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What Is Cloud Backup? A Beginners Guide To Cloud Backup

This beginner’s guide on Cloud Backup briefly explains the benefits as well as pitfalls of Cloud Backup solutions, notable cost effective Cloud Backup service providers etc in a simple way.


What Is Cloud Storage?


Cloud Storage is nothing but storage solution for the Internet. Cloud Storage Service Provider will have a cluster of highly scalable servers with simple web services interface that can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. In simple terms, Cloud Storage, from an end user perspective is nothing but an unlimited amount of online disk space that is secure, inexpensive, highly available (mostly) to store/backup/restore data from PCs, Laptops and Servers.


Image Source: Zmanda Backup Solution

Who Should Use Cloud Storage?

As mentioned earlier, Cloud Storage is nothing but Online Storage, so to access Cloud Storage, one needs to have high bandwidth internet connection. This requirement may be a problem for those who want to store time critical storage on the cloud. However, data recovery solutions that use cloud storage is viable as you would request for data restore not so frequently. For example, you are photographer and want to backup all of your photo collection. Then it makes perfect sense to have the photos backed up on the cloud. You would have secondary backup of your photos and incase your laptop crashes, you can always get your data restored almost immediately. Depending on the amount of photographic data that is there on the cloud it would take probably a few minutes or few hours. This is not really time critical. So, a Data Backup/Restore solution on Cloud Storage is Cloud Backup solution. Anyone who needs secured, backupimage on a remote server without much worries on maintaining the infrastructure will have to go for Cloud Storage Backup Solutions.

Data Encryption and Disaster Recovery On Cloud Backup


In Cloud Backup solution, your data resides on an external server outside your home or office, so the data needs to be protected. All of the Cloud backup solutions offer state of the art Data Encryption facility so that your data is compressed and encrypted so that others are unable to use them. Since the data that is backed up is on a remote location, there is a fair amount of disaster recovery is involved. More over, Cloud Storage servers will have data redundancy implemented internally.


Advantages of Cloud Backup Service


  • Safe and secured way of backing up data on a remote data storage
  • Accessible from anywhere
  • Usually cheap with pay as you go model
  • Inbuilt disaster recovery facility
  • Highly scalable – no cap on storage limit
  • Data backup can be automated
  • No need to worry about hardware infrastructure to maintain


Disadvantages of Cloud Backup Service


  • High Internet bandwidth is needed
  • Your data resides on 3rd party Servers, if they close the shop, then you need to worry about your data (If it ever happens, It can be handled easily though)
  • Most of the Cloud Backup service providers charge based on data backed up. So, if you have more data, then you will be charged more. However, there are more and more service providers who are giving flat rate plans such as Mozy that charges $5/month for unlimited usage.

It is seen by industry experts that for large enterprise with Large amount of data that frequently changes with limited network connectivity, the traditional on premise data backup solution works out better and cheaper.

Cloud Backup Vendors


There are many such vendors. But the most noted ones that are cost effective are;

  1. Backblaze
  2. Carbonite
  3. Mozy
  4. Zmanda (Open Source)
  5. ElephantDrive
  6. Dropbox

Most of the Cloud Backup service providers use Amazon’s S3 Cloud Infrastructure. Amazon S3 is mostly used but has couple of alternatives such as Nirvanix, Eucalyptus, Enomaly Cloud etc.

Online Backup Services to Backup Files From Your Computer Easily and Safely

By taking a backup of your important files, you protect these files against future data loss like data corruption, accidental deletion, hard drive failures etc. The biggest nightmare one can have is to see their hard disk crash and they have not backed up their files. Compared to earlier days, there are many online backup services that not only makes your job of backing up data easy but also provide a various advanced features like high level of data security by encryption, continuous backup, automatic backup without the need for physical medium like tapes and CDs etc. Here in this post we review online backup services where you can store your files easily and safely.


Image Source: www.onlinebackupsreview.com

1. ADrive

ADrive leads the online data storage and backup industry by offering the largest amount of free storage and backup on the Internet. It also offer a suite of enhanced service features including increased storage capacity for premium users, and have extended its services to enterprise customers to help protect their business valuable data. ADrive offers complete and secure solutions to store, backup, share, access, and edit files from virtually anywhere, at any time. ADrive serves as an online, centralized vault for all important file types including: music, videos, photos, documents, and more. The basic plan that allows 50GB of storage is free for individual. There are hosts are features available under Signature and Premium plans. Check the plan that is suitable for you and try the 14 days trial here. The service is available for machines running Windows, Linux or Mac

2. Backblaze

Backblaze is one of the simplest way to backup your online data. Backblaze online backup encrypts and uploads all your data. When you need it, you an either restore from the web or get a DVD or USB drive sent via FedEx. It stores your data in a high security vault using military-grade security. It encrypts the files on your PC and then sends and stores the encrypted file in its secured datacenter. The backup service is available for machines running Windows or Mac. Check the features and the price here.

3. Carbonite

Carbonite provides an unlimited backup capacity of online backup that works completely automatically. The backup is secure and encrypted and it provides a easy way to recover files. It supports both Windows and Mac. Start a free trial here and checkout for yourself.

4. BackMii

BackMii is one of the safest online backup services available as it bakups up data in more than one location. BackMii stores three copies of your data (you only pay for 1 copy), on 3 servers, in 2 geographically remote locations. Most other providers store only one copy of a user’s data, or store the copy on a single RAID array. BackMii encrypts your data before it leaves your computer(s) and once it is stored on BackMii’s servers. BackMii offers an optional encryption key for users, so only you can see your data. The services is available for Windows. Check the detailed feature list and pricing here.

5. Altexa Online Backup

Altexa is specialized in offering data backup software by making use of the power and security that online data backup can offer. Its internet backup software allows you to back up your documents, in a safe, secure fashion, over the internet, to Altexa backup servers. If anything happens to your data locally or to your computer, you can be sure that a safe copy is only a few clicks away! Altexa Backup is one of the easy-to-use and the powerful off-site data backup solution available for machines running Microsoft Windows. You can checkout the features and free trial here.

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