Articles & Guides

What is Online Backup?

Cliff Boodoosingh on June 01, 2009
 

You have questions. We have answers. If you'd like to add a question to the existing list or augment the answers provided please email: obr@onlinebackupreviews.com

Q: What is online backup?

A: Online backup is basically a method of offsite data storage whereby documents, files, folders, or the even the entire contents of a hard drive are regularly backed up on a remote server or computer with a network connection. Online backup service providers offer this offsite backup, which is absolutely necessary for disaster recovery in case files become lost or damaged.

Q: Why is online backup necessary?

A: The reason for acquiring online backup is simple. By backing up data continuously (or as frequently as needed) on a remote hard drive, the risk of data loss as a result of file corruption, fire, theft, or other natural disasters is practically eliminated. You can safely access or restore any lost files by using any PC with high-speed Internet connection and a Web browser interface. Privacy and security are assured with encryption and password protection.

Q: I frequently back up on CDs or DVDs, that works, why do I need some other service?

A: Many people choose to backup their data onto a CD or DVD. Others will use tape, flash drives or even an external hard drive. But users fail to realize that unless these are stored safely offsite, they face the same risk as your computer files being destroyed or damaged by fire, floods or other disasters. Online backup removes this effort and worry because files and documents can be automatically backed up at an affordable price.

Q: Who are the leading online backup providers?

A: We have a list of the Top 25 Providers. Please review.

Q: How long will online backup services or remote backup take?

A: High-speed Internet connections will obviously speed up the time it takes to back up your files and folders. Dial-up Internet users could face longer times but if they do incremental backups and schedule effectively they can save time.

Initial backups can take from hours to days depending on the volume and size of the data that is required to back up. That's why many people opt to conduct this during off-peak hours or even weekends. Time taken for subsequent and routine backups will be much shorter once the first backup is complete as only the changes or new documents will need to be copied and stored.

Q: How secure will my information be?

A: Online data service providers are extremely efficient at protecting your data. Files are encrypted during transmission over the network and while data is being stored to the remote servers offsite. Note that users have their own secure encryption code to prevent interception by other parties. Before you sign up with a provider, clarify how their security is conducted.

Q: How do you schedule automatic backups?

A: Online backup service providers establish a schedule where users can select the times of the day or night they want they backup to take place. Once the software download is completed and you enter your menu selections, including times to back up your data, the procedure will be automated. Frequency of backup is also a selection users make.

Q: What kind of stuff can I backup?

A: Providers are equipped and ready to backup all file types and applications. Whether its files, spreadsheets, databases, pictures, MP3s, emails or computer programs, online backup providers can be relied on to protect and secure your data and information.

Q: Can I backup files while my computer is running?

A. Yes you can safely backup up open files and programs while they are running. Verify this with your online backup service provider.

Q: Is it possible to restore data to a different computer than the one that was backed up?

A: Absolutely. This is a great feature of the online backup system. Data may be restored to any computer connected to the Internet. It's a great way to test that the restoration process is working.

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