The whole idea of switching to online backup is that it should be safer and easier than bothering with backing up your data on disks or an external hard drive. But if it’s not going to do that for you, then there’s not much point, is there?
That’s why it’s important to know some of the basics about how to choose your online backup service before you get started. There are a number of factors to consider and no provider that is universally the best. So here’s some of the stuff to look at:
1. Security- Whether you’re storing financial records or years and years worth of family photos, the loss of your data would be pretty devastating, which is of course why you’re backing it up in the first place. The security measures taken by most of the reputable online back-up services are more than enough, and so while this is the most important thing, it rarely becomes a factor in your choice.
2. Price- This will probably be a lot more relevant. Unlike an external hard-drive, which is a one-time cost, online backup is a monthly expense and so the price can really add up over the years. Fortunately, there are a range of costs depending on which company you choose, how much information you want to back up and what other features and assistance you might want. So don’t just choose the cheapest service but make sure to know what’s important to you so that you don’t end up paying for more than you need.
3. Ease of Use- Most online backup programs will do an automatic backup once a day, so slight differences in the interface shouldn’t really impact your convenience too much. Mostly, the navigation and ease of use will be important when something goes wrong. You don’t want to be dealing with a clumsy system when you’re already in a panic about your computer crashing.
4. Customer Support- This is a similar factor to what’s above. You shouldn’t need to contact customer support unless something goes wrong. However, since online backup is there specifically for the times when something has gone wrong, good customer support is important. Make sure that the company’s website provides lots of information that you can easily find on your own and check out how accessible their support representatives are.
5. Features- For most people, the basic daily backup is what’s important. But if your computer is vulnerable or the documents you’re working on are particularly important, you may want to backup more frequently. Or you may want to choose specific information to take special care of. These kinds of options are definitely available, but aren’t universal. Check out multiple backup providers to get ideas of what kind of features you think might be particularly helpful to you, especially if you’re looking for an additional factor to help you choose between services that are otherwise equal.