So it’s 11 years and 114 days into the 21st Century and you’ve finally realized the time has come to understand that digital life is moving to the cloud. But don’t worry it’s a good thing it means no more sifting through piles of DVD’s, CD’s, tapes, discs, jaz discs, zip discs, external or thumb drives to locate or restore your data.
Between all the hand held mobile devices, super-phones, game boxes and readily available hi-speed cable, fiber and sat. networks coupled with all the social butterfly’s of our beloved Facebook, everyone and there Grandmas should be online by now with computers permeating nearly all aspects of daily life, from news, weather, TV, movies, social networking to construction, medicine, graphics, photography, shopping and finances. We have become the 21st century cloudzoid man.
“21st Century Cloudzoid Man”
This reliance on technology has brought a variety of advantages. However, when a majority of your personal data and your entire digital life are stored on computers, there is always the risk of losing that data. Hardware fails, viruses infect and data gets corrupted due to degradation.
That’s why the cloud revolution has been so important for businesses and individuals alike. Now, applications are no longer required to be installed on a user machine, they can be used in the cloud, and data can be mirrored and backed up in real time on cloud storage solutions. Some cloud storage solutions are free, while others are paid. Some allow you unlimited backup, others have a size limit, and of course, there are always bandwidth considerations, but cloud storage is something that every computer user should consider.
It’s important to mind, however, the amount and type of data that is stored in the cloud. Cloud storage presents somewhat different security and privacy implications, as generally large corporations have better security than your home network, but you are trusting a 3rd party with your data and security.
Therefore, it’s important to consider what type of data and solution is best for you or your business.
Off-Site Backups- “Safer than local backups”
Your backup is encrypted at all times, and stored on redundant disk arrays that are immeasurably more reliable than internal or external hard drives. (If you have external hard drives and/or NAS devices you can back them up too.) State-of-the-art, guarded data centers protect your business backup from theft, fire, water damage and anything else that can happen at your home or office.
Because of this, it is important to keep an off-site backup of your data in addition to your on-site redundant copy. This way, no matter what happens locally to your computer, your hard drives, or your memory cards, your data will always be available to you in the cloud. It’s much “safer than local backups”.
You have a lot of options for off-site backup solutions, new websites are keep popping up every week, to help you in your quest, here’s a little list of some the best online backup and cloud storage providers & solutions:
ADrive delivers online cloud storage services to millions of individuals, businesses and enterprise-level users. Their goal is to provide users with a convenient and reliable way to better manage their data from virtually anywhere, at any time.
Acronis software makes virtualization easy; many tools, one unified user interface. Our virtualization solutions deliver server consolidation, backup, recovery, data protection and data storage savings from a single user interface. And we support all major virtual platforms and Windows and Linux environments.
Asigra brings a Cloud Model to backup and recovery – including the backup and recovery of mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones – through our Cloud Backup, Recovery and Restore software solution: Asigra Cloud Backup™ v11.
Box lets you store all of your content online, so you can access, manage and share it from anywhere. Integrate Box with Google Apps and Salesforce and access Box on mobile devices.
You can access, share and collaborate on files anywhere through our award-winning mobile apps. Share folders in a tap, exchange feedback or save files for offline access.
Carbonite online backup service works quietly and continually in the background protecting your files. If something goes wrong or you delete a file by accident, we’ve still got a copy. Carbonite Online Backup now includes remote file access! Retrieve files you have backed up with Carbonite from any computer with an internet connection.
The best free way to back up personal data.Its the best way to back up personal data – online. Using it you can get your files securely anytime, anywhere.
CloudApp allows you to share images, links, music, videos and files. Here is how it works: choose a file, drag it to the menubar and let us take care of the rest. We provide you with a short link automatically copied to your clipboard that you can use to share your upload with co-workers and friends.
CoreVault’s services are scaled to fit your needs. First, we grow with you. As your data expands, we accommodate its growth seamlessly. Second, we flexibly adjust services to keep our plan cost-effective. (Example, we can automatically switch data from Online protection to Archive at appropriate intervals, a process controlled by you). Finally, scalability works in reverse; our service can handle individual file and message restores as easily as recovering entire systems.
Datacastle RED provides secure and auditable access to enterprise data on critical devices, anytime, anywhere.
Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere. This means that any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your computers, phones and even the Dropbox website.
Egnyte HybridCloud addresses the needs of business users for a simple and easy way to access and share files with team members, at the same time enabling IT to control and monitor all access. The latest enhancements create a solution that scales to meet Enterprise needs. Egnyte Cloud File Server brings unprecedented file sharing, large file transfer, collaboration and backup capabilities. With the addition of breakthrough Local Cloud technology, Egnyte enables fast local file access and offline access.
Software securely, efficiently, quickly, and reliably backs up virtual and physical systems, either onsite or via remote backup, and can seamlessly extend your IT infrastructure into the EVault cloud. Built for recovery, EVault data backup software ensures you can always access your critical data. If you need to protect a distributed, multi-platform infrastructure and meet tight service level agreements for data availability, recoverability, and retention. [vin’s pick]
Google Drive – Access everywhere.
Google Drive is everywhere you are—on the web, in your home, at the office and on the go. So wherever you are, your stuff is just…there. Ready to go, ready to share. Get started with 5 GB free. $2.49 / Month +25 GB for Drive and Picasa Bonus: Your Gmail storage will be upgraded to 25 GB.
100 GB $4.99 / Month +100 GB for Drive and Picasa Bonus: Your Gmail storage will be upgraded to 25 GB.
iCloud stores your music, photos, documents, and more and wirelessly pushes them to all your devices. Automatic, effortless, and seamless — it just works.
iCloud is so much more than a hard drive in the sky. It makes it quick and effortless to access just about everything on the devices you use every day. iCloud automatically and securely stores your content so it’s always available to your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC. It gives you access to your music, movies, apps, latest photos, and more from whichever device you happen to be using. And it keeps your email, contacts, and calendars up to date across all your devices. No syncing required. No management required. In fact, no anything required. iCloud does it all for you.
IBackup enables small and medium sized businesses to get enterprise-class online backup with superior performance for their critical data at a fraction of cost. Global corporations, Business houses and people trust IBackup for their storage and backup needs.
IBackup’s online backup services include applications for automatic scheduling of backups with Compression, Encryption, Incremental/Full backups, Versioning, synchronization, open file support for Outlook, MS SQL Server, MS Exchange Server, Oracle Server, MS SharePoint Server backups and more.
Intronis offers the most secure online backup storage services, online backup software, and data recovery services.
Intronis not only offers a great online backup and recovery service to MSPs, but offers the unbeatable benefits of Intronis employees who care, put their best foot forward, and do all they can to make sure each and every partner is successful with their online backup business. Intronis isn’t just here to sell you a solution, but to make sure each partner has the tools to succeed in their business.
Mozy offers a number of backup solutions to fit your individual needs. For non-commercial backup of your personal files, including music, photos, home videos, and personal tax records.
Livedrive is creating technology that will revolutionise the way people store and access their files, photos, music, videos and other digital content. Our vision is simple: don’t store files on your PC, store them on your Livedrive instead. Livedrive is your personal storage space on the Internet. It’s unlimited, it’s secure and it’s there forever.
The Livedrive management team is made up of respected industry experts and investors, who have lent their significant experience and financial strength to ensuring that Livedrive is both well-managed and well-funded.
SpiderOak provides an easy, secure and consolidated free online backup, sync, sharing, access & storage solution for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux (Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora & openSUSE)
SugarSync is a free service that enables you to access, sync and share your files across all your computers and devices. We enable you to backup, sync and share all of your documents, photos, music and movies so that you can access them from your laptop, iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, or any other device.
MyPCBackup takes the security and privacy of your data very seriously. All your files are encrypted with the same security as banks use. Unlike other online backup providers we don’t limit the amount of files you can backup, enjoy the freedom of unlimited online backup.
JustCloud lets you store all your files online so you can access them from anywhere at anytime.
Store All Your Files In The Cloud. Access Your Files From Anywhere At Anytime, From Any Device.
Professional Cloud Storage from JustCloud is Simple, Fast and Unlimited. Your Just Cloud account will also function as a Computer backup device to completely automate all your Cloud Storage needs.
Offering unlimited storage and convenient accessibility, YouSendIt sits on solid ground in the competitive online storage industry. Designed as an email alternative, this online storage service is built on the premise that you should be able to easily send and receive large files. Recently, YouSendIt added cloud storage to its growing repertoire of services. As a result, YouSendIt is a versatile file sharing and data storage service that is quickly climbing the ranks.
OpenDrive, a Palo Alto, California Corporation, provides an online software as a service that helps individuals and businesses store and collaborate on files easily, securely, and professionally.
The current version of OpenDrive was launched in 2008 to provide individuals with a simple solution to backup and share their digital media. Since the company’s creation, OpenDrive has grown to service over 1 million daily users and is trusted by over 20,000 businesses across the globe.
Syncplicity’s Virtual Private Cloud lets you sync, access, share and backup your files without changing the way you work. Just set it up once and you’re done — Syncplicity does the rest. The easiest way to sync, share, access & protect every file you need.Meet your virtual private Cloud. Sync files with all your computers. Access them from all your mobile devices. Share them without changing your work habits. Make sure everything is backed up. All with the control and security you need.
Wuala is a secure online storage, made in Switzerland. As the Swiss knife of online storage, it covers all the essential needs for professional and personal use: with Wuala, you can store your files securely online, share them with select others, access them from anywhere, setup automatic backups of your local data, or synchronize whole folders to the cloud. Wuala employs client-side-encryption to achieve a unique level of security. All data is encrypted locally, before it is uploaded. Your password never leaves your computer. Nobody – not even we as storage provider – can access your data without your authorization.
Using JungleDisk protect your files against loss, theft, viruses, and natural disasters. Share business data securely and privately in the office or across the globe. Sync your critical work across all your computers. Access your data from any web browser. You can do all of that and more, on the go, from anywhere, securely, with just a click.
Ubuntu One is the personal cloud that brings your digital life together, so you can enjoy your content, your way, wherever you are. With our suite of cloud services including storage, sync, sharing and streaming – you have immediate access to your music collection, favorite photos, videos, important documents and more, at any time and from any device.
Symform is a revolutionary cloud storage & backup service, providing up to 200GB free and unlimited online storage for a low flat fee. Symform’s distributed global network is the fastest, most secure & lowest cost cloud storage available today. You join the network by contributing some of your excess local storage in exchange for really affordable cloud storage. Join the Revolution & try Symform today!
SecurusVault’s online backup service uses trusted cloud storage technology to ensure your data is backed up securely.
Access, share, backup and manage your digital life with SecurusVault. Protect your data against hard drive failure or computer theft with SecurusVault’s online data archive. Make extra room on your hard drive but archiving files not used on a daily basis.
Microsoft Skydrive is all about the ability to make backups and store files online rather than actually making it easy.
In many respects, Skydrive is just a technical option – a place to put your files online. This is more attractive than it sounds: the service offers 25GB of free storage for docs, photos, or any file you care to post. There is a ‘single sign-on’ mentality here. Once you sign up for Live, you are automatically grandfathered in to Skydrive so there is no separate registration process.
Zetta DataProtect is an enterprise-grade online backup and disaster recovery solution for mid-size enterprises. It integrates key data protection elements, such as offsite backup, archiving and disaster recovery in a single managed service that requires no appliances and can be deployed within minutes. Best of all it’s easy to implement, no on-site storage appliance needed. Simply download the software (Windows, Linux and Mac are supported) and start backing up data, or set up a schedule to keep the Zetta volume synchronized, automatically. For a closer look, see the Storage Switzerland Test Drive of ZettaMirror.
Zmanda Cloud Backup (ZCB) is a radically simple-to-use and cost-effective backup and disaster recovery solution. ZCB backs up Windows servers, desktops and live applications such as Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server to Amazon’s highly dependable online storage.
As an Information Technology Professional and avid digital gadget geek, my life and my work is almost entirely in digital form. Losing any data would be stressful to say the least not to mention potential fines for not preparing a proper disaster recovery plan and ultimately blushing embarrassment to both my personal and professional life. I’m sure there’s nothing worse than having to deliver bad news to a customer or client, and telling them that their data has been lost forever. Backing up in multiple places is being smart. Ultimately it doesn’t really matter which services you use, as long as you are using
one some of them.
Related cloud storage article: Computerworld