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What Do You Need To Backup Online?

Feb 27, 2008
Deciding what information and data files you need to backup online can depend on a few things. The first thing to consider is that most online backup services give you a certain amount of storage either free as a trial, or a limited "starter" account for a small fee. The second thing to consider in choosing what to back up is to ask yourself "what data could you afford to lose if the inevitable actually happened?"

While there are many online backup service options to choose from, each level, or plan, usually has a free trial period. Plans can start out on the low end of about 100 megabytes. If you want additional storage, the subscription amounts will vary up from there, depending on the amount of storage space you'll require.

Regarding the amount of data you have, you might have to make a few choices about what vital data you really need to back up in order to stay under the storage limit if you're going with a smaller plan.

Something to consider: the type of data backup choices you make may also depend on the speed of your internet connection. If you have DSL or Cable high speed access, you'll be able to upload large amounts of data in a very short time. If you have a dial-up connection, however, uploading data will could be a slow and tedious process.

Most word processing documents and such are pretty small files, and you can back them up rather quickly no matter what your internet connection speed. If you're planning to back up entire databases, graphic files or large applications though, you may need to be much more selective if you're choosing a limited plan.

What you back up finally depends on whether or not an online service is your main method for backing up your data. If you already back up your data on company-owned or redundant servers, or just external hard drives at home and simply use the online service to access files when you travel, it's a relatively easy decision. You will just back up those few vital files that you think you'll need when you are on the road.

Ultimately, your decision on what data you need to back up will be determined by the cost of possibly losing any or all of it. If you own your own business, it may be wise to have someone take inventory of what you have stored on your machines, then ask the most pessimistic techie-types what would be the worst possible scenario that you would need to be prepared for, and which data is most vital.

In the event of a catastrophe, an online service makes a good primary backup option, and you should make sure that you back up all of your vital data no matter how long it takes. It's just safer that way. A remote service will be well away from any disasters in your local - along with your vital data.

So, what data can you afford to lose? For the little bit of time involved, and the small overall expense, (like the cost of a good cup of coffee per day) you can't afford not backing up your vital files. Especially if the life of your business may depend on it.
About the Author
Backing up your valuable data with an online service can be easier and less expensive than you might think. You can even try out one of these services for free to see how it works - and how it might benefit you and your business. To learn more, visit my blog at Remote Data Backup Controls .
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