How to Back Up your Computer Files?

In this fast-forwarding time, no one can predict, clear cut, that what will happen next? More care is required, especially when it comes to making any such speculations regarding one of the most important digital assets. Data being the most important and vulnerable digital asset, asks for contagious protection.

Obviously, no one can stop the fore coming unfortunate event, but steps to lessen its impact can surely be taken. In this perspective, what rescue plan will else be appropriate other than a backup solution? Though calamities like storage device failure, natural disaster or power surge are beyond our control, making plans to diminish their impacts is surely in our control.

Irrespective of the extent of loss, a backup solution will let the user recover every bit of the lost files and folders. It is just a primary face of the backup software, but in reality, they have a lot to offer. Begin with backing up the computer file before some calamity knocks off, and you’ll have nothing except to regret over having no backup of important files.

Methods to Backup Computer Files

The choice for an appropriate method depends on the area of application. It is very hard to pick one method and call it the best one. Following is the brief explanation of all the popular methods to backup computer data:

Backup Files to OneDrive

The method of performing a backup to OneDrive is quite useful for the Windows users as anyone with the Microsoft account, can get 5GB of free OneDrive cloud storage. Furthermore, it has integrated itself with the file manager and Windows Explorer on the PCs. So, by this, users will just have to drag important types of files from the parent destination and drop it into the OneDrive file directory.

Internet connectivity is a must thing to reap the full benefits of such an exciting backup method. As soon as internet access is lost, file systems and single file sync will stop and whatever will user add into the OneDrive folder, won’t be synced until and unless internet connectivity gets restored.

If a user enjoys this backup method and finds that 5 GB isn’t enough, then the user can subscribe to the Office 365 bundle, where he or she will get 1 TB of OneDrive storage along with access to the rich features of the MS Office such as Microsoft Word. But if the user needs storage just to backup important data, he or she may get 50 GB of cloud storage against the monthly payment of $2 only.

Dedicated Backup Service

Dedicated backup services are an excellent way to prepare backups of the important program files as their sole purpose is just to perform and manage data backups. Some critics argue that such specific filing backup services usually charge much more than other backup methods. With the financial perspective, yes, they do charge more but in the longer run, it gives the user peace of mind. A user won’t have to worry about the data, especially in the case where natural or technical calamities may knock the door.

These services usually have an app that can easily be installed over the concerned computer. As per the specified preferences, it will scan for the file format such as system images or important documents. Once found, it will then encrypt that data and send it to the cloud servers for safekeeping.

There are some online backup vendors available that also send backed up data in the hard drive to the user if his or her drive experience any sort of malfunctioning. It should be noted that this copy will be encrypted, and only the user will know about the key to decrypt the concerned data. Such facilities are an excellent way to recover data even if the damage was so collateral that the storage medium also got damaged.

Hard Drive Cloning

A lot of people confuse hard drive cloning with the hard drive imaging. But in reality, there exist a lot of significant differences. A cloned data will be the exact replica of the parent data, with no data compression. Furthermore, it can further be used to boot a computer. For example, if someone does cloning of the computer’s internal hard drive to some USB device, then once this USB device is plugged to the computer and the user chooses to boot from this device via BIOS, then he or she can run the Windows through this USB drive.

The only drawback of cloning exists in its processing time. Typically, it takes way longer than drive imaging to prepare a clone of the drive. Furthermore, a user can hold only one clone on a drive. So, in this way, if a user makes any change to the drive after cloning, then this change will not be reflected, in case any failure occurs, and data needs to be restored.

Hard Drive Imaging

Hard drive imaging is nothing but a compressed version of anything user has on the concerned drive. It may either be an operating system, settings or any important files. Unlike cloning, drive imaging lets the user manage multiple drive images on a single drive. It also supports incremental backups as well as differential backups.

In case of any data failure, this drive image can easily be sought to recover the data. For this, a recovery environment is required which can either be a built-in window or the one which the user has decided to create over the USB drive. To perform hard drive imaging, there is plenty of third-party software. However, for Windows operating system, the user can also take the help of the in-built imaging utility of Windows to perform hard drive imaging.

NAS System

Network-attached storage (NAS) is basically a group of storage device(s) that are connected to the network. Anyone connected to this network can use and access this network-attached storage. It has the capability to backup multiple computers at once and is basically user-personalised cloud storage. It can be integrated with the RAID 5 which lets a user create such a system where back up files will be retained even if PC’s drive gets failed or NAS gets down.

How to Backup a Computer to External Hard Drive?

Even though it may seem a great idea to gather all of the important files in one folder and let it reside safely over any local storage directory, but this is not true for every situation. With the growing influence of the Internet of Things, our data has been exposed to various vulnerabilities. Whether it’s a drive failure or system corruption or any cyber-attack, data is the only thing that suffers a lot.

In conventional planning, the most vulnerable one stands the right to be addressed on a priority basis. The same applies to data protection planning. In this case, data is the most vulnerable thing to lose, henceforth, it should be protected at first.

Although there are many ways to protect data and every method has its own pros and cons, data backup tools are the only sustainable and widely used data protection method. This is usually done with the help of various supportive local backup and Windows backup solutions. For instance, depending on the scarcity and importance of data, various storage methods are chosen. This may include local backups or online backup services such as cloud storage like Google DriveTime Machine and other backup and restore tools.

While all methods have their own characteristics, performing good backups on an external hard drive is still considered as the most traditional and simplest backup storage medium. There are various reasons due to which it has such an unprecedented popularity. First of all, it is very easy to use, just plug an external hard drive to the system, create a system image and copy it to the external hard drive in the same way as we copy files and folders to any other local storage directory. Secondly, it is extremely handy when it comes to backing up a huge volume of data having long file history. Besides that, instead of transferring a complete system image file, a user can also transfer directly important files and data to the external hard drive.

External hard drives come in various storage capacities, ranging from 10GB to 16TB. In this lieu, they are an ideal choice for anyone looking forward to backing up a complete computer system.

Steps to Backup a Computer to External Hard Drive

Owing to the simplicity and compactness of external hard drive, it is always recommended to prepare a backup copy of individual files on an external hard drive. For data enthusiasts, doing so is a kind of data insurance. It is so because in case the users lose their important data, then they’ll be able to retrieve their lost data. However, such retrievals are possible only if data has effectively been backed up.

It is an admitted fact that if nothing is handled professionally, then fruitful benefits cannot be reaped. Although there is a lot of third-party software to ease the process of preparing backups over an external hard drive, following are some of the generic steps to let the users do this on their own:

Step 1

The first step involves sorting out some of the pre-backup tasks. For instance, a user must know how much storage space will the subjected data take? This step is important in letting the user choose the appropriate external hard drive, in case the local drive fails.

Step 2

The next step is related to hard drive connectivity. Generally, external hard drives have USB connectivity. But it is important to check if it supports USB 3.0 connectivity or USB 2.0 connectivity? Then check what type of USB port does a user’s laptop or system has.

After getting done with the USB port identification. Just connect the external hard drive with the subjected system through the USB cable. As soon as it is connected, an acknowledgment bubble will pop up and automatic driver installation will begin. Once an operating system compatible driver has been installed, the external hard drive is all set to become operational.

Step 3

After setting up the hardware, the next step involves software installation. Usually, an installation CD or DVD comes along with the hard drive. Insert this CD or DVD into the CD/DVD-ROM and follow the installation steps to configure hard drive with the subjected machine.

However, it is not always mandatory that the software kit comes with the external hard drive. This thing depends totally on the manufacturer. Generally, modern external hard drives are sort of plug and play devices and no software installation is mandatory in their case.

Step 4

This step is a sort of execution type. In this step user is supposed to run the software or program, he or she has just installed. This is where the external hard drive will be configured with the subjected computer.

However, if a user cannot track the program, then search for the hard drive icon, click the start menu and find it. From here on, the user will be navigated to the hard drive’s dashboard and can monitor hard drives storage attributes and connectivity.

Step 5

In this step, computer backup will formally begin. In this step, the user is all set to copy the files into the external hard drive. Here the user can either send the system image file of the whole computer files, applications and system settings, or the user has three options to directly transfer specific data. In the first option, the user may just simply drag and drop the subjected files and folders onto the external hard drive window. In the second approach, the user can also copy the data by right-clicking the concerned folder and just send it to the connected hard drive. Thirdly, a user may also copy all of the concerned data by opening the hard drive window and simply paste all this selected data onto the drive. It must be noted that this step might take a longer time in completion than expected. Basically, it depends on the data volume and the system’s attributes.

Step 6

This last step is a sort of preventive one. In this step, once data has been copied, the user is recommended to disconnect or close the hard drive window. After this, safely remove the external hard drive. This step is often neglected but in reality, it is very important for the safety of the device and so does of data.

How would I Program a Backup Software?

In recent times, backup and restoration software has seen unprecedented growth. There are numerous factors which gave rise to such immense growth in their demand. The foremost factor was the increasing vulnerabilities of cyber-attacks, especially ransomware attacks, where exploiters steal users’ important data and lock them. This encryption gets unlocked when the user pays some ransom.

In most cases, it was seen that even after paying the ransom, the users could not get their data decrypted. It is very hard to track ransomware as they use highly sophisticated algorithms and blockchain technology to hinder their identity.

In addition to this, there are several other vulnerabilities such as drive failure, files and folders corruption, loss of system image or power surge which ultimately burns out the computer as well as a storage device. All such situations are pretty much avoidable and stern protections can be enacted to lessen their impact. However, realistically speaking, the impact can only be lessened but cannot be root out. Apart from data security protocols and enabling of system protection along with data encryption techniques, data backups are the only way to cut down such digital menace.

Even if the users experience any of the above-mentioned incidents, then they can stay assure that let the calamity get over and as soon as it ends, my data will be recovered. All this surety is just because of one thing, i.e. Backup tool that holds a copy of the lost data and ready to be recovered.

Backup Software

There are a lot of backup solutions in the market, but to reap the maximum benefits of the backup software, it is important to select the appropriate and efficient one. Following is the overview of some of the best backup utility.

Backup Everything

Backup Everything is an excellent multi-dimensional backup software, offering a range of cloud backup services for business environments and servers. It provides a cloud-based backup solution that is best suited for businesses, which lets them do data backups with incremental backups, backup files encryption, data security along with server protection.

The tool can easily be installed over the Windows, Mac, Web, SaaS, and cloud platforms. Backup Everything backup solution offers features like backup scheduling, backup logs, data encryption and compression, web access and restoration of individual files, as well as local and remote server options.

Backup Everything provides a free trial to let users experience the unique features of the tool and then start performing regular backups by subscribing to economical packages starting from £5.

Acronis Backup

Acronis True Image backup is an easy yet fast backup solution for catering to various backup needs of the users. Acronis backup solutions are best suited for physical, cloud and virtual environments. The tool is an excellent choice for those distributed IT environments that seek centralized management and easy data protection along with an all-in-one hybrid backup solution.

Acronis cyber backup solution ensures the 15-sec RTOs, complete data protection, and automated data recovery. The backups are designed to remain safe from any ransomware attacks and can easily be controlled over the data location.

Acronis backup solution is compatible with the Mac and Windows devices, Cloud, web and SaaS platform as well as iOS and Android native. They have the rich features of backup log and scheduling, continuous and incremental backups, web access for data monitoring and recovery, cloud storage backup, create backup data compression and encryption. The tool also has an exciting feature of remote and local server portability.

Acronis backup solution has a wide range of subscription plans. It offers 1 to 3 years of subscription along with the 1-time perpetual license. The tool also offers free versions to let the user get used to their interface and functionalities.

EaseUS Todo Backup

EaseUS Todo Backup is a tremendous backup utility for those individuals and businesses who want to perform on-premise full backups management with secure data transfer. The tool is even capable of letting users recover their lost system files and other data from the hard drive and all this with the tool’s exceptional data protection protocols. Furthermore, its backup solution will perform data backups on a daily basis so as to enable users to recover the latest versions of their lost files.

EaseUS Todo Backup is compatible to be used with the Windows devices only. Its prime features include backup scheduling and logging, incremental and continuous backups, cloud backups and easy web access along with the highly sophisticated and secure data storage.

The tool offers a range of subscription packages so as to accommodate a maximum number of clients. The basic package starts with the annual payment of $29 on the basis of per-user usage.

Paragon Backup & Recovery

Paragon Backup & Recovery is an excellent backup software for preparing the whole disk’s backup or the backup of any specific storage partition(s). It has the capability to backup subjected directories and files in various virtual image formats.

Paragon Backup & Recovery also enables users to protect their backed-up data via password access. It supports incremental backups and there also exists a user-customized data compression feature. With this feature, the users can decide how much data splitting should be done so as to cater to the subjected backup.

Users can also choose the set of files and directories which they want to exclude from their backups. Not only backups are easy, but the recovery is streamlined too. Just select the backup image and choose the destination drive and let data recovery to commence.

Paragon offers a free trial period to let users experience the exciting features and see if the tools suit them or not. Afterward, users can upgrade the subscription as per the backup requirement.

Do I really need to Backup my Mac?

Everyone worries about the safety of their personal belonging and never want to fall in a situation where they will ever lose them. In today’s paradigm, data isn’t less important than jewellery or any other precious personal belonging. In this lieu, there is a need to protect the data in the same way as we protect other precious items.

Consider the situation where one will be saving all of his or her important data on the local storage of the Mac device. All of a sudden something happens, and all these memories and local backups vanish away like an ash.

This thing indeed fires up enough motivation to back up the data in the Mac device. Because it is the only way to prepare for any sort of digital disaster. In case of any disaster, it will act as the first line of action during post-disaster measures. Not only will it be offering rescue plan but will also make sure that users stay assured that their data will always remain accessible, even if something unfortunate happens.

Methods to Backup Mac Device

After ascertaining the importance and need for Mac backups, it is vital to know of the methods to reap the exciting benefits of data backups. There are basically four backup utilities to make up for the backup needs of the Mac users:

Time Machine

Being the built-in backup utility for macOS and iOS devicesTime Machine backups are the easiest yet simplest backup utility for Mac devices. Users will have to do nothing except to connect the external hard drive or any other external storage medium to the Mac device. After this, everything will be done in the total autonomous manner.

As soon as the user will plug in the subjected storage device, Mac’s menu bar will prompt the user to the Time Machine and from there, the user will just need to specify the backup preferences. User can even select the backup frequency as well as schedules on the Apple menu of the Time Machine.

Furthermore, the user may also select the folders and specific directories to be backed up. Time Machine is basically a sort of fire and forget stuff where the user will just need to initiate the backup plan and rest will be handled by the Time Machine itself. It is so handy that the user never has to think again about the backup until and unless backups are deleted.

It is not only a data backup utility but also a data recovery utility. Time Machine can let users restore important data, back in a specific time. It does not matter if the user loses the device or file gets corrupted, Time Machine will take care of everything. Just set up a new device or restore it to the system version and plug in the backup drive. Depending on the data volume, the user will get his or her old data in the same place as it were before the concerned calamity.

Backup Everything

Backup Everything is an incredible backup solution for Mac devices. The backup solutions are not storage oriented and thus give unlimited cloud storage to every subscriber. Being the cloud backup solution provider, Backup Everything solutions enable users to remain connected to their data, irrespective of their geographical location.

For the single computer backup, Backup Everything charges monthly payment of £5 along with free setup and support as well as regular email alerts. In another package, the tool offers cloud backups for up to 5 computers and for this, charges £10 per month. It must be noted that both packages offer unlimited cloud storage.

Backup Everything backup solutions offer web access, data compression, data encryption, and user-customized retention policy. The tool also provides hybrid backups, scheduled backups, ransomware protection and backups for virtual machines.

SuperDuper

Though it is a third-party backup disk utility, it works as if it is made to fulfill the backup needs of the Mac users. For the more sophisticated users, it can dig deep into the data backups. It’ll first ask the user that what does he or she wants to backup and where does it want to copy. Sophistication handling does not stop here, it will keep on checking the backup contents to stay assured that it is what the user wants and everything is going as per the user’s specifications.

If a user wants to copy a specific folder to any external hard drive, then just plug in the concerned storage drive and select backup. SuperDuper will commence backing up the data within moments.SuperDuper offers a free version for Mac developers. But generally, it is recommended to buy the paid version. Users may upgrade to the paid version at the rate of $27.95. The paid version will have a scheduling feature. This feature will remember the backup for the user, rather than making a user remember backups.

Carbon Copy Cloner

Although Carbon Copy Cloner may seem to be a bit more complex than SuperDuper, but realistically speaking, this complexity rewards the user with better functionality. It really depends on the personal preference of the user, but for the ones looking for great functions, there cannot be any better option than Carbon Copy Cloner.

It has the capability to run multiple short and long-time backups in one row. This multi-backup feature is known as the task chaining. With the perspective of apps, it is an extremely handy thing, especially in the condition where the users know what type of backup do they want.

Once everything is set up, just let Carbon Copy Cloner do its task and it will perform backup without further disturbing the user for anything. Carbon Copy Cloner is compatible to work with the macOS 10.10 or later.

ChronoSync

Every backup utility tends to do what people need the most, that is, a safe and autonomous backup that does not let the users keep track of any changes or prompt them to change anything.

However, if someone needs flexible and rigorous backups along with the job to backup other people’s data, then there isn’t any better choice except ChronoSync. It is basically not an app which user can install and launch and consequently documents will be backing up. It may usually take a minute or so to let ChronoSync set. After this, the users can explore and utilize the various functionalities and features of the ChronoSync.

The reason it is different from other MacBook pro backup clients, such as iCloud storage and online backups, lies in its remote access. It may require configuration of some important settings and integration of numerous associated apps to remotely control the ChronoSync.

What is the Most Private and Secure Cloud Storage Service?

It is not always wise to trust anything so abruptly that one may regret it. When it comes to data protection and security, such trust issues are foreseen to arise. Just one bad decision and all of your finances, as well as trust investment, will go in vain.

Although cloud storage has created hype in the modern age’s IT and organizational structure, this does not mean that one must adopt it just to stay in the loop. Privacy and cyber-attacks are one of the prime hindrances to the proper enactment of cloud storage. It is so because public cloud storage is shared by many users and all subscribers save their data on the same servers, as all other public cloud subscribers are saving.

To cut this menace, the concept of private cloud storage is introduced. This type of cloud storage focuses exclusively on organizational needs and hence it is the ideal choice for enterprises.

In private cloud storage, companies or businesses can have their own dedicated cloud storage. Within that specified and customized cloud domain, no other subscriber can pool in their data. They offer in-house dedicated resources, self-service, customized control, and scalability. They are equipped with company firewalls and internal hosting to further enhance data security.

Private and Secure Cloud Storage Services

As it has already been conveyed that nothing should be trusted blindly. So, in order to be wise enough to choose the most secure and private cloud storage, all security features should be explored.

It must be noted that keeping in view the client’s expectations and importance of business data, almost all private cloud storage solution uses highly sophisticated 128-bit and 256-bit encryption algorithms.

There are different cloud services available today for getting private and secure cloud storage, and it mainly depends on the choice of the users to select the one that fits their requirements. The following are some of the popular cloud-based service providers that not only provide private cloud services for business but are secure too.

Amazon Cloud Drive

Being the most popular e-commerce business in the world, Amazon cloud storage space has a lot to offer for private cloud aspirants. It provides a secure, user-friendly, reliable and easily accessible platform for data storage. Amazon password protect cloud drive can easily be accessed over Windows, Linux, iOS, macOS, and Android.

Keeping in view the storage needs of the companies, Amazon Cloud Drive has set its cloud storage rates with respect to per GB allocation. The service offers different tiers of storage with the range between 5 GB to 1 TB. A user can get 100 GB storage capacity for just $19.99 per year, while for 1 TB storage capacity, the user just has to pay $59.99 per year.

Apple iCloud

Upon initial subscription, Apple iCloud offers 5 GB of free storage. But since, 5 GB is nothing for the businesses so they can upgrade their storage preferences upon subscribing to different plans offered by iCloud, such as 50 GB is for just $0.99 per month, while 2 TB is of just $9.99 per month.

Apple iCloud Drive is not just cloud storage, it is instead an Apple’s wireless service too. Through these wireless services, the users can synchronize their email services, important files and can perform certain other business data backups.

It must be noted that going for an Apple iCloud Drive is an excellent option if your business or private usage employs mac devices. Otherwise, Apple’s excellent encryption, two-factor authentication, and reliable knowledge encryption provision would not be of any beneficial use.

Google Drive Enterprise

Google Drive Enterprise is an excellent choice for businesses looking to have private and highly secure cloud services. This ease of collaboration and smart cloud service offers great interoperability to the MS Office 365 and other suite products.

With the employment of Google Drive Enterprise, users can enjoy unprecedented control over the privacy, migration, and compliance of their business data. With Google Drive Enterprise automatic syncing, the user can stay assured that everything is being backed up and is consistent over all connected devices.

Another exciting thing about Google Drive is its easy access for shared files and collaborative features. This feature is very important in lieu of business and organizational setup because any content made by one team member can easily be shared with other team members. The team can then collaborate on that document or file and hence files sync becomes digital and smarter.

Google Drive Enterprise provides customizable plans for businesses where the estimated price for 1 user with 10 GB storage is $6 including Google’s exceptional encryption and handy security features.

BOX

BOX cloud service is designed exclusively for the business collaborations and to assist corporate workflows. For instance, BOX business edition lets the user customize the permission mechanism by specifying which person can access your files, view or edit the robust permission enabled files.

In addition to this, the business version of the BOX integrates a lot of work programs and allied cloud storage services. This includes the integration of BOX cloud for enhancing the online workspaces as well as mobile workflows. Furthermore, BOX private cloud services also offer access to other highly encrypted and secure business mobile apps.

BOX cloud services can easily be accessed over the Windows, macOS, Android and iOS devices. On just paying $17.30 per month, user can get unlimited secure cloud storage.

SpiderOak

SpiderOak cloud service is specially meant for business purposes and is secure enough to save the business from any collateral loss. SpiderOak provides ransomware protection, disaster recovery, and end-end encryption to let the users stay assured of the safety of their data.

Keeping in view the huge storage requirements of the business, SpiderOak offers 150 GB for $6 per month and for 2 TB, the price goes to just $14 per month. But there is one downside of using SpiderOak and that is the slow data center uploading and downloading rate. But critics argue that this speed is still better than most of the enterprise private cloud service providers.

SpiderOak cloud services can be accessed through the highly secure client end software. These special security arrangements make them highly private and secure.

What is the Best Way for Long-term Data Storage?

Whether it’s the media files of a memorable family trip or the important business data, no one can predict the time for which it may last. We might think that once digital data has been stored over the internal hard drive then it will remain there for an infinite period of time. But we must not forget that every material thing has a life and with the passage of time its life as well as performance deteriorates.

A question arises that if this is the case with a storage device, then how can someone be sure that their important data will always remain available to them? This question becomes more sensitive, especially where technological advancements have resulted in the obsoletion of certain storage devices. For example, we have seen floppy disks becoming obsolete. Now imagine that what might have happened to the data on the floppy disk which hasn’t been transferred to some other storage device such as external drive.

Since modern computers no longer support floppy disks, so what that has been stored there, is now inaccessible. The same is the case with CDs and DVDs as today’s laptops do not have in-built CD/DVD-ROM. But in this lieu, the situation isn’t as bad as that of the floppy disk because a user can still use CD or DVD by using an external CD/DVD ROM.

How to Ensure Long-term Storage?

From the above literature, it is very much clear that the life of f must be kept in mind. It should be the mandatory factor that needs to be taken into account while choosing the storage media. No one can predict that when he or she will feel the need to access the data.

Long term data storage will not only ensure the on-the-go access to the data, but it is also true in case of managing the backups and disaster recovery plans. In either of the situation, long term storage does have a very strong standing. In lieu of these concerns, the following are some of the best ways to ensure long term data storage:

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage is indeed the best way to store data for a longer period of time. By opting for cloud storage, the user will get high-quality data security as well as reliable data storage. Data protection is ensured with the employment of end-to-end encryption.

Generally, all cloud service providers provide few GBs of free storage to the clients to see if this works fine for them or not. This storage capacity can be upgraded by paying some premiums. A client just needs an internet connection and all of his or her data will be stored in the cloud.

One of the prime reasons for which cloud storage is recommended for managing long term storage is their remotely located storage mediums. Furthermore, they make redundant copies of the user’s data on multiple servers, over different locations. This technique ensures that user data will always remain accessible and will remain on their server as long as the user remains subscribed.

External Hard Drives

External hard drives are an excellent way to store and access important data for a longer period of time. A user just needs to copy the important files on the connected disk drive in the same manner as we copy files to some other folder. Hard drives are commonly known as the primary storage medium.

Although, they have wired connectivity, but recently wireless hard drives have also been introduced. They usually have a minimum life span of eight years. However, their life depends largely on the manufacturing brand and the nature of usage. Eight years isn’t a definite lifetime, instead, they keep on working for a longer period of time if used carefully.

CDs or DVDs

Although preparing data backups on the optical discs seems to be quite an old-fashioned way, but still, they are a feasible way to retain data for a longer period of time. A single CD can store data up to 700 MB, a single unit of DVD can store data of 4.7 GB, and the consumer level Blu-Ray disks can store data up to 25GB.

Another advantage is their economical price range. But their low shell life tends to decrease their relevance for long-term data storage. However, recently Sony has made a claim that their Blu-Ray disks are capable of sustaining the life span of over fifty years. It must be noted that if this claim is to be believed, even then such high performance disks will not be for domestic use. Furthermore, how life longing can it be? Obviously, any disk media can crap out. But they can be an excellent secondary storage medium as they enjoy the average lifespan of at least five years.

Flash Drives

Flash Drives are also known as USB drives. They are currently more expensive than an external hard drive or optical storage drives. But since they do not have any moving part, neither are they as crappy as CDs, so users can trust them for a longer life span.

USB manufacturers claim that their flash drives are capable enough to store data at least for ten years. However, tech reviews say that their memory cells can deteriorate if they are left unpowered and idle for a long time.

Whatever critics say, there is no doubt that they are the smartest and handy data storage devices. For example, imagine carrying 50GB of data on 10 DVDs, and the same amount of data on 4kg external hard drive. Whereas the same amount of data can easily be stored in the finger size USB drive.

Final Note

Choosing the best long-term storage device is quite a tricky job to do. It is because this choice depends entirely on the area of the application and preferences of the user. For being on the safer side, it is always recommended to store data over two or three different storage mediums. So that if one fails, others should have the data.

How Secure is our Data in Online Cloud Backup Services?

There is no doubt in regarding business data as the most vulnerable and important digital asset. From individuals to business tycoons, copies of the data have their own importance. Seeing the importance of data security, a user has the legitimate right to raise concerns about the security of their data in the online cloud backup solution. But reviews and customer feedback suggest that cloud backups are as safe as any other online storage platform. But for this, it is mandatory that the user should take necessary precautionary measures.

Upon checking with the major cloud backup service provider, it was found that they employ an encryption algorithm to protect the user’s data on the cloud network. This encryption is done through a secure socket layer internet connectivity, commonly known as SSL. These files remain encrypted as long as users want them to reside on the cloud network.

A user can rely on the data encryption because cloud services use an invulnerable encryption algorithm, mostly either AES or Blowfish. These encryption algorithms make sure that data remain inaccessible without the input of the encryption key. Some people question how can data be secured with the enactment of encryption, especially when the service provider will have access to the data or knows about the user’s personalized encryption key? Well! Realistically speaking this is not the case. The service provider does not have any access to the user’s encryption key. The privacy of the user’s data is always kept a top priority and that’s the reason that only the user has access to the data uploaded in the cloud.

How Cloud Backup Services are Secure?

Keeping in view digital vulnerabilitiescloud service providers employ multi-layered security to protect user’s data. The following are some of the summarised points that will further explain the security level of data on cloud networks.

Additional Safety

There are a lot of risks if someone has saved his or her data on an external hard drive or tape drive and haven’t prepared backups. There can be many situations like an operating system or hard drive failure, accidental deletion, data corruption or power surge, where data can be lost temporarily or permanently.

In such circumstances, online cloud backup services, doing incremental backups or full backups, are nothing less than a blessing in the disguise. By having cloud stored backups, users can stay assured that their data will remain protected and nothing can hamper their access to the important data.

Encryption Technology

Despite being ultra-secure, many people misunderstand online backup services for having zero or low standard data protection. But in reality, it is not true. The best online data backup solutions employ twice as secure encryption as prominent payment vendors like PayPal and Mastercard employ. Generally, mainstream payment gateways use 128-bit encryption algorithms to ensure safe and sound financial transactions. On the other hand, best online backup services use a 256-bit efficient encryption algorithm. This is the reason they are so sure in making claims that nothing can hinder the integrity of the user data and there will be no data loss on their servers.

It must be noted that this encryption is not only done when data is stored on the cloud network, but also the encryption algorithm will be applied during uploading the data on the cloud storage and downloading from there to the recipient device.

Physical Security of the Cloud Backup Servers

Best cloud backup vendors not only invest in making their networks secure, but they also invest in ensuring state of the art physical security of their data centers. Their data center building is well guarded, has restricted access for unauthorized people and access points are vigorously checked. Not only server vicinity is under contagious surveillance, but the server equipment, server racks, and all other disk drives are also meticulously locked.

The data centers will be physically secured and are designed while keeping in view any possible emergency or calamity. For instance, nearly all of the server rooms are equipped with adequate cooling mechanisms to save hardware from getting heat up and from any possible harm due to this internal heating. They also have an uninterrupted power supply to let them ace through any situation of a power outage. Such measures tell that cloud service providers understand the importance of data for the end-user and take every possible step to let their clients access data hassle-free.

Multiple Hard disks and Locations

Top online backup service providers usually manage multiple data servers at various geographical locations. User’s files and folders will be copied to at least one other hard disk at a different location and so does the server. In this way, they ensure data redundancy and make sure that irrespective of any technical or natural issue, users should always be able to access their data.

Reliability of Cloud Backup Services

Cloud backup services are highly reliable when it comes to data security, privacy and long-term remote data storage. Checking reliability is basically a sort of pre-application step, but if someone is looking forward to having his or her backup copies safe on the cloud network, this step is mandatory to be taken into account. So, in order to do so, one should properly check the reputation and service review of the cloud service provider. It is mandatory to check their background that when did they started their operation and how many clients do they have. This is important in assessing the market cover as well as the technical capabilities of the cloud backup firm.

It is always recommended to choose the firm which has good market standing and has been in this cloud business for long. By this not only can users stay assured that their investment in data backups and security will give them valuable outcomes, but it is also important to let the users enjoy world-class cloud backup services.

What is Cloud Storage? How is the Data stored on the Cloud?

One of the great things that technology has bestowed us with is cloud technology. With the rapid increase in data volume and scarcity of space, this was indeed a much-needed tech development. This is the reason cloud technology has seen immense growth since its inception. From internet banking to the large IT infrastructures, everyone employs cloud storage services to increase the security as well as data integrity prospects of their digital stakes.

In addition to this, there are a lot of applications where we do not notice the presence of online storage. But in reality, it is cloud technology which is ensuring the sustainability of such applications. One such application is the music and video streaming sites such as Soundcloud and Netflix. We do not need to download the movie or music on our device. Instead, we just need to login to our account and all available media files will readily be available to us. Other eminent applications are Google DriveiCloud DriveDropbox BusinessMicrosoft Office 365, email servers, and many other cloud based platforms. These platforms have their dedicated mobile apps to give users an easy access to their data. All of these compact solutions are possible today just because of the cloud storage technology.

What is Cloud Storage?

As it is said that to understand anything, one should first know about its roots or foundations. The same applies here, so in order to know about cloud storage, it is mandatory to first establish the understanding of cloud computing. Cloud computing is basically a synonym to far-flung data centers that can be accessed through the internet. Generally, cloud computing works on the concept of virtualization. This concept further provides the basis for virtual machines. Virtual machines are created with the help of software which segregates the memory, power, and storage of the subjected machine into various smaller units. Each of these smaller units will be running its own operating system. This concept allows the computing resources to be shared and accessed efficiently by every connected device or third-party apps on the cloud network.

Being a subset of cloud technology, cloud storage is also a sort of real time remote storage. Such storages bare users from the formalities and hassle of managing on-site storage mediums. The clients or business users will just need to send the photos and videos or any other data to the server of the cloud service provider. This data will then be stored over the remotely located storage mediums.

Generally, cloud storage systems encompass hundreds of data servers which are closely linked with each other via the master control server. However, such scenarios can only be found in large and complex cloud data centers. Simpler one usually employs just one data server. Cloud storage systems ensure data security as well as integrity. It is so because the user’s data will remain safe on the remote location and if anything happens to the local storage device or locality, data will remain protected. Thus, enabling the user to enact secure and hassle-free data backups. Furthermore, cloud storage is an excellent way of optimizing storage and making them reliable. Users will be paying only for what they have been consuming. Another exciting feature is the contagious security measures of cloud storage. It employs data encryption to save data from being hacked and uses two and three-factor authentication to abandon unauthorized access to the data.

Cloud Data Storage Process

There are multiple stages and procedures involved to let data be stored on the cloud platform. For cloud storage to be enacted, there is a compulsion of having at least one data server. This data server should then be equipped with internet connectivity. The user will send the subjected file to that data server through the internet. This file transfer activity can either be done manually or automatically. After being stored in the data server, this file or data is then forwarded to multiple servers so as to increase the redundancy. After this, data gets successfully stored on the cloud network and can then be accessed online. This is the simplest working mechanism of any cloud storage. But generally, cloud storage employs multiple data servers to increase file sharing capabilities and to let you access your files. This is done to provide alternate access to the data if one of the data servers is down or under maintenance. For example, AWS Cloud has about fifty-five availability zones, spanning over eighteen regions. It is done just to ensure that their clients should always be able to access their data and no work gets hindered just because of any technical issue. So, in short, cloud storage provides a completely reliable, user-friendly, secure and technological advanced data storage environment.

There are various ways to access and use cloud storage resources. Generally, they can be accessed by the end-user using the web interface of the cloud service provider. Cloud resources can be provisioned to the users who specify their storage capacity and that capacity is prepared in advance of the service. On the basis of this mutual settlement pertaining to storage capacity, the user will either pay on a monthly or annual basis. These resources can also be provisioned if the service provider allocates resources on the basis of “as needed”. In such situations, payment is made on a per-usage basis.

It must be noted that there are other factors too on which payment depends. These factors include the required storage space whether unlimited storage or the limited one, service quality, scheduling mode, and other allied factors.

Cloud Backup Solutions for Home and Business

Since the inception of cloud computing, cloud backup solutions have gained unprecedented popularity. A backup plan is a great way to ensure data protection for both businesses and domestic users. No one wants to come across the situation where important data gets lost. There is no doubt in stating that backup solutions have got shiner polish with the integration of cloud technology.

Cloud backup services are an essential gateway to secure and convenient backups. They provide stern protection of data against various cyber-attacks, natural disasters such as floods, fires and earthquakes, and hardware malfunctioning.

The reason why they are so popular simply lies in their affordability, reliability, scalability, and file sharing-friendly environment. Being an off-site online backup service, the user’s data will always remain protected and safe. Furthermore, the user will incur much less cost as compared to the centralized management of an on-site backup mechanism. Businesses often experience growth and in this way, they need to upgrade their storage space too. Even this aspect is covered by cloud data backups as they offer one-click storage upgradation.

With too many benefits and exciting features of the cloud backups, they are a sure shot backup solution for all home and business backups aspirants.

Cloud Backup Solutions

It is an admitted fact that the selection of the right backup solution is a prerequisite for the enactment of the contagious backup strategy. Although there are a lot of providers of cloud storage services, it doesn’t mean that every vendor proves to be relevant to every scenario. In this lieu, it is mandatory that the user must check the features of prominent cloud service providers and then choose the one which is compatible with the aspired backup requirements:

Backup Everything

Backup Everything has the global reputation of providing rich backup solutions at a very low price. Whenever it comes to delivering the best cloud backups for the home and business users, no one can beat the reliability and affordability provided by Backup Everything. Following are some of the salient features of the Backup Everything backups:

  • Backup Everything backup plans are very much affordable. In the basic package, the tool charges 5 GBP per month with unlimited storage. However, for larger systems, the tool provides cloud backups with unlimited storage at the rate of 10 GBP per month for 5 computers.
  • Backup Everything has embedded 256-bit AES encryption in its backup solutions for securing users’ data effectively.
  • Backup Everything backup utility is compatible with both Mac and Windows.
  • Backup Everything offers file versioning, automatic backups, and ransomware protection to make backups more reliable.

Acronis

Acronis is providing a crash plan for small businesses and homes in over 145 countries with a customer toll of 5 million. It offers online backup solutions for individuals, businesses and many third-party service providers. The salient features of Acronis backups are as followed:

  • Acronis backup solution has the capability to backup data for multiple environments such as cloud, virtual, public or mobile devices.
  • Acronis employs cybersecurity technology in its backup solution. Due to this incorporation, the users can stay assured that their data will be safe from any cyber-attack.
  • Acronis has made the backup process so easy that the user can commence data backup by just three clicks.
  • Acronis cloud backup utility incorporates blockchain features to provide prevention against attacks on the archived files.

Backblaze

Anyone looking for low-cost b2 cloud storage backups, then Backblaze is an excellent option to go for. The tool has plenty of both business and home customers, having data of about 750PB on the company’s servers. Salient features of Backblaze backup utility include:

  • Backblaze has a very simplified pricing model for business customers and charges an annual amount of only $60 for each backup computer.
  • Backblaze has very strong ransomware protection. This includes the 30-day rollback capabilities where, if attacked, the system will be restored to the point prior to the ransomware attack.
  • Backblaze backup system offers easy to go sign up procedure with MS Office 365 and G-Suite.
  • For users who want to restore their backup data from some external hard drive, then Backblaze will send the drive to the user, anywhere in the world. Although the tool will charge some amount, but this amount will be refunded, once the user sends that drive back to the Backblaze.

Carbonite

Carbonite offers a wide range of backup solutions for the organizations as well as individuals. The tool has three popular backup solutions for catering business needs. It offers Carbonite Safe for managing backups of up to 25 computers, Carbonite Server for preparing backups of the business servers, and Carbonite Endpoint 365 for backing up the data of the MS Office 365 and endpoints. Carbonite backup solutions cost as low as $24 per month, including a one-month free trial period. The tool contains the following features:

  • Carbonite includes 128 bit and 256-bit AES encryption to ensure state of the art data protection.
  • Carbonite business backup plans are handy enough to provide HIPAA, GLBA and FERPA support.
  • Carbonite also provides customers with a server plan involving database backup, image backup, application backup, and bare metal restoration.

Cloudberry Lab

Cloudberry Lab holds expertise in providing backup services to the servers, endpoints, various business products, and cloud-based data in the SaaS applications. Cloudberry Lab allows its users to either manage their backups over the cloud or at local storage. The tool contains the following features:

  • Cloudberry Lab backup provides support to all major operating systems such as Linux, macOS, and Windows.
  • To ensure data protection, Cloudberry Lab backup solutions have 256-bit AES encryption keys with additional ransomware protection.
  • Cloudberry Lab backup plans give the users an option to choose either cloud or on-site storage location as their backup destination.

Final Note

Cloud backup should be made an essential part of business plans and also has a lot of benefits for home users too. It is so because on-site storage location requires physical space as well as the management of various network equipment, while in cloud backups, all this hassle is handled by third-party vendors. Furthermore, there will always be a risk of human mistake or natural disaster, as if anything happens at the location where a business or home is located, then that calamity will affect on-site backup too. Cloud backup being an off-site backup, saves the user from any such probability.

How to Download and Install Google Backup and Sync?

It is a usual practice to keep important files and photos on different devices. For instance, if someone is capturing memories on the phone, then his/her phone will be having all the pictures in the Photos app. If someone is working on the project, then everything will be saved on his/her desktop. By having important files on different devices, it is hard to manage them all in one place.

To confront this challenge, there is a very handy tool known as the “Google Backup and Sync”. Google Backup and Sync is an exciting tool to make files and photo protection more simple, reliable and quick. It does not matter if your data is scattered across multiple devices such as over workstation, mobile phone or even SD cards.

It must be noted that this tool replaces the Google Photos desktop uploader and Drive for Mac PC. This tool is compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems. It backups the files and photos so safely that they will no longer be trapped on the user’s multiple devices. Users will just have to select the folder they want to backup and rest will be taken care of by the Google Backup and Sync.

Downloading Google Backup and Sync

The first step in setting up the handy backup and sync mechanism for important files and photos is to download the Google Backup and Sync. Search on google and click on the search result, titled “Google backup and Sync-Free Cloud Storage”. In the next step click on the blue button having script, “Download Backup and Sync”. Once you click this blue button, terms and conditions will pop up on the screen. As soon as you agree on these T&Cs, you will be redirected to the downloading page. If the downloading does not start automatically, then click on the hyperlinked text “click here to retry”. After this, downloading will begin.

Installing Google Backup and Sync

After downloading successfully, the next step involves the installation of the application. It must be noted that there is a slight difference in the Windows installation and macOS installation. Following is the installation guide for both Windows and macOS users:

Installation for Windows Users

First of all, go to the folder where it has been downloaded. Click on the file named “installbackupandsync.exe”. A window will pop up which will ask for permission to make changes to the computer or the device. Click yes and after this installation will begin. After the installation has successfully been finished, it is recommended to restart the system so that changes can instantly be integrated.

Installation for the macOS Users

For macOS users, the first step is simply to locate the folder where the setup file has been downloaded. Open the file named “installbackupandsync.dmg”. Afterward, move the Backup and Sync to the Applications folder and then open the backup and sync application. Here the user will receive a warning where macOS will warn the user about the application as being downloaded from the internet. Simply click “open” and continue using the application.

Setting up Google Backup and Sync

After an application has successfully been downloaded and installed, there is the last step of setting it up. We have just seen that there is a very negligible difference between installation procedures for Windows and macOS. Furthermore, Google has also developed the application keeping in view both operating systems and hence it offers the same procedures for both. So, let’s set up Google backup and Sync in a general way.

As soon as the application is opened, it will ask the user to sign in with his or her Google account. To make this signup easier, sign in to your existing Google account from the web browser. As soon as this is done, Google backup and Sync will ask for permission to access the user’s Google account. Then click on the blue button stating, allow, at the bottom of the window. Once it is allowed and the signing process is completed, and the user’s Google account has been integrated into the Google Backup and Sync.

After this, close the browser and return to the Google Backup and Sync application. Here the user will see that different folders are being displayed. This is where the user is supposed to select the folder, which needs to be backed up and synced. Click on the option of “choose folder” and select the required folder. It must be noted that it should be done only in case if the user cannot see the folder in the auto-generated list of folders on the application window.

This handy tool also lets the users modify backup and sync preferences as per their requirements. For this, click the “change” on the bottom right corner of my computer window on the application. By default, it will back up and sync all files and folders. But it depends on the user’s storage space and backup needs that what size of data does he/she wants to backup.

To reduce the backup volume, the user can control the quality of the photos and videos, which are supposed to be backed up. Users can either select the option of high quality or original quality. Furthermore, Google Backup and Sync also gives the option to upload the media files to Google photos too. After making this choice, simply click the “next”.

In the next step, Backup and Sync will ask the user if he/she wants to sync Google Drive with the subjected computer? It depends on the user if he/she wants to sync or not. If a user wants to sync files then he/she will be required to specify the sync preferences and will need to click on the “start” on the bottom right side of the window.

After this, everything will be done automatically. However, the user may track the progress and can also update preferences by clicking on the backup and sync icon at the bottom right corner of the screen.