Choosing a Cloud Backup Provider: 4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying

choosing a cloud backup provider

Data loss can be crippling for anyone, especially for businesses. If you’re still using hard drives to back up your data, it’s time to consider transitioning to a cloud backup provider. Cloud-based systems provide extra security and peace of mind for users by automating data backups. All your data is copied into a secure location online, so there is no need to be concerned about equipment failure or information loss. But there are a lot of providers out there, so we’ve got some questions to ask the cloud service providers you’re considering to help you find the right one for your business.

How secure is the system?

The point of backing up your data in the cloud is to ensure that it remains secure over time. Before you decide on a cloud backup provider, you want to make sure you ask about the security of the system. Ask about the steps that the company takes to protect your data, if your data will be stored in multiple locations online, if it will be securely encrypted, and the provider’s security track record. After all, the only thing worse than losing your data is experiencing a security breach.

What are their customers saying?

Don’t just rely on marketing materials to select your backup provider. You want to select a business that is trustworthy, stable, and has a good reputation for providing excellent service to their customers. Before you start calling different cloud providers, do some digging around online to see what customers are saying and read reviews. If you notice that customer feedback is largely negative, you may want to keep searching for another provider. Another factor to look for is a discrepancy between advertised statistics and customer complaints. Customer reviews should support the major benefits and features the company advertises.

What are you getting for your money?

Each cloud provider has different pricing structures, so be sure you know what you are getting for your money before you make a final decision. Some allow you to store unlimited amounts of data at a set price, while others have a storage limit, and most have different pricing tiers with accompanying storage limits you can pick from. It’s also important to check the cost of storing data from multiple computers if needed. Take a look at your existing files to determine your minimum storage needs; add 50 percent to that number and you’ll likely have adequate storage to grow over the next 12-18 months.

How often does it back up my data and which files are used?

This is an especially important question to ask if you are constantly editing files and moving things around on your computer. Sometimes you can customize the frequency your data is backed up in the cloud. Other services simply back up your data whenever you make a change to a file. Some services back up entire files, while others only select the portions of files that have been changed. This has implications for how fast your computer runs while backups are performed. Choose an option that gives you the most flexibility for scheduling backups and setting file parameters.

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Backing up your data on the cloud can provide you with added peace of mind for your business. But, because this service is storing your important information, you want to make sure you select the right provider for your business. Consider the needs of your business and budget, and do your homework before making your decision.

Liz Alton

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