How Unlimited Online Backup Can Bite You in the Ass

obrBy Mohseen Lala04 Sep'15 2015-09-04T05:05:31+00:00Google+

Unlimited online backup is pretty awesome. It’s a form of technology which has provided users all over the world with peace of mind, secure in the knowledge that their files are saved on the Internet version of an off-shore account.

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But sometimes, online backup can bite you in the ass. To ensure that doesn’t happen, we’ve listed the top five ways in which online backup can suddenly stop being the cool kid on the block.

1. It Can Get Slow… Pretty Fast (Data Throttling)

The honest truth about unlimited online backup is…that there is no such thing. Everything has a limit, and depending on the backup provider, “unlimited backup” can reach its limits rather quickly (and intentionally).

A common method in wide circulation is the principle of slowing down bandwidth and upload speeds once a customer has reached their pre-assigned limit.

Dropbox vs Box
Speeding©

In short, cheap unlimited online backup is usually a gimmick designed to encourage or even trap users into paying more money for an upgrade.

We should make it clear that not all backup providers operate in such an underhanded manner, which is why checking out reviews before committing to a service is important. A minor but related detail; the level of customer support one may receive is usually tied into the plan they are using.

So the bare basic unlimited data plan may get you no more assistance from support outside of a pointed suggestion to upgrade to a more expensive service.

2. The First Time Always Takes Forever

This next con is really something most people absolutely new to online backup (unlimited or otherwise) generally don’t see coming. So let me say this clearly: The initial upload of files will take a really long time. Why so? Well, it depends on:

  • How much data is being backed up
  • How fast upload speeds are
  • How good the online backup service is (at actually doing its job)

Of course, everyone will have a unique experience with their first backup, seeing as all three points noted above vary from computer to computer. Either way, the point is to chill out and find something fun to do while your initial backup takes place.

3. I Spy with My Little Eye…

The NSA, hackers, activists and advertisers are all groups with a vested interest in other people’s data. And depending on:


The integrity and privacy of customers’ data may be compromised. A lot of major companies do actually sift through the files and folders uploaded onto their servers.  A prime example would be Dropbox, which still refuses to divulge how it sniffs out underage pornography, which in turn has led to the arrest of several pedophiles subscribed to the company.

NSA
NSA Spyware©

99% of people have no real need to worry, security protocols are usually more than decent, but if your data must be absolutely private and only in your control, consider a zero-knowledge service.

4. Everything With a Beginning Has an End

Sometimes, companies don’t survive the cutthroat world of online backup. They simply close shop due to:


  • Mismanagement
  • Lack of customers
  • Innovative Development
  • Momentum
  • Various other factors

Sometimes, the worst simply happens. Take the recent closure of Wuala as an instructive example. There’s nothing anyone can really do about this particular bite to the backside, it truly comes out of nowhere.

Unforeseen circumstances like sudden closure is why we here at Cloudwards.net advice a local backup, in addition to an online solution. Better to be safe than really, really sorry.

5. Pretty Freaky Accidents

Sometimes… a data center gets hit by four consecutive lightning strikes. That’s not a made up scenario, it actually happened to Google recently. Although it barely affected even one percent of the data center’s total server population, there was a tiny bit of permanent, non-recoverable data loss.

Lighting strike
Lighting strike©

Freak accidents are pretty rare, but they do happen and sometimes, data just simply vanishes from the grid.  And nothing can really be done to get it back.  

5. The Limitations

Now, while an unlimited backup provider may even happily give away terabytes of storage space, they do have some pretty annoying limitations thrown into the mix, just to throw off customers who don’t know any better.

These limitations generally breakdown into the three following categories:


  • Bandwidth
  • File size limitations
  • File retention

A provider can slow down the amount of available bandwidth, especially on starter or cheap plans. They’ll also limit the size of files a person can upload at once. Finally, they’ll delete older files after a while.

Crashplan Bandwidth Throttle

The three big whoppers to watch out for when dealing with unlimited online backup are very common, and affect the best to the worst providers. Most decent providers will find the right balance between all three factors to ensure the best experience for their customers.


Now, finding a decent backup provider becomes the issue at hand, which luckily enough can be solved through checking out reviews and user opinions. Both of which we have available right here at Cloudwards.net.

You can also always e-mail us with any questions concerning any particular backup up provider you may have set eyes on.

Do you have any unexpected backup failure stories to share? Feel free to do so in the comments below.

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