As the entire technology industry moves from a closed, offline model to an open and online model, services that were once limited to the offline world are now becoming open to anyone, regardless of location or hardware. Online server backups are the best way to backup data, either for personal use or business security.
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Online Server Backup History
Ten years ago, online backups were limited to local servers or personal web space. To host copies of your server data, you needed direct access to online storage space, a large amount of bandwidth, and an FTP connection to send your data. The entire process was slow and bloated — the end user was responsible for the server’s maintenance, hosting costs, and the entire process of backing up, compressing, and uploading data.
Of course, this was simply a product of the time period. In the late 1990s server space was essentially limited to those that could afford to buy their own server. Hosting companies — at least easy-to-use hosting companies — generally didn’t offer full server backup packages and the amount of space on offer from free hosts was very small. While today you can simply purchase online server backup services, the old system required steady work and constant monitoring.
Over the last ten years, and particularly in the last five, the internet has been progressively moving away from the maintenance-heavy model of the past decade. Web 2.0 services pride themselves on ease of use, and browsers are moving away from deep features and massive services and moving towards interfaces that are easy to use. Online server backup services, like most other online services, are designed for simple use. This allows even the most tech-illiterate webmaster to backup their online data without having to worry about constant maintenance and technical limitations.
Using a Online Server Backup: Then vs. Now
What makes a server backup so simple today is that the process is nearly entirely automated. Using the advanced services on offer today, you can effectively cut the time required for a manual server backup down to just a fraction of what it used to be. Imagine it’s 1997 and you’re running a web server packed with important websites, landing pages and informational online products. To backup your server, you need to have your own computer, loaded with storage space and connected to the internet 24/7. You download and compress your data, and store it as a local backup on your home computer.
Today, you simply log into the control panel of your online server backup website. No need to configure your own remote web server, manually compress your data or any of those technical tasks. Instead, using a simple system, you can make a complete backup of your website, without having to spend money on your own home server or storage space.
The Costs: Local Backup vs. Online Server Backup
Local backups are, in the long-term, much more expensive than their online counterparts. In addition to this, they’re relatively limiting and constricted from a business standpoint. To backup your data locally, you need to purchase a new computer, have it running almost 24/7 – bringing in large power bills – and outfit it with a large amount of storage space. Add to this the costs of updating hardware and purchasing local backup software and you’re left with a solution that’s not particularly cost effective.
In addition to this, there’s a hidden cost of running your backups locally — the time cost. Spend time is a major currency for busy online professionals, costing them thousands of dollars per year. While a local backup server may seem like a good idea, it will end up costing you a great deal of time, while also limiting your physical location to the home office only.
Online server backup services are available from just $10 per month, making them a more affordable option not just in the short-term, but in the long-term. With a powerful PC costing upwards of $1000, even seven years of remote backup services are more cost effective than a single home backup system. In addition to this, with remote backup services you never need to worry about replacing hardware or updating software and system data — it’s all performed for you by the backup server company.
What to Look For: Finding a Good Online Server Backup Provider
There are hundreds of companies out there offering services similar to this, and many of them fail to provide the level of care and attention that’s required. However, by incorporating some selective tools into your search, you can find a online server backup provider that offers what you require and takes care of their service.
The first factor to keep in mind is the type of data you’re backing up, and the compatibility issues that could pop up from it. While many providers will have no problem backing up unusual or limited compatibility files, accessing them remotely may end up being an issue if the proper software isn’t installed on the online server itself.
Secondly, you should look at the level of security that the backup provider offers. Some providers will only ever backup your server data once, leaving you without a second option should the first backup fail. It’s wise to check for a company that leaves your data backed up on another remote server, limiting the chance of data failure or loss due to hardware damage or storage corruption.
Another security factor to consider is the levels of access that the company offers to you. If you’re dealing with a large backup provider, ensure that your data will be completely inaccessible to others on the server, especially if you’re storing important business data or confidential personal information on your server.
Online vs. Local: Which is Best?
As is clear by the lower operating costs, greater flexibility and superior hardware options, online server backup is a much more simple and powerful option than local server backup. Thanks to a much lower workload, vastly decreased long-term costs and remarkably simple interfaces, any webmaster that needs extra security and peace of mind should look at online backups to keep their online data safe.
Reduce the cost and complexity of server backups without sacrificing speed or reliability with SolarWinds cloud backup service.
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Cloud backup software from Carbonite helps protect your personal & business data from common forms of data loss.
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Azure Backup is a reliable and cost-effective cloud backup solution.
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Acronis Cloud Backup service formerly Acronis Backup to Cloud) is a secure, offsite cloud computer backup solution.
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BackupVault is a leading UK provider of secure, automatic online cloud backup solutions for businesses & schools.
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Secure Business Cloud Backup & Disaster Recovery Solutions from KeepItSafe – Fully managed with 24/7 support & customer service to help keep your critical data safe.
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SherWeb provides business customers with a one-stop shop experience for cloud solutions: servers, email, Office Apps and more.
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Nexetic Online Backup Server backups your servers’ files automatically to Nexetic’s secure cloud.
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Ahsay robust backup software for backing up VMware, Hyper-V, Office 365, Exchange, SQL to on-premises, datacenter, or cloud object storage.
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Stanislav Krotov is a technical writer with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of mobile application development and IoT technology. ( Moscow State University of M.V. Lomonosov )