| By Ian “Gizmo” Richards |
In the last year, we’ve seen dozens of online backup services appear, spurred on by the widespread adoption of broadband Internet access.
The best of the lot give you plenty of bang for just a few bucks.
The pros and cons of storing backups on the Net
Backing up to a remote server offers some attractive features compared to traditional backup methods:
• You don’t need to buy dedicated backup software.
• You don’t need to buy CDs, DVDs, or external USB drives for backup.
• Backups are not stored locally and are thus secure against fire, theft, and other physical risks.
• Your backups are generally accessible from any Internet connection.
That sounds attractive, but there are some serious downsides:
• You must depend on a third party to ensure the privacy and security of your backups.
• Transmitting your data over the Internet introduces additional privacy and security risks.
• If your ISP caps your data transfers, you may incur added charges for exceeding those transmission limits.
• Backup and recovery times are many times slower with online backup services than with restoring a backup from local media.
• There is no support for creating and recovering from system images such as those generated by Acronis TrueImage and other drive-imaging programs.
• You are dependent on the backup service’s remaining in business.