Online Backup Dilemna

Just about every day we see an advertisement in the paper, on websites and TV for cloud data backup. Files from our local computer get backed up to a site somewhere in the World via internet service. So if our computers crash; we should have good chance of getting back all our documents and photos from the Backup Online service.

Many vendors provide a great service that once we set it; we never have to look at it again. Most of us really get into a good habit of backing up to DVD or external hard drive for a few weeks then we get “too busy” to backup files. This is Russian roulette strategy. The day, the computer crashes and the owner cannot get their important work files, is the day they had wished they backed up. Too late then, the milk is spilled and there will be lots of crying. Why risk that situation. Act now.

There are plenty of choices on the market for getting a backup vendor to do this work for us. I will talk of a few with some points of strength and weaknesses.


SugarSync would be one of the most popular due to the added bonus of allowing the users to share a folder of 5GB free storage of files between multiple computers and mobile devices. Automatic backup of files work in the background on your pc and while changes are detected, a collection of these files are kept with 5 different versions in case you did not like the recent changes with the ability to go back 3 or 4 versions is available. The files are secured on the SugarSync server with 128 bit AES encryption. Anything over 5GB needed can be paid for and a ceiling on the amount of data allowed at the moment is 500GB.

Dropbox similar to SugarSync functionality, including automatic backup, share folders on computers and mobile devices, but only comes with 2GB free online storage. More can be purchased or if you refer people to their service, Dropbox will reward you with extra free storage. They use 256 bit AES encryption to protect the files, with the online file viewer comes the option of checking the storage status and email notifications to remind the user of status also. Dropbox also allows the user to allocate certain bandwidth to the backup, so other internet services are not hindered by the current uploading. Great service, a little more expensive than other leading vendors and only support available is by email.


clip_image005Mozy backup is a file backup service that is unlike the previous two companies in terms of access to file retrieval. For home users, that want a small online backup storage free or purchase some space in small quantities, the option to retrieve the files can only be done by purchasing a second licence. You cannot share the files like Dropbox or SugarSync. The desktop interface and online setup is easy to use even for the more computer illiterate people. A bonus Mozy has when backing up open files, such as email clients or documents that are currently being worked on, is the ability to back up all files open or close. Other clients do not have this facility. This is unfortunate if using a backup service to back up the email client such as Outlook, as it would be open most of the available computer time online.

These are just a few of the packages available, for better investigation use the free trials that they all offer to assess what is best for your needs.

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