Cloud Storage

How to Choose the Right Online Backup for Your SMB

Do you have important digital files? Of course you do. Unless you’re living in a 1970s time warp, most of your mission-critical information is in digital form. Digital files have some advantages over paper, like instant duplication, easy sharing, and not taking up physical space in a room. But they’re also prone to damage or loss, which could be devastating for a small to medium sized company. A hardware failure, a software bug, or a security breach could wipe out mission-critical data, which could have serious financial and operational consequences.

One of the solutions to this problem is using an online backup service. This isn’t the same thing as simply relying on cloud storage, although online data backups are generally cloud-based. Cloud storage platforms, like Dropbox and Google Drive, are designed to facilitate easy access to information from any location and device. Cloud backup, however, runs quietly in the background, uploading data when it’s changed. Data recovery can be somewhat involved, and you may need to do it through a desktop application rather than through a website.

There are several service providers out there. The key is to find one that’s the best fit for your business, in light of factors like price, user-friendliness, and backup scheduling. Here are some of the criteria that you can use to select the right backup service.

Price

For SMBs, price is an important factor. You need a service provider whose rates fit within your budget. Annual subscriptions can vary substantially in price, despite the fact that most backup services have multiple plans you can choose from. Some companies may offer the same sets of features at different price points, which makes it a good idea to shop around.

File Restrictions

You may need to make sure that the file types you need, to back up are actually supported by your provider. Most data backup services support most everyday file types, like Excel, Word, and Powerpoint files. But they may actually block certain other file types, like .exe (executable files), .dll (Windows application files), and .app (Mac application files). If .exe files are restricted, you may not be able to back up older legacy software.

Along with blocking certain file types, some vendors may also have file size limits. Images larger than a few gigabytes might not be supported, which could be a problem if you’re working with things like large amounts of uncompressed video.

Scheduling

Online backup services generally use one of two approaches to scheduling your backups. With some companies, you can use their software to schedule backups at a time that works well for you. Most people schedule this very early in the mornings, rather than during normal office hours.

Other services offer continuous backups, or a hybrid approach that lets you update some important files continually, but schedule updates for other data. The advantage to scheduling is that it leaves your bandwidth free while you’re working. If files are constantly being uploaded in the background by backup software, it could potentially eat into your available bandwidth.

Reevert vs Carbonite

Two popular options for online backup services are reevert and Carbonite. Carbonite allows businesses to backup information from servers and from individual PCs. Their automatic cloud backup runs continually, keeping your files up to date constantly.

reevert takes a different approach. It takes hourly, monthly, weekly, and daily snapshots to maintain current backups, but doesn’t run continuously. This frees up bandwidth. Another advantage to Reevert is that it’s designed specifically with ransomware in mind.

Ransomware is something that poses a very real risk to businesses. It’s been around since the late ‘80s, but over the last three years, it has experienced a major resurgence in popularity. Hackers use malicious programs to hold your files hostage, either by encrypting them, or by locking you out of your computer. Ransomware relies at least partly on social engineering, and involves likely use of fear and intimidation tactics. Because of the encryption type that is used in ransomware, it can be impossible to get your files back without paying the hackers, the money they demand.

reevert's snapshot approach takes only seconds, and doesn’t require additional disk space. However, it contains only the changes from the previous versions of your files. This makes it easy for companies to get their data back as quickly as possible in the wake of a malware attack.

reevert provides a balance of regular backups with filesystem efficiency and low bandwidth usage. With its reasonable pricing, it’s a good choice for SMBs that could fall prey to cyber attacks at any moment.

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