Until a few years ago the very necessary task of backing up your computer files was usually done on an electronic data storage device such as an external hard drive. However, backing up on such a device had many drawbacks, including the cost of purchasing additional hardware and also your backup had a physical presence. If your original computer were to be destroyed in a fire or due to a natural disaster, such as a flood or other extreme weather conditions, chances are your external backup would meet the same fate and you would not be able to retrieve your files.
The other old-fashioned way of backing up files was to put everything on CDs. This was extremely time-consuming and tedious; more than likely you would neglect to do it for one reason or another.
Thanks to the technical revolution of cloud servers and cloud storage, it is now easy to store all your digital files online, or “in the cloud.” This has great benefits such as giving you access to your files from anywhere in the world. It also gives you peace of mind knowing that if something happens to your local computer, such as if it were stolen, you will still be able to retrieve your files and restore important data.
Cloud storage providers are not only beneficial to businesses, but also to individuals. As most of us have a large part of our lives stored on our hard drives it is very advisable to sign up with a cloud storage provider so you can backup your files in an emergency. Another advantage of cloud storage is the cost is relatively cheap and in you can set for backups to be done automatically, so you do not have to remember to do anything yourself.
There are many companies offering cloud storage for both businesses and individuals.
Mozy is a company that offers backup and cloud storage to both individuals and businesses. Like with other cloud storage providers, you are able to store and later back up any file type from your hard drive. Backing up with Mosey is fully automatic and you can schedule your backups as you desire. The company uses a military-grade 128 bit encryption software for the extremely secure data transfer. The Mozy software will automatically detect if you have made any changes to your files and backup accordingly.
Although Mozy is capable of running backups for big businesses, it is the service also used by many individuals to backup their music, photographs and other documents stored on their computers.
Mozy target their advertising at those who put importance on personal files such as photos and music. It is also extremely easy to access Mozy from mobile devices, which makes the company a popular choice with the younger market.
Mozy is compatible with the all the popular operating systems used today such as android and iPhone.
Mozy puts emphasis on the ease of use of their service. You are able to access your files during a restore before the entire restore is complete. Reviewers of the service also point out that support is a very strong point with Mosey; they have a comprehensive knowledgebase, tutorials and also a community forum where all levels of support are offered.
Phone support is also available as a premium support feature from the Mozy pro program.
Backup plans with Mozy are low cost, and start at just $5 a month. To try out the service Mozy provides 2 GB of online backup free of charge.
Livedrive’s cloud backup and storage service has grown very quickly and the company now stores more than 10 billion files for customers worldwide. The company estimates that this increases by more than 20 million files daily. With a LiveDrive account you can store unlimited files in the cloud that can be retrieved from anywhere in the world.
Like Mozy, LiveDrive offers services for both individual computer users and business professionals.
LiveDrive has grown immensely in popularity probably partly due to the fact the client’s files are available on numerous devices. This is very important for companies as files can be synchronised on all devices automatically. Therefore, clients can access their files from their desktop computers, laptops, mobile phones and any other devices that they may use for a low monthly cost. Furthermore, LiveDrive offer unlimited storage.
LiveDrive also offer slients apps so that users can watch movies or listen to their music directly from the cloud without having to download files to a local device. You can also transfer your files easily to Flickr or Facebook.
Installing the LiveDrive software is very easy, and once it is installed you can set it to automatically backup your files. You choose which files you want backed up, and the program will run in the background performing the task every day. If you make a change to an old file that is already backed up, the live drive software that will detect this and re-upload the file.
Live drive offers a full free trial for a 14-day period, and after this you can choose from several cloud storage plans which start at around seven dollars per month. Live drive also offers a money back guarantee.
LiveDrive support is not as efficient as Mozy however, and if you have a problem your only option is to email the support desk and hope for a quick reply.
Dropbox offers a cloud storage service that focuses on allowing clients to share their files in the most simple manner possible. They have cloud storage service which is called “Dropbox for teams.” This is a business storage solution that makes it easy for a team of workers to work on projects simultaneously. The service is reasonably priced, and clients only need to pay for what they use. If they should require that more workers access a project they simply purchase additional licenses as they need them.
Dropbox also has a service called Dropbox Mobile. By installing an app on an iPad, iPhone, Android or Blackberry device, users can access their files from their phones and other mobile devices. A further benefit is you can access your files directly from the Dropbox website.
Like the other top cloud storage services dropbox uses AES 256 encryption which is military-grade, and the same type of encryption you could expect to find at a bank.
Dropbox does put a limit on storage space and users with hundreds of gigabytes of files may find it expensive, as 100 GB of space costs $19.99 per month. You can try the service out for free and are allowed up to 2 GB of storage space for the general personal use.
The premise behind dropbox is that the service is as simple as the name implies; clients merely need to drop the files into a box which is depicted by an icon on their desktop or taskbar and the job is done.
Dropbox supports Mac, and Linux as well as Windows.
For technical support you need to visit the drop what website and submit a ticket through their support page.
JustCoud is the perfect solution for people who need an easy-to-use cloud storage solution with the ability to store and access their files at a low monthly cost. In addition, JustCloud users can access their files from any device.
JustCloud is particularly attractive to those who like to listen to audio files from a range of devices because they can listen to the chosen file directly from the cloud without having to download it. It is also possible to synchronize files over a number of devices.
JustCloud also offers an easy sharing function that allows you to securely and quickly share your files with anybody anywhere in the world.
Like other cloud storage companies, JustCloud has bank-grade encryption to protect files from prying eyes and hackers.
JustCloud offers 100% automated backups.
The company provides a two-week trial to try out the system; then you can select either a 250 GB plan or Unlimited. Prices vary somewhat depending on how much you wish to pay upfront, but if you’re willing to pay two years in advance you can lock in 250 GB storage space for less than five dollars per month.
As the name of this company implies, ElephantDrive is a great option for users who need cloud storage for large numbers of files.
One thing that makes ElephantDrive somewhat different from the other cloud storage providers is they give the user more options for control over the retrieval of data. You can set your backups to be 100% automated or you can use one of several features which allows you to manage all aspects of the storage and backup process as well as file sharing.
ElephantDrive pride themselves on the security of their service and you are able to choose a private encryption key that is stored separately from your encrypted files. The ability to choose your own key gives you an additional layer of security, and not even ElephantDrive employees are able to access your folders and the contents.
ElephantDrive also supports Mac, and their combination of large storage space, unique encryption policy and a variety of account options makes a popular choice for many consumers looking for cloud storage.
However they are not the cheapest service; the most affordable plan offered by ElephantDrive is 100 GB of storage space which costs $9.95 per month. However, you can pay several months in advance to lower the cost. ElephantDrive offers a 15 day free trial.