Crashed Computer Got You Down?  Don’t lose any files with the right Cloud Backup 

We all know we should perform backups to protect our data. Unfortunately, this is an easy task to put off. Throw in the fact that most people are not aware of how backups should be performed, and the task is high on the list of things we simply ignore.  Hopefully, this article will change your behavior, as well as outlook on Cloud backups. 

Services, such as Cloud backups, work well with personal computers. For on-campus PCs, though, IT recommends that the department purchase external hard drives or USBs for when backing up work-related files. IT provides an in-depth tutorial on how to backup your Windows 7 or Windows 10 PC.  

Backups can also be done on personal devices. However, with popular cloud sharing apps, it is difficult to discern the differences between backup and syncing services.  Online syncing services, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive, only copy items in designated folders to other computers and mobile devices. Unless you pay extra for additional storage, these syncing services offer a limited amount of file storage.  When syncing, files are uploaded from your computer to the server, then accessible by broadcast to your other devices. 

In contrast to syncing, online backup services continually save a copy of every personal file on your computer to a safe offsite data center. With backup services, the service initially copies the data from your computer to the server, where it will remain until you need to recover the file. 

Below are the top 4 backup services currently available and how they compare. 

  1. Blackblaze

At only $5 per month, or $50 per year, Blackblaze offers unlimited online storage for one PC or MAC device. This service automatically backs up all files and folders, excluding system and application folders. File uploads are quick and run in the background, allowing users to continue to work as everything is uploaded. Restoring files can be done through the web interface. For larger file restorations, Blackblaze offers a 128 GB flash drive for $99, or a 4 TB external hard drive for $189. They also offer 128-bit encryption for added security. 

  1. iDrive

iDrive is fast and easy to use and can be accessed either from their website or application that is installed on the computer.  It costs roughly $70 per year for 2 TB of storage and unlimited machines. It does have a free 5 GB plan. This service does not delete old files, which allows files to pile up and fill storage space. Like Blackblaze, iDrive also offers a larger restoration of backup files via an external hard drive they can ship you. It is for free once per year, however, any additional restorations cost $60 each time. Like Blackblaze, iDrive also offers encryption of the file. 

  1. Acronis

This is an easy to use backup and restoration service, which can be accessed through their website. However, it requires an empty storage drive for full-disk restoration. While it does not use much CPU resources running in the background, it is rather expensive: $100 for 1 TB of cloud storage. Unlike other services, Acronis offers unlimited deleted-file protection, meaning that files are only kept for 30 days when they have additional copies of the same file. This service also offers 256-bit AES encryption. 

  1. Carbonite

Carbonite offers several subscription plans. Their basic plan provides the backup of one computer and starts at $72 per year. This service allows users to browse every file on their computer and whether that file is set to backup or not. All files are protected by 128-bit encryption. As with the other backup services, Carbonite will ship out an external drive containing your full backup. For basic users, this feature costs $99 each time and if the drive is not sent back within 30 days, they will charge you another $130 for the drive.  

Disasters happen!  You need a plan in place that will allow you to restore your important files and photos.  By having an online backup, your important documents are just a click away. 

 

 

Authors: Aaron Alter and Emily Cieslewicz 

 

 

References 

Berg, Dann, and Paul Wagenseil.  “Best Cloud Backup Services 2018.”  Tom’s Guide, 13, April, 2018, https://www.tomsguide.com/us/best-cloud-backup,review-2678.html. 

 

 

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