a more complex pricing plan. The Workgroup Edition for sharing, syncing, and backing up your data for groups of two to 100 costs $4 per user/month plus storage fees, while the Server Edition provides Windows- and Linux-based server backup solutions for $5 per server/month plus storage fees. Both editions have unlimited storage space where you only pay for what you use.
Carbonite is only intended for storing your files, no sharing or syncing. You pay one annual rate for the amount of storage that you decide your business needs, and the rest is automatic. Once you install Carbonite it begins to backup your files, and will automatically and continually backup as you edit as long as you’re connected to the Internet. A web-based dashboard lets you monitor and control the backup status of all your files from any computer.
Livedrive prides itself on offering both backup solutions and a collaboration tool called Briefcase. Products in the Business line get you both options allowing you to store and monitor your data, and oversee shared working spaces where multiple employees can edit the same file. As usual, you can view/edit your files from any computer connected to the Internet, and all your files are synced across computers. Livedrive offers two products within the Business line, so check to see which one is best for your company.
And last, but not least, we get back to the basics. SugarSync is like Dropbox in that its cross platform works on basically any smartphone, and is a lean backup, file sharing, and syncing program with a chic demeanor. You get 5GB free, and it offers different pricing plans with varying storage space, including a multi-user business option. SugarSync also makes it easy to stream music directly to your phone or share photo albums with others.
While the sensibility of backing up is obvious, the ramifications of cloud computing are less than clear to everyone.
When your backup is stored online yet offsite, an Internet outage on your end or a problem with the storage company’s server means your data is out of reach.
And even though every major data storage company takes steps to adequately encrypt and secure your information, there are always risks in handing over your personal and valuable data.
No technology is foolproof, which is why you backup in the first place.