Practical guide to online backup: Protect your data with ease

Estimated reading time : 7 min
Cards in a cloud

Online backup is a concept that everyone needs to know and understand, especially in today's digital age. It's a process that, when implemented correctly, can save your business, your reputation or simply your valuable time. This guide will introduce you to online backup, its different forms, its advantages and disadvantages, how to choose the best online backup service, and finally, how to use it. Whether you're an individual looking to back up your vacation photos, or a business looking to protect your critical data, this guide is for you.

Introduction to Online Backup

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Why is Online Backup Important?

Imagine you're at work, finalizing a project that you've spent countless hours on, when suddenly your computer crashes. You try to restart it, but it's too late, all your files are gone. Or maybe you've lost your smartphone containing thousands of priceless photos and videos of your family moments.

These scenarios are common and can happen to anyone at any time. This is where online backup comes in.

Online backup, also known as cloud backup, is a method of storing data on a remote server via the internet. Instead of just backing up information on a physical hard drive or USB drive, files are stored in the cloud, where they can be accessed and restored at any time if needed.

Data can be lost for many reasons, including hardware failures, human errors, malware, and natural disasters. Having a copy of your data online ensures that you can quickly and easily recover your files.

How Does Online Backup Work?

Online backup works by uploading your files to a remote server through an internet connection. This is typically done through an online backup service, which provides the necessary storage space and security for your files.

Once you have set up the service and selected the files you want to backup, the service usually works in the background, backing up new files and changes to existing files. This means you don't have to worry about remembering to back up your files; it all happens automatically.

Types of Online Backup

Laptop, tablet, and smartphone on a desk.

In the world of online backup, you will mainly encounter three types of backups: full, incremental, and differential. Understanding the difference between these three types is crucial in choosing the backup method that suits your needs.

Full Online Backup

A full backup, as the name suggests, makes a complete copy of all the files and folders you have chosen to back up. While this type of backup ensures maximum protection of your data, it requires a lot of storage space and can take a long time to perform, especially if you have a large amount of data to back up.

In addition, each time a full backup is performed, it overwrites the previous backup, meaning that you can only restore your files from the most recent backup.

Incremental online backup

Incremental backup, on the other hand, only backs up files that have been modified or added since the last backup, whether it is a full backup or another incremental backup.

Therefore, this takes less time and uses less storage space than a full backup. However, when restoring files from an incremental backup, you will need the latest full backup as well as all subsequent incremental backups, which can complicate the restoration process.

Differential online backup

Differential backup, finally, is a compromise between the first two types. It backs up all files modified or added since the last full backup, regardless of previous backups.

This means it uses more storage space than incremental backup but less than full backup. Additionally, restoring from a differential backup is faster and simpler than restoring from an incremental backup, as you will only need the latest full backup and the latest differential backup.

Depending on your data backup and restoration needs, available cloud storage space, and the time you are willing to dedicate to backing up your files, you can choose the most suitable type of online backup.

Now that we have covered the basics of online backup and the different types of backups, let's go over some of the advantages of online backup.

Advantages of online backup

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Online backup offers many advantages over traditional backup methods such as external hard drives or USB drives. Here are some of the most notable advantages.


One of the main advantages of online backup is accessibility. With an online backup service, you can access your files from any device with an internet connection, whether it's a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

No need to carry around a hard drive or USB drive. Whether you're at the office, at home, or on vacation in Saint-Tropez, you can easily access your important documents, family photos, or vacation videos.

Data Security

Data security is another major consideration. Online backup services typically use encryption to protect your data during transfer to the cloud and storage in the cloud. This means that even if someone manages to intercept your data, it will be unreadable without the encryption key.

In addition, most online backup services store your data in secure data centers with physical and electronic protection measures such as surveillance cameras, intrusion alarms, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems.

Cost Savings

Finally, online backup can help reduce costs. With an online backup service, you don't need to purchase and maintain your own storage hardware, which can be expensive. You can simply pay for the storage space you need and adjust it as your needs change. In addition, most online backup services offer free or low-cost plans that may be sufficient for individuals or small businesses.

Despite all these advantages, online backup is not without drawbacks. In the next section, we will discuss some of the disadvantages of online backup.

Disadvantages of Online Backup

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Just as it offers benefits, online backup also has some disadvantages that are important to be aware of in order to make an informed decision. It is important to weigh these disadvantages against the benefits to determine if online backup is the right option for you.

Privacy Concerns

Data privacy is one of the major drawbacks of online backup. When you store your data online, you entrust it to a third party. Even though online backup service providers take steps to secure your data, there is still a risk of privacy breach.

Some providers may also analyze your data for advertising or other business purposes.

Speed Issues

Speed is another potential issue. Depending on your internet connection, transferring large files to the cloud can take a long time. Similarly, retrieving large files can also be slow. This can be particularly inconvenient if you need quick access to a large file or if you need to backup or restore large amounts of data.

Online backup has its advantages and disadvantages. In the next section, we will discuss how to choose the online backup service that best suits your needs.

How to choose an online backup service?

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Choosing an online backup service can seem like a daunting task given the number of options available. However, by considering some key factors, you can simplify the decision-making process.

Consider storage capacity

The first thing to consider is storage capacity. How much data do you need to backup? If you have large amounts of data, you will need a service that offers plenty of storage space. Many online backup services offer different storage plans, so you should be able to find an option that meets your needs. For example, MEGA offers 20GB of free storage, but you can purchase more space if needed.

Consider security

Security is also a major concern. You want to ensure that your data will be secure when stored online. Look for a service that uses strong encryption to protect your data and has robust security measures in place to protect their servers.

Consider ease of use

Another factor to consider is ease of use. Is the service's interface intuitive and easy to navigate? Can you easily upload and retrieve your files? Some online backup services may also offer additional features, such as the ability to share files with others or sync files across multiple devices.

Consider price

Lastly, you should consider cost. While many online backup services offer free plans, these may be limited in terms of storage capacity or features. Compare the prices and features of different services to find one that offers the best value for your needs.

In the next section, we will take a look at some of the best online backup services available in the market today. So, stay with us to learn more about these services.

How to use an online backup service?

Woman working on a computer

Once you have chosen the online backup service that best suits your needs, it is important to understand how to use it effectively. Setting up your account and backing up your data are usually simple processes, but they may vary slightly from service to service.

How to set up your account?

Typically, to set up your account, you first need to go to the website of the online backup service or download the application on your computer or mobile device. You will then be prompted to create an account by providing an email address and a password. Make sure to use a strong password to protect your account.

Once you have created your account, you can usually start uploading files immediately. Some services may also ask you to choose a storage plan at this stage if you need more space than what is offered for free.

How to back up your data?

To back up your data, you typically need to open the application or log in to your account through a web browser. You can then select the files you want to back up and upload them to the service. Depending on the file sizes and the speed of your internet connection, this may take some time.

Most online backup services also offer an automatic backup option. This means that the service will automatically back up new files or changes to existing files. This is a convenient feature as it saves you from having to manually remember to back up your files.

How to recover your data?

If you need to recover data, you would need to log in to your account and navigate to the file or files you want to recover. You can usually download the files directly to your computer or device. Some recovery options may also allow you to restore the files to their original location.

In conclusion, using an online backup service can be a great way to protect your important data. It can give you peace of mind knowing that your files are secure, even in the event of an issue with your computer or device.

The Best Online Storage Services

Now that you understand the importance of online backup, you are probably wondering what the best options available on the market are. Instead of spending hours browsing on a search engine to find the ideal online backup service, we have done the work for you.

We have thoroughly analyzed and evaluated a wide range of services to offer you a selection of the best online backup solutions, tailored to a variety of needs and budgets. To discover our selection of the best online backup services, visit our dedicated page on this topic. You will find detailed information on each service, allowing you to make an informed decision based on your specific needs.

Conclusion: Why you should consider online backup

Online backup offers a multitude of advantages that cannot be ignored in today's digital age. From protecting your precious family photos to vital work documents, it provides a robust and cost-effective solution to ensure that your files are safe.

Accessibility is a major asset of online backup services. You can access your data from any device, be it your smartphone, tablet or computer. So even if you're on vacation in the Gulf of Saint-Tropez, your files are just a click away, safely stored in your personal digital vault.

Online backup is also a flexible solution, with a range of options available to meet diverse needs. Whether you need massive storage space for a video collection or a simple backup system for your work documents, there is a service that suits your needs.

Furthermore, online backup provides a level of security that few other storage methods can match. Data is encrypted during transfer and storage, and service providers employ a variety of measures to protect against cyber attacks.

In conclusion, online backup is a valuable tool for everyone, from individual users to businesses. It offers invaluable peace of mind knowing that your data is protected, accessible, and securely backed up.