We’ve reported a number of companies getting into the online data storage/backup game recently, including Carbonite, BT, AOL, Diino, and Streamload. Back in July it was Backup Awareness Month, though the primary reason for that was to get you to backup on a local hard drive.
So, this week’s “Yay or Nay” is online backup services. Are they worth investing your money and trust in, or should you invest time, effort and money into developing your own local backup routine?
The advantages of backing up online are that you don’t have to worry about the cost or storage of hard discs, optical discs or other systems, nor the software you need to do automated or incremental backups. You effectively let another company be concerned over the safety of your data. It’s also good to get your data backed up off-site, away from your computer.
The disadvantages are that your trust is put in another company, which could be prone to data loss, theft, hacking, and so on. You may have to pay a monthly fee, and you are also eating into your broadband bandwidth quota every time you upload and download files. If the company goes bust, what happens to your data? How reliable is a free service? You may also end up using more than one service because you have a lot of data to store.
Do you have to choose between one type of backup or the other, or should you used both? How important is your data to you?
Online backup/data storage services. Yay or Nay?