Neglecting to back up files is never a wise idea. If you don’t have an external hard drive, you may be tempted to opt for an online backup system. While useful, online backup software comes with its share of glitches. Knowing what these hang-ups are before you decide to store critical information on the net is worth your time and attention.
Stating the Obvious
The Internet may seem like a solid and secure place, but this isn’t always the case. Some online backup sites are anything but secure. Storing your files on a site that’s unsecured isn’t the best course of action. To ensure that the site you choose is both protected and secure, ask about a company’s security features. If a site makes you hesitate in the least, find another site – there are plenty of online backup sites out there.
Another seemingly obvious problem with storing files online is that websites crash, go through maintenance modes, and some sites can even disappear overnight. If a site goes bankrupt, you will lose all of your files. If a site is not available when your system crashes, you won’t have access to stored data. All of these scenarios are unlikely, but websites are never a sure bet.
The Cost of Online Backup Software
Online backup sites are simple and easy to use, but this simplicity comes with a price tag. You can purchase an external hard drive for around $50 (some were more or less expensive at the time of this writing). You’ll also pay around $50 to store data and files online. The difference is that many online backup sites require a monthly payment.
So, in reality, an online backup system may seem thrifty, but this is not the case if you stumble upon a monthly fee site. Yearly fee sites are a much better deal. If you can afford an online backup site, go ahead and make sure that your files are protected. If not, an external hard drive will do the trick. Then again, one type of backup is never enough.
Double Backup Duty
As previously stated, an online backup site can fail. This is also true of any external hard drive. In fact, no backup system is foolproof, which is why it’s best to have at least two different backup plans. If you don’t mind the monthly or yearly fees, take the time to backup all of your files externally and online. Further, you can always copy files to CDs or to a USB key.
If the information that is currently stored on your computer is valuable to you, take the time to backup all of your files. Whether you decide to go with an online backup site, an external hard drive, or some other form of backup, understand that your system will eventually fail. When this happens, your files will be gone forever unless you find a way to back them all up. Online backup software does work, but be aware that these sites aren’t perfect.