There are many providers of online storage, offering cloud backup as a place to keep your files on their servers. The key message that they all repeat is that their servers are secure, and there has been little evidence to the contrary that they aren’t, as long as you are careful about using strong passwords and restricting access.

Free Cloud Storage

The providers offer various numbers of gigabytes of storage for free, or more space for a monthly or annual subscription. The more you need, the lower the cost per gigabyte. That storage can be useful in many ways for the typical computer user. From keeping a remote copy of your digital photo or music collection, or storing vital business data, having an extra copy is never a bad idea.

The key benefit of cloud storage is that the data is kept away from your business or property, so that if the worst happens and there is a fire or flood, you can still access those files or recent data. Using an automated update and synching tool means you will have the latest version of the data available. Another major benefit is that you can easily share particular files or folders, with family, friends or colleagues, without having to send large emails. That way if you work with people spread around the country or further afield, you can more easily share files or documents between a team, and manage changes to the files.

Access to Your Files

Most vendors offer 99.99% uptime as part of the service, which means that from time to time your files won’t be available. However, major outages are very rare, and most services store your data in multiple locations around the world so that if there is a serious failure, then you should still be able to access the files. Your local broadband provider or ISP having an issue is a more likely point of failure when it comes to accessing cloud data.
In addition, you can also access these files on any device like a smartphone or tablet, so if you’re out and about and need to show a photo or checking something on a spreadsheet, it will only take a second, making cloud storage a valuable tool for all.

 

Backing up data to the cloud – Recomendations

The following list is based on using these programs and installing and configuring them on clients devices. It’s not based on features or security.

1-Dropbox
Never failed me once in numerous years of continuous service. Very reliable, and easy to use. Prices have recently dropped to be much m competitive.

2-Google Drive
Very similar to Dropbox, however it’s not always smooth sailing on the very rare occasions that the Google drive connection between your computer and the server is disconnected. Pricing is however extremely competitive and very good value.

3-Sugar Sync
Best feature is the ability to select which folders to backup anywhere on your computer. Dropbox, Google drive and Onedrive all require the files to be in the one folder. Not competitively priced and the website interface is a step behind Dropbox.