Why is it important to backup your data

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Online backup services are the best ways to protect oneself from loss of precious computer data through hard disk crashes or unintentional deletion.  Online data backups, however, do not only protect you from hard disk failures and deletion alone; disasters such as floods, fires, earthquakes etc. can also cause you to loose precious document or digital media. Even with the regular creation of backups, these calamities can strike any time before you are able to create backups.

These online backups require that you install applications on your PC, which then scans, encrypt and transfer the data up to the cloud. Once uploaded, you are able to access them via the same computer or across various devices. Some service providers also allow for these files to be accessed through a browser. Should a file go missing on the physical disk, you can then access the same file from the backup on the cloud. Online backup services, however, should not be mistaken for cloud syncing and storage services such as One Drive, Google Drive, or drop box.  Although these services do store files, they are not designed to secure data but rather, to allow for synchronization of data across various platforms.

Convenient backup services will hardly be provided for free, and thus, it is important that you get into it knowing that you are going to pay for them. The services are all based on subscriptions which are usually diced to make them appealing or for the convenience of the subscriber. Paying for the services may be monthly, annually or one may commit several years. Some may be even be restricted to one device, specified number of devices or even unlimited number of devices but with limitations on the amount of data. Some providers may offer free services, but these are usually time-limited trials or have a limitation of the amount of data to be backed up.

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Most service providers ensure data encryption using strong systems such as Blowfish or AES 256 before being stored in the cloud. As a result, some of these providers ensure strong security measures such that not even the provider’s employees can help recover your data in case you forget your secret key or password. Restoration of backed-up data is also a crucial aspect of these services. While making choices for service providers, basic features such as the availability of search tools to ensure that you can find a specific file comes in handy as a convenience. In addition, it is imperative that you choose a provider who allows for cross-platform accessibility of your files since the web is everywhere these days.

In Kenya, these services are offered by companies such as DataBank , Webhost Kenya, East Africa Data Handlers, databank, Angani, Bitlink and East Africa Recovery Experts. Their subscriptions plans are all different, and so it would be a good idea to take time and look into each of them. Whatever service provider you’ll choose, always remember disaster may strike at any time and preparation is the best way to deal with it.


Be safe. Back up your data!!!

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