June 1, 2012

5 Reliable Online Backup Solutions


Recently, a business client called me in a nervous panic to fix a laptop that was experiencing a serious hardware malfunction and would not boot up. As I am asking questions about the hardware malfunction, I learn that this laptop had over 15+ years of business and personal data on it and they have no backups at all of their data. So, I get off the phone and agree to take a look at the system to see if somehow I can help fix the issue.

The next day I get the system and within a few short minutes into my evaluation, I quickly realized and determined that the hard drive had experienced a major mechanical failure and was not repairable and all of their data was gone. I then proceeded to call the client back and let them know what I discovered. Immediately, after the client answered the phone, the first question that blurted out of their mouth was “Is all my data OK?” In this case, I explained unfortunately it’s not OK. You have lost all of your data. 15+ years of business and personal data gone. Contacts, emails, documents, photos, all of it gone. Devastation is the best word I can use to describe how this client felt. It literally took the wind right out of their sails.

It’s such a hard lesson to learn but its an important one and its this: Never assume that your technology won’t fail you during the time you own it, because it will.

For some reason, we buy a technology device and make the assumption that it will work forever and never have any problems. Technology is and can be super reliable, but nowhere in the manufacturer documentation of a product does it say that your technology device won’t breakdown, experience a glitch or malfunction. In reality, not only will it fail you, but it always seems to happen at the most inconvenient time. So be ready.

Get in the habit of backing up your data regularly. I realize that it’s not at the top of your priority list, but it needs to be. If you're like me, I heavily rely on my technology to perform for me day in and day out and manage life’s activities. Because of that one reason, it's worth taking the time to do it, so when it does fail, I can restore my data promptly and get life moving again. There are many options to backing up your data (i.e. external hard drives, jump drives, backup software, etc), my personal preference is online data backup solutions. Here are some I have used and recommend:

  1. SugarSync allows you to keep your computers, smartphones and mobile devices synced and backed up on the internet. Of all the online data backup services we reviewed, SugarSync offers the most features and continuous backup abilities. It also protects your data by keeping the five most recent versions of your files in the cloud, automatically updating them as you make changes.
  2. Dropbox is a quality online data backup service that lets you store up to 100GB, plus it’s also a good way to sync your files across your various work and home computers and mobile devices. You can share files for collaboration, store and share photo and video galleries, and your data will all be safely backed up on Dropbox’s secure servers.
  3. OpenDrive does double-duty as both an online data backup service and a cloud service. It offers the tools and features essential for quality backups, including automatic, incremental and scheduled backups, along with syncing, file sharing and more. It’s also a quality cloud service, giving you full access to your documents and allowing you to edit documents, share photos, stream your music and watch your videos from the cloud.
  4. ZipCloud combines traditional online backup with cloud syncing, providing a comprehensive online data backup solution ideal for both home and small business users. In a nutshell, ZipCloud enables you to back up, sync and share your digital content across all of your computers and mobile devices. Such versatile functionality ensures your most important files are both protected and accessible anytime, anywhere.
  5. JustCloud is an online data backup service that offers an excellent assortment of backup, syncing and sharing tools to make sure that you have access to your files anytime and from any computing device. Even though JustCloud offers a wide assortment of backup, syncing, security and other features, there are a few tools this service lacks that many similar web services offer.

Data backup is important. It ensures your data’s future is protected and that you will never fall prey to technology failure again.

CC Image • Reid Rosenberg on Flickr

Originally Published: June 1, 2012
Category: Technology
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