Welcome to Online Backup Guide

Welcome to Online Backup Guide, the web’s #1 resource to learn about online backups and cloud storage. My name is Mark Van Heusen and I have been working in the IT Security field for over 20 years. I decided to launch this website to help my clients learn about the importance of backing up their data, and also assist them in choosing the right backup service/software.

If you use a computer regularly and have a lot of important data on your hard drive, no amount of caution can prevent the inevitable hard disk failure or other form of accident that can cause you to irreversibly lose all of your data. That is the reason why in this technology-driven day and age, making backups of your data is of utmost importance. However, burning your data to a DVD or Blu-Ray disc is time consuming and tedious. A much easier, faster way that has been gaining popularity is online backup.

Who Needs Online Backup?

If one can afford it, anyone can be in need of an online backup service. In particular, business owners and corporations have a lot of crucial data on their computers and servers, and should something happen, it is best that the business have their data safely stored in an online backup service beforehand. People who use their computers at home for their own personal use, such as storing documents, video editing, gaming, and the like, should also make use of an online backup service to secure their programs and work.

How Our Data is Threatened Today

There are multiple causes of hard disk drive failure. One of the most obvious causes is dropping your computer or, if you’re using a laptop, accidentally spilling your drink on it or failing to keep it dry and in its carrying case when taking it around in the rain. The impact of the computer being dropped can smash the hard drive and render it useless, and the liquids entering the computer system can short out the hard drive, CPU, and other electrical components of the computer. Cyber attacks, such as viruses, worms, Trojan horse programs, and hackers, can also wreck your hard drive and damage your data. In some cases, hackers and malware can even steal your personal credentials and masquerade as you. If your computer is prone to a lot of Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) errors, that can also quickly shorten the life of your hard drive. And even if you follow all the precautions to avoid the situations above, such as keeping drinks away from the computer and installing an antimalware suite, hard disk drives are made of mechanical parts, and after a while, those parts degrade in functionality and responsiveness until one day it will cease to operate altogether. Sudden hard disk crashes, also known as head crashes, are another possibility, when a sudden severe motion of the read-write head comes into contact with the rotating platter which can permanently damage the data, which is why there is no time too early to perform a backup.

Difference Between Online Backup and Cloud Storage

With the advent of cloud computing, which uses virtual servers that can be moved around and scaled at the user’s whim as well as enabling one to actually access the files on the cloud and modify them, many have sought cloud computing as a reasonable backup service. While cloud storage has its advantages, such as automatically backing up your files as you make changes to them on your computer, as well as making restoring files easier, cloud storage services typically only back up a portion of your hard drive and cannot store more than 100 GB on average. Plus, upgrading your cloud storage space is usually far more expensive than the monthly fees for a standard online backup service. And with some cloud services, anyone, or at least people you grant permission to, can access and possibly modify your files, and encryption is a concern for some services. Cloud backup services, such as Dropbox and Google Drive, are ideal for casual computer users who just want music, video, documents, and small programs backed up with ease, but if you want to back up absolutely everything, including larger files and programs, traditional online backups are the way to go.

What to look for in an Online Backup Service

Different online backup services offer different storage limits, pricing, size limit per file upload, and other features. Carbonite, one of the most popular online backup services on the Internet, offers unlimited storage space and automatic backups of all files under 4 GB; anything over that size must be backed up manually. They have three sub-plans for the Personal plan family which backs up one PC: the Basic for $59.99 annually, the Plus for $99.99, and the Prime for $149.99. Basic only backs up documents, while Plus and Prime are more complete backups. Other plan families are available for higher prices, such as the Server plan starting at $799.99. Mozy, while chaper, does not offer unlimited space, with a plan of $9.99 a month for a 125 GB storage plan. They do, however, offer 2 GB for free.

Top 10 Recently Reviewed Online Backup Solutions

Here are the 1o online backup services that we recently reviewed. Click on a solution to read the full review.