It's a scenario that I've described many times to ambivalent clients: imagine suddenly, unexpectedly losing everything currently on your PC. All of your favorite songs? Carefully arranged playlists? Adorable baby videos from 3 years ago? Those wedding pictures that you kept meaning to print out? Your thesis? Bank statements? The saved game you've been playing every day for years? Picture them wiped out and presumed forever lost.
My ambivalent clients are hesitant about the necessity of backing up their files. If they are willing to admit there is some wisdom in backup protection, they only do so sporadically at best. I just can't emphasize it enough - back it up or lose it.
Naturally, after users are convinced of the why in backing up files, they want to know how. There are several methods, most of them quite straightforward. One of the methods that may be the least amount of work is backing up files online. If you choose to use a paid online backup service, consider a few factors when deciding who to rely on:
- How much storage do they provide?
- What is the annual cost?
- How easy (or difficult) will it be to access your data when you need it?
Another benefit to backing up files online is that your files will be easier to share. Whether you want to share an Mp3 with your sister or pass on those spreadsheets to your coworker, passing them along is a snap when they're already online.
If you choose to examine any of the popular companies listed below, pay close attention to any free trials they offer, in addition to any other temporary perks.
$59 (annually), Good rep, quite popular, unlimited Storage
- Norton Online Backup
$50 (annually), Service available for up to 5 PCs, offers 25GB storage
$5.99 (monthly), Offers 1-2 months free upon signup of 1 or 3 year contract
$99 (annually), More technologically advanced than competitors, offers 100GB of storage
Those are just a few of the most popular resources available for online storage. Simply typing "Online backup services" will provide you with a wide variety of reliable names.
A word of caution: Even using the most trusted online backup service in the world shouldn't be your only resource. Never be satisfied with just one backup! Make sure to backup multiple copies of your most important files and keep more than one copy in more than one safe place.