Backing up data is a critical process that must be carried out diligently and regularly to secure every component of a data system to guard against loss occasioned by error, theft, system failure or even a natural disaster.
Even at a personal level, individuals are increasingly looking for ways to backup their data safely whether it’s music, photos or confidential files.
The use of electronic data systems has come with inherent risks that can only be mitigated by having robust ways of retrieving copies of critical data when the original is lost.
A backup service is a method of storing data offsite using a service vendor so that in the event that the original is lost or stolen it can be restored using the backup copy.
The information is therefore protected and can be easily retrieved when needed. The process involves backing up the contents of local hard drives including files and folders on a regular basis.
Although backed-up data can be accessed physically, the use of cloud services makes it easy for clients to access their data remotely and quickly when the need to restore lost data arises.
The purpose of the backup is to recover the lost data in its original form.
The use of computers and other electronic devices requires security measures that ensure that whatever data is contained on them is safe. While antivirus software, mail filtering, firewalls and web protection will prevent intrusions into the system, your last line of defence is a backup plan that can help you retrieve data when the worst happens.
The backup service establishes physical data centers around the world which are used to save your data. These are then connected through the internet and are referred to as “the cloud.”
The fact that these servers are offsite, makes them safe and to ensure total security, the backups saved to the cloud are encrypted and can only be accessed through a secure interface.
The outside provider is responsible for the security of the data and maintenance of the infrastructure so that you can access the data anytime from anywhere at your convenience.
Data is increasingly becoming an important aspect of today’s knowledge economy.
The loss of data, whether through malicious actions, deletion, corruption of data by viruses, power surges, hard drive failure, fire, a natural disaster, denial of access due to ransomware or any other unforeseen threat can be damaging to an individual or organization by impacting on operations and reputation.
Research shows that more than half of companies that suffer huge data losses close down their business soon after the breach. It is therefore important for the lost data to be restored in a speedy manner to guarantee continuity of the organization’s operations.
Backups are broadly aimed at giving you the ability –
You have the option of backing up your data locally on a hard drive but this carries the risk of loss of your backup to hardware failure, fire and theft, not to mention the time and effort you will expend.
The use of backup services is essential for the following reasons:
This allows you to concentrate on your core function and leave the management of the backup service to the provider.
The increased use of backup services has brought economies of scale into play. This has led to these services becoming quite affordable compared to having your own hardware, software and human resources to manage such a complex system.
Backup services are not equal and they come in many different forms. When selecting a service you should check out the reputation of the brand by looking at various reviews like the ones below.
The following checklist should help you narrow down to the backup service of your choice that can deliver to your requirements and give you value for money.
The ease of use, installation and other unique features should be considered.
We have looked at a combination of these factors to narrow down for you the leading backup service vendors on the market today. The following make it to our list of the best backup services in 2019:
Backblaze has built a reputation as the ultimate cloud backup service provider. The solution offered by Backblaze is based on reliability and military-grade encryption to ensure your data is safeguarded.
The robust features bundled into this service are great value for money considering that the cost starts at $6 per month per computer. Massive savings can be realized with a 2-year plan which breaks down to $4.58 per month.
With an intuitive interface that is easy to use, the company’s offer includes unlimited amount of storage, unlimited file size and unlimited speed.
The Backblaze software is easy to install and run, automatically updating files every time they are added or modified.
You can access your files from mobile using the Backblaze app on Apple iOS or Android to browse and download your backed up files and save them to your phone. You can also sign in from any computer in any location to download a zip file of your data.
You can restore your data by ordering a USB hard drive (up to a 8TB for $189) or USB flash drive (256GB for $99) shipped to you with your data on it. All you need to do is return it within 30 days for a refund.
The service offers the ability to restore multiple older versions of a file, automatic or scheduled backups and an extra feature to locate a missing or stolen computer.
Backblaze secures your data using SSL encryption before transmission and keeps it encrypted in storage. Its data centers are manned 24-hours a day with biometric security and redundant power. Backblaze has also enabled two-factor authentication where a 6-digit code can be sent to your phone during sign-in for an extra layer of security.
You are also allowed to use a personal encryption key to encrypt your data before transmitting it for additional security. However, if you lose your password, Backblaze will be unable to send it to you.
Carbonite has established itself as a reliable cloud backup service with three popular options that cater for both personal and business users.
The available plans offer unlimited amount of data backup with the lowest plan billed annually at $6.00 per month. The Safe Basic plan is for one internal hard drive and does not include external hard drives.
The other plans have extra features at a premium. The Safe Plus plan is billed annually at $9.34 /month and offers backup for the internal hard drive and external hard drives.
The Safe Prime plan is billed annually at $12.50 per month and offers extras such as image backup that allows restoration of an entire system including installed applications and also backs up databases such as SQL Sharepoint and MySQL.
With Carbonite you get access to your files via web and mobile apps for iPhone and Android. The higher tiers offer backups for more computers, external hard drives and image backups.
Carbonite utilizes TLS encryption during data transfer and 128-bit encryption while in storage.
Carbonite is a premium service that may seem a little expensive but delivers top of the range backup services that are reliable.
IDrive offers a unique package that allows an unlimited number of devices and backups for external hard drives for the Personal plans, but puts a cap on storage at 2TB for $69.50 per year and 5TB for $99.50 per year. These prices are usually discounted for the first year – visit their website to see current offers.
The service allows you to mail in your hard drive with the initial data to avoid long periods of uploading data to their servers. Subsequently, incremental backups will be through the online backup process.
The IDrive Express service enables you to restore your data by requesting a physical shipment of a hard drive to you. After securely transferring all your data from the temporary storage device, you ship the device back to IDrive. The service is available free for Personal plans once a year and thrice yearly for Business plans.
All data is protected using military grade 256-bit AES encryption with an optional private key. Access is through two-factor authentication.
IDrive is unique in its offering of a free IDrive Basic plan that gives you up to 5 GB of storage.
The IDrive® Snapshots feature gives you a historical view of data where you can perform point-in-time recovery and restore up to 30 file versions. This is a great feature that helps deal with threats of ransomware.
A file-syncing option, intuitive interface, great upload speeds, mobile apps that backup the devices they run on and keeping copies of files forever, round up the fantastic features offered by IDrive.
Backblaze comes out on top of our list of the best backup services in 2019. The service brings together amazing features at a price that clearly delivers value for money.
Starting at $6 per month, Backblaze backs up your computer and related external hard drives with unlimited data, giving you the freedom to save as much as you want, supports mobile apps and ships backup drives to you when you need to restore data.
It is a great choice that is reliable, deploys cutting-edge security, is easy to use and restore from and has an extra feature to locate a missing or stolen computer.
Looking at all factors, Backblaze delivers the best cloud backup service for 2019.