If your computer or external hard drive has ever crashed on you unexpectedly, you know just how devastating it is. If you've been lucky so far, imagine losing all of your treasured vacation photos, work documents and vast music libraries on your computer or external hard drive. It really doesn’t take much for you to lose it all. Something as simple as a spilled glass of water on your computer or leaving your cell phone sitting on your hard drive can wipe it clean. Or your laptop could be stolen. That's all it takes to lose many of the files, music, videos and pictures that mean so much to you. The best way to avoid this disaster is to back up your files using one of the best online storage providers.
The benefit of using online storage services doesn’t end at file protection. A large appeal of such services is accessibility. Cloud storage services give you access to your most frequently used and important files no matter where you are. Whether on your smartphone or work computer, you can access, view and edit your stored data.
As the need for digital storage space increases, you'll want to use the best cloud storage providers that offer you unlimited storage space at little cost. The most flexible unlimited cloud storage providers we reviewed are Carbonite, IDrive and CrashPlan. Our comprehensive product reviews and articles on online storage services can help you choose the best service to disaster-proof your data.
While all the services in our lineup provide the same function of data storage, they vary when it comes to features and how they secure and protect your documentation. Understanding what an online storage service offers is crucial to ensure you opt for a service that provides the functionality and usability you’re seeking. Whether you are a consumer or small-business owner, these are the features you should look for in an online backup storage service.
Backup & Restore Features
One of the most important things to consider when researching online document storage services is the allotted storage space. The best cloud services provide unlimited storage. This means you can store as many files as you want without the service ever capping your limit.
Online storage backup services should provide practical features that make uploading and sharing your files easy. For instance, the service should provide folder sharing, offline syncing and file versioning in case you lose the most recent version of a stored file. There should also be backup options so files are automatically updated whenever you make changes, and you should have the ability to restore any file you delete from your account.
Using a service that will keep your personal data as safe as possible is key. All the services we reviewed provide SSL-encrypted transfers of your backup data. Services should also encrypt your information while it is being stored. Added protection, such as folder permissions and passwords, allow access only to the people you choose.
Be sure to choose a service that offers geographic redundancy. This means your information is stored on two or more separate servers in different areas of the world. If a natural disaster destroys one of the servers, your information will still be stored in another area.
Many of the best cloud storage services offer a mobile app. These applications sync files between your computer and mobile device so you can access your files virtually anywhere. Online file storage providers with the most compatible mobile platforms are preferable.
Help & Support
Even the most user-friendly online storage services should be supplemented with help and support options. Troubleshooting and technical resources, including video tutorials and a comprehensive knowledgebase, should be available. Direct customer support should also be offered via telephone, email or live chat.
Online storage services can provide secure and accessible cloud storage that allows you to view and share your files from anywhere, anytime. You can free up space on your hard drive while ensuring you'll never lose your personal files.