Offsite Backup Service – What to Look for in a Backup Service Provider

Data backup is starting to garner more attention as more people are realizing that their hard disk drives are not as invincible as they thought.  Unfortunately, many do not realize this until it is too late, after their drive has crashed and all their priceless, irreplaceable files are gone for good.  Luckily, more computer users are using things like CD-R’s, DVD-R’s, USB thumb drives, or an external hard drive to keep a backup copy of their important data.  But what happens if your house floods or catches on fire?  Those two disasters would wipe out not only the original copy on your computer, but also the backup as well.  That is why the concept of an offsite backup service is picking up steam in recent years.

An offsite backup service is a good idea, as with computing, the general rule of thumb is to have a backup onsite, like on a disk that is kept right besides the computer, and an offsite backup, a copy that is stored in another location.  This allows for the greatest chances of recovering your data should a worst case scenario occur.  With so many services out there to choose from, here are some things you should look for.

First and foremost, be sure to find a plan that meets your exact needs.  Some offsite backup service companies will you per gigabyte of storage used.  Others will sell you an account will a storage limit (1 GB, 5 GB, 20 GB).  You will need to decide which one suits your needs better.  Look for a service that is flexible and allows you to upgrade your account easily should you exceed the data limit.  The services that are pay-per-GB are fine, but they can make it difficult to work the expense into a budget, as the price changes with the amount of data stored.

Another feature to look for in an offsite backup service is secure file transfer.  Security is always an issue with computing, but especially with backups.  Companies especially have to find a good balance with both security as well as operating efficiency.  So security, naturally, is a concern with offsite backup service companies as well.  Be sure to look for a provider that offers, at the very least, 128 bit AES and SSL encryption.  If you are using a backup service that offers automated backup, be sure to guard and protect the account information.  The last thing you want is a disgruntled employee who got fired to have access to the only backup of your invaluable data.