Why Online Backup Isn’t Enough

Online backup is only part of a broader backup strategy that everyone should have in place.–PC Pitstop.

Why Online Backup Isn’t Enough

By Leo Notenboom

Is an online backup service a good idea?

I keep hearing about online backup services that will back up your data to “the cloud”. Assuming it’s secure, why shouldn’t I do that and skip the hassle of doing backups to an external hard drive or whatever?

I’ve written some about free online backup services before, but I want to take this opportunity to look at the entire concept of online backups, whether they’re free or paid.

Online backup services can be a useful component of a broader backup strategy, but there are a number of factors to consider before deciding if online backup is the right thing to do, including security, completeness, speed, and cost.

“The cloud”

“Moving to the cloud” is a popular buzz phrase these days, and online backup is one of the poster children for the concept. In a nutshell, the idea is that with ubiquitous connectivity, why not store important data on servers on the internet, in “the cloud”? (We used to simply call it the internet.)

By using third-party internet services and servers, you can keep all your email online (nothing new here; Hotmail and others have been around for years), your documents online (Google Docs and Microsoft OneDrive are just two examples), and more. The advantage is that all you usually need is a computer and a browser, and not only can you access your documents from just about anywhere, but you can be less concerned about system and software crashes on your machine.

So if “the cloud” is such a good place for your data (a debatable subject for another day), is it also a good place for the backups of your data?

Why not online backups?

It’s definitely an option, if used properly, but there are definitely concerns to consider.

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