If you’re looking to put an online backup plan in place soon, I’ve got a few thoughts for you. First the facts: redundancy is king and hard drives will fail. That being said, it’s smart to put a multi-level solution in place. I’m going to start with some thoughts on on-line backup solutions. Maybe a future post on hard drives…
Every couple of months I spend time reviewing on-line backup solutions. Not because I particularly enjoy it, but because I have clients that need a solution. I’m reluctant to just throw out that last solution I used because they all regularly tweak their features. When looking at a solution there are a few things that you should consider before you invest the time and money. Basically you have to decide what’s important to you and everyone has different needs…
- How long have they been around and are there adequate positive reviews for the products?
- Is the process automated once you get set up? Most are, but be sure. If it’s not, it makes it too easy to put off till tomorrow…
- Do you have to sign up for the whole year or can you pay month by month? Free trials are great, but once you’ve done that initial backup, which takes a long time, you may not want to do that again any time soon….
- What level of files are you looking to backup and how much control do you have within the folders. Do you have to back up the entire folder or can you select files within the folder? Does that matter to you?
- What type of support does the company have? Can you contact them via phone if you need help or do you have to work through on-line chat or email?
- Do you want the ability to access those files on multiple devices or do you just want a secure backup for when you need it? There’s a distinct difference between on-line backup and on-line storage.
- How many GB or TB do you need for backup and how much will it cost?
- Will it backup your music as well as your photos and other documents?
- What is the process to restore when you need to?
Know up front that pretty much any one of the on-line solutions will take quite a bit of time to do your initial backup. Sometimes many days. Turn off the “power save mode” during that period and it will go a little smoother. After the initial backup, subsequent backups should go relatively unnoticed except for a message advising you that it completed successfully.
My biggest piece of advise is to make the list of your must-have features and do your research.
There are a lot of things to consider and it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. I guess that’s a good enough reason to have lots of options. Believe me there are many.