Backing up your computer, or choosing an online backup service, is one of the most important things you do to insure data and files are not compromised or terminally lost during unforeseen “disasters,” which, according to “Murphy,” can, and probably will, happen at some point.
How do you shop for the best online backup service for you? How much space do your files need? How many user accounts do you have? Who can you trust with your data privacy? How much can you afford?
Do you save lots of pictures, videos, and music? These files consume a lot of space and it might be more efficient to use an external hard drive to backup these. However, external and optical drives do not offer privacy and protection afforded by online (remote) backup services.
Companies advertising more than one data center offer simultaneous duplicate backups of your data. Look for warnings from companies about your passkey. They will tell you if you lose your passkey, you cannot access your data backup account. This is a good thing! It lets you know that no one can randomly access your backup account without your permission or passkey.
More is better. You want to get multiple copies of your data, automatically uploaded on a frequent and regular basis. The more often your data is backed up, the more protection you have in the event of a virus or irreparable corruption.
“You get what you pay for.” Typically low-cost services take longer to complete the initial backup. They reduce their bandwidth costs by slowing your upload speed, which limits the amount of data that can be backed up, thus taking for, what can seem like forever, when you want to get done with maintenance and resume your processing.
If you have a high-speed Internet connection, and know what you want to back up and where the files are located, there are online backup services that allow you to try their service for free on a trial basis.
PC Mag.com Best Choice Vendors
While all services offer security, some are easier to set up, and aid in files and folders backup selection and file retrieval. PC Mag rated the top two online backup services.
MozyHome Online Backup
Data and service are secure since “the biggest name in storage,” (EMC) is behind MozyHome. MozyHome was previously PC Mag’s Editor’s Choice. But it hasn’t kept up with increasing competition. It offers 2GB free storage space, or unlimited backup space for $4.95/month, can backup open files, and only backs up changed file portions, but its security and usability now fall short.
Carbonite PC Backup
PC Mag touts Carbonite’s ease and simplicity for the layman at only $50/year for unlimited storage. It’s not as attractive however, to businesses with networked drives and when large amounts of data must be restored after a crash or disaster or change from XP to Vista.
The best online backup service is the one that fits your needs and pocketbook.
About the Author
Ready to try an online backup service? Find out how you can try one for free in this Carbonite review. And to compare all the top online back services in one place check out our online backup reviews.