All around the world, data is constantly being created. Some of it is trivial, and its loss would not be too traumatic, but some data is so valuable that losing it could have disastrous consequences. Many businesses have suffered due to data loss, and some have had to cease operations altogether. It is not only businesses that can be affected, though. Many people have committed precious data such as photos or music to storage on their computers, only to find that they are lost forever when the machine is accidentally damaged, lost, or even stolen, and human error, also, has been responsible for many a loss. Finding that the only collection of photos taken at a family wedding have disappeared forever can be devastating; after all, the event cannot be repeated.
At one time there was no alternative to storing files on the computer, but its vulnerability was worrying. Secondary devices onto which data could be backed up were developed; they were useful for safe storage, and they could be used for taking files from one location to another; many people found that they no longer had to stop work simply because the office had closed for the day. They could back up their work and take it home with them; then it was just a matter of installing it onto their home computer, and they could pick up where they left off. This worked well as long as they remembered to take the backup device with them, but all too often it would be left behind or, even worse, lost on the journey.
It took a few inventive technically-minded people to think beyond using tangible devices for data storage, and it wasn’t long before the concept of remote or cloud storage was born. Since its inception, the idea has grown phenomenally, as has the number of companies offering it as a service.
Today, data is no longer at risk. It can be transferred to remote storage quickly and efficiently; once there, it will be kept secure, private, and accessible at any time, and from any location with an internet connection.
How Online Backup and Storage Works
The idea is really very simple. Data is produced on a computer or, in the case of photos, videos, music, and so on, uploaded to it. From there, having downloaded and installed backup and storage software, the user can arrange to have it transferred to a remote location, or cloud, with just a few clicks of the mouse. Not only that, once he has set the process up once, he can simply leave the software to do its work indefinitely.
Industry standard security, of the type used by the military for storing classified information, and by the banks for moving money online, will keep it safe during transfer, and in storage. The security employed not only keeps data safe, it prevents it becoming accessible to anyone but its owner. The remote locations are heavily monitored data centers which are protected from practically all known risks, including earthquakes. Many of them are guarded around the clock, at all times of the day and night, every day of the year.
The Cost of Security and Peace of Mind
For a solution that creates such peace of mind, online backup and storage of data need not be expensive, and great services are easy to find. A quick search online will produce a remarkable choice of providers; they all offer the basic backup and storage package, and many offer additional features that enhance the users’s experience. Most providers offer free plans that are perfect for someone with few online backup and storage needs, and they all offer a range of plans comprehensive enough to cater for every type of user, from the domestic to multi-national corporations.
The novice might think it would be difficult to choose an online backup service, but it most certainly is not. Visiting a few providers’ websites, and perhaps searching online for reviews, will soon throw up likely solutions for the potential user to try. Many providers offer no-obligation free trials, and taking advantage of one is the ideal way to test it out.
Once a user has decided which solution he would like, he can sign up to a free plan if he chooses, or he can subscribe to one that he has to pay for. Free accounts, although good for testing the service, are limited in terms of data backup and storage; they will suit some, but most users will want to make sure they have enough storage to meet all their ongoing needs.
The paid-for accounts offered by most providers include the very basic type that costs just a few dollars a month, and provides a specified if limited amount of backup and storage space, which is measured by gigabyte (GB). Plans supplying more space will cost more, and most services have an unlimited option, ideal for big businesses who need to backup lots of data, their own, and that of their clients.
Setting up an online backup and storage solution is simple. It usually involves downloading software for installation, which takes just a few minutes. Users will be asked to provide an email address and password. They will need to specify the type of backup they want by selecting either continuous, automatic scheduled, or manual, and the process can be set to take place when the computer is not being used for anything else.
With most providers, restoring data is as simple as backing it up. It can be carried out at any time, and from anywhere that has an internet connection. In many cases, it can even be restored from a mobile phone or other device.
File Sharing – this is useful and popular. It allows a user to share his files with others to whom he has given permission. It is good for business where data may need to be sent to clients, or from colleague to colleague. If the file sharing option includes collaboration, teams of colleagues can work together on the same files, or individually, and all team members will be kept up to date.
File sharing is useful to families, too, and is great for sharing important things like photos and videos.
File Versioning – this is another useful feature. It allows the system to monitor files, and backup only those that have had changes applied to them, so both the original files, and those that have been changed, are available whenever they are needed.
Getting Help and Support
All online backup and storage services provide some sort of support and access to guidance. It may be simple, in the form of FAQs, community forums, and video tutorials, or it may be comprehensive with telephone numbers, email, and even ‘live’ chat, so that users can get more immediate help with problems.
Cloud storage is the perfect solution to data storage and, for reasonable cost, will ensure that important and valuable files are kept safe, forever if necessary. It is one of those great ideas that no-one knew they needed until it became available, and most users today wonder how they ever managed without it. It is the very best way to protect data in 2012.
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Guest article written by: Morris Fisher is the Webmaster and Administrator for Advertise Ltd, creator of www.online-backups.net – The best online backup solution.
Guest article written by: Morris Fisher is the Webmaster and Administrator for Advertise Ltd, creator of www.online-backups.net