A lot of companies these days are offering automated backup of your personal computer over the internet to their storage facilities. In fact, Dell offers 2 GB of on-line backup of all of their personal computers for one year after purchase. After that they expect you to pay of course. And they want you to pay for backup beyond the 2 GB limit as well. Anyway, is on-line backup a good thing for the home PC user?
You betcha! That's a YES!
It is a VERY GOOD THING!
The advantages are:
You do not need any specialized or additional backup hardware.
Your data is stored off-site, so in the case of complete disaster, your data can be easily restored to a new PC, if necessary.
You cannot screw up your backup by messing with the backup device.
It is easy to set up and fully automate.
It costs nothing (for up to 2 GB).
OK, that comes to 5 real advantages.
The only real downside is that the total backup is limited to the 9 to 25 GB or so range because of upload speeds over standard high-speed internet, so you will still have to have another backup strategy for backups of larger size.
Are you worried that your data won't be safe? Don't be; it's all strongly encrypted as it leaves your computer and before it goes out into the cloud.
There is also one service from Mozy, a subsidiary of the very large storage company, EMC, which offers ANY home user up to 2 GB of free backup storage, and beyond that $4.95 per month or $55 per year for unlimited home backup.
So for up to 2 GB, which is quite a bit of data, backup costs no money! How cool is that?
OK, 2 GB is not enough to backup all of your pictures and documents, maybe, but it IS enough to backup all of your unique identity info, that is, all of the login, password, mail server, cookies and other info that makes your computer yours, and that you can never remember or access when ... ooops, it's gone.
But, once again, it's FREE, and it's EASY, and it will PROTECT you from misery in case of disaster. Also, it can save you a lot of money, paying some guy to figure out and/or recover all of the specific personal info you've accumulated over the years you've been using your computer, and that could be hours and hours.
Even I do it. How does the story go? The cobbler's children go unshod ... well, it's so easy I even follow my own advice.
You should, too.
Oh, you want to comparative shop? Check out Carbonite, SOSOnlineBackup, and iDrive, as well as services offered by Symantec and McAfee of Internet Security fame, or just google online backup services.
They all cost money.
Remember to test the restore feature! Mozy fared well in independent testing of the home-based software solution, and better than some of the others.