Cloud Storage and Back Up – What You Need to Know

On-line back up is not the same as cloud storage.  There are a number of businesses who promote their services using both storage service terms. But how do you know that you are getting what you are looking for when it comes to cloud storage?  Data storage in the cloud is perceived as the storage of selected files on the internet in order with shareability and accessibility at all times via desktop folder.  A classic and popular example of this approach is Dropbox which is widely used by Virtual Assistants and other freelancers.  In the same category you also have SugarSync, GoogleDrive and many more.

On-line backup actually backs up your entire PC.  This service gives you total peace of mind in the event your PC has a terrible disaster.  With on-line backup your entire PC hard drive can be fully restored.  There are companies such as BackUpGenie who offer on-line backup just like this.  However, what about the best of both worlds!   MyPCBackup and JustCloud backup your whole computer AND provide an online control panel which allows you  full accessibility to your data anywhere and at anytime and your files can be synced and shared across a number of PCs.

It is a huge benefit to the mobile freelancer that on-line backup services allow you to retain your own file structure exactly as you see it on your own PC.  This saves you a great deal of time as you can go directly to the file you need without having to waste time reacquainting yourself with a different structure in an unfamiliar environment.  File searches will be familiar to you.  This makes on-line backup services like MyPCBackup and JustCloud a very attractive method of data storage.

With something like 50 different service providers out there at the time of writing it is a minefield deciding which is the right way to go for your business but there is a website which really helps take the strain out of deciding so go and check it out.  You will be glad you did.

Naturally, there are a many FREE services out there which we all depend on, not just in the world of cloud storage available so what happens when the FREE service you are so dependent on shuts down.  We have seen Google Reader and Tungle shut down and now even TwitCleaner is going bye bye and no doubt we will see others go in the future.  After all, FREE does have its price in the end because it has got to be sustainable somehow in order to continue.  If the worst happens and your favourite tool announces that they are discontinuing then you have to take action.  As a responsible professional you must ensure your clients are prepared as well as yourself:

  1. Ensure you fully read the announcement and press articles concerning the closure and determine if the service provider is offering any advice or alternatives.
  2. Examine your options; test run any suitable alternatives which might fill the gap for the longer term.
  3. Ensure you advise your clients of the change and advise them of your damage limitation proposals and options open to them.
  4. Help your clients transfer to the new service – they will be too busy to do it themselves even if they have the know-how.

I won’t be affected by Google Reader or Tungle since I have never used them but undoubtedly this problem will confront me at some point in the future so it is as well to be prepared.

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