Friday, March 11, 2016
Online File Repositories Are Not Cloud Backup Solutions
Let us get started by examining Dropbox as an example of the many available online file repositories. As Wikipedia explains, "Dropbox is a file hosting service... that offers cloud storage, file synchronization, personal cloud and client software"; however, nowhere in that description is there any notion that it automatically backs up all your computer's data. Instead, Dropbox allows users to create a special folder on each of their computers, and Dropbox synchronizes the documents that the user puts into that folder so their accounts appear to contain that same content regardless of which device is used to view it, including laptops, desktops, smartphones, tablets and Dropbox.com itself.
Other options for online file repositories include Box, Google Drive, iCloud Drive, OneDrive, SpiderOak and SugarSync, all of which function similarly but with some variations. The bottom line is that each of these solutions will save the documents you select to the cloud. Period. That's it. They do keep those documents easily accessible across all your devices, but the file syncing is limited to documents and only those documents that you specifically choose.
Alternatively, a cloud backup solution provides you with a different set of services. When you create your account, you are walked through installing the solution on your computer, at which time you tell it which types of content to save for you, including photos, music and all your irreplaceable files. Then, all your files will be backed up automatically to the cloud; it's a set-it-and-forget-it solution for automatic and continuous backup of all content. Nothing to remember, no scheduling and no need to plug anything into your computer for saving your data. With your files safely stored in the cloud, should your computer crash, get infected with a virus or be stolen, you can get your data back anytime with a simple restore, and you can access your content anytime via any Internet-connected computer or mobile device.
Options for cloud backup solutions include Backblaze, Carbonite, CrashPlan and Mozy, all of which function similarly but offer varying deals so you can get the solution that saves you the most money while meeting your needs for amount of data to be saved. The bottom line is that each of these solutions will enable you to safely and securely keep an automatic backup of all content on your computer running continuously without your manual involvement.
There are reasons to utilize both of these types of resources. Actually, many of my clients use multiple online file repositories so they can maximize the amount of free storage offered by each and, then, search between their databases with Citrix ShareFile Quick Edit or CloudCube. No matter which approach you choose, please keep in mind the differences between these tech tools and don't implement an online file repository as your cloud backup solution.
Do you use an online file repository? If so, which do you prefer? Do you use a cloud backup solution? If so, which do you prefer? How do you see these solutions differing from one another, and how do you see them complementing each other? Share your experiences.