So, you’re looking for an online backup provider to store all your files in the cloud and want to know how online backup works? Great! Of course, first it’s best to know what online backup actually is and how it stores files in the cloud.
Essentially what online backup does is mirror the data on your PC in an off-site location (i.e., servers) owned by the backup company.
To store data on the company’s servers, you have to purchase a backup plan that will cost between $5 and $15 per month (depending on how much data needs to be stored).
How Online Backup Works
You might want to look at our comparison chart to get an in-depth view of these plans. If you are a business user, things are more expensive. But consumers can get unlimited online backup for a couple of bucks per month.
A connection between your PC and your backup service is often established with a client that you can download. That client will allow you to manage your backup by selecting files, scheduling backups, managing allocated bandwidth and uploading files.
Most online backup services encrypt the connection established between you and the service provider. Some even encrypt the data on your PC, providing an additional security layer to your backups.
Access Data From Anywhere
Because it is stored on a server, data can be accessed from anywhere in the world. It doesn’t matter if you are on vacation, at the office, or at a friend’s house. You always have access to data. Of course, you do a backup to be able to recover files in case of data loss. That’s why all online backup services include a recovery service in their plans.
That’s how online backup works in general: you can choose to recover all of your files or just some if you need them urgently. Depending on how many files were uploaded, it can take up to a couple of hours for the company’s servers to prepare them for download.
What is File Sync?
Some file backup companies offer not only backup but also sync. If you are already using Dropbox, you might be familiar with that concept. Keep in mind, however, that file synchronization is more expensive than mere backup.
So be prepared to pay a couple of extra bucks. Many times it is advisable to combine services—for example, using a backup service for backups and then subscribing to a file synchronization service for everything else. That way you can save money.
Remember: the most important part about online backup is that you actually sign up for one such service. Nowadays, there is no excuse for not backing up.
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