Protect Your Files

Automatic cloud backup serviceCredit: Javrsmith

Have you ever experienced a hard disk crash? If not, you are lucky. All computer disks are mechanical devices which are likely to fail at some time. They contain motors, gears and circuitry. In fact, there are a great many tiny components within every disk drive. If any one breaks, your disk is probably destroyed, along with all of your data. Think about that. Your disk likely has thousands of files on it. This include your digital photographs. Maybe you have pictures of your children, your family, your favorite vacation spots. Think about what a disk crash means: you can lose all of these images in an instant. Obviously, you need to backup your files so that a failure is merely an inconvenience.

In the earliest days of computing, hard disks were very expensive and not very reliable. Everything stored on a disk needed to be backed up as soon as possible. This was done by copying the disk contents to some other media, a tape, floppy disk or other backup unit. In large computer facilities, the backup media would be secured, most likely in a distant location. If a disk crash happened, (which they did frequently), the protected data was retrieved and loaded back onto the disk. Unfortunately, most home computer users rarely, if ever, backed up their files. If they did, they rarely transported their backup media to a secure location away from the computer. Data loss was the result. Modern technology eliminates risk.

Data loss is a simple term that doesn't seem too harsh. Perhaps only one disk drive containing some files caused the data loss. Think about what that really means. Maybe there were old digital photographs on the damaged disk. Pictures of a bygone era such as when your children were young. They will never be that young again. Maybe your disk contained pictures of relatives who have passed away. You can see that data loss means the loss of priceless images. Because such things cannot be replaced, you should always maintain current backups of your hard disk.

In modern times, we have seen the advent of online cloud backup servers. These are utilities that companies establish that we can use to backup our hard disks. They install as applications which take care of the backup duties for us. The best ones give you daily backups with unlimited storage space in a secure facility. You register for an account and set up a regular backup. The online cloud backup server then takes care of the rest. It copies your data, over a secure connection, to a central data warehouse. They usually verify that your data is transferred successfully. As you can imagine, the initial backup can take a substantial amount of time, perhaps days. This is because the online backup uses your upload bandwidth which may be quite low compared with your download speed. In time, however, your data will be securely backed up at the cloud server location.

You may wonder just how secure your data is while it is being transferred to the online cloud backup facility. Truthfully, your data is likely safer in transit that it is in your own computer. Your computer is at risk from hackers, mechanical damage and catastrophes such as fire and flooding. When you backup to the cloud, the data is encrypted and sent to an extremely secure computer facility. Once there, your data is fully protected. When you set up a cloud backup, you need only to monitor your status daily to ensure that your data is as protected as possible.

In addition to automatic copying of your hard disk data to a secure facility, most online cloud backup services offer you remote access to your files. If you are travelling and you want to view one of your files, you can login to the cloud server from anywhere. You can then view the files that you want. You can even download them to a remote computer, modify them and replace them within your cloud backup account. The service takes care of synchronizing your changes with your home computer.

You may also share files with your trusted friends, family members or co-workers. Again by logging into your online cloud backup service, you can see your files and choose to share certain folders or files. You provide a link to the file to those that you trust. You establish a password and file sharing is set up. Now when you want to send something across town, or the world, you send a link and your cloud backup server takes care of the details. All the while, your data is safely protected.

In the more recent past, people began to add external hard disks to their computer systems for backup purposes. These devices have actually become very inexpensive of late. You may even be able to purchase a 1500 gigabyte external drive for less than $100. On it, you can store many thousands of photographs. This may seem like an excellent backup strategy. While it is better than nothing, it doesn't offer you the flexibility that an online cloud backup service does. You don't get file sharing. You don't get file storage at an off-site, secure location. You don't get remote access to your files. You don't get protection from fires, floods or theft.

Besides mechanical damage, our computers are at risk from environmental damage. Many people have all of their computer photographs and files destroyed from rising flood water. Fire can wipe out a system, even if the home is relatively undamaged. Thieves often take jewelry, money and computers from homes. These threats are real and are most effectively thwarted with online cloud backup services. Computers can be replaced but your priceless photographs often cannot be.

Just Cloud offers new users a free account which allows you to try out the online backup service at no risk. They install an application which you can use to selectively backup some of your most critical folders and files. Later, you can choose to upgrade your service to a protection level that suits you. Prices are very reasonable; the yearly cost is approximately what an inexpensive external hard disk might cost. When you consider how many additional features come with the Just Cloud service, you will realize just how cost effective an online backup can be.