We have received a large number of online backup questions via our contact form. Most of the questions we received are quite similiar so we decide to start this FAQ to publish common online backup questions we get.
If you cannot find answers of your online backup questions here, feel free to send us an email via the contact form.
Why is online backup better than local backup (e.g. external hard drive, CD/DVD, USB flash drive, etc.)?
The main disadvantages of local backup methods are that they are usually stored in the same physical location as the original files, can easily get stolen, or can have a short life-span. When disaster strikes, your local backups and originals are susceptible to the same risks of data loss!
With online backup, your valuable data is stored off site, you will never have to worry about your precious files getting lost if your computer crashes, is destroyed or stolen, your data is still safely stored on the backup provider's secured servers. You can restore your backup files anywhere and anytime.
How much does online backup cost?
Online backup plans offered by providers such as MyPC Backup, JustCloud, Mozy, Carbonite, IDrive, etc... usually cost less than $10 per month. Limited storage plans typically cost less than $7 a month. Unlimited storage plans costs close to $10 a month. The price is actually quite affordable. You can even save a few dollars per month if you sign up with a coupon for discount! Why not spend less than a cinema ticket each month to keep all of your important data securely stored online?
How does online backup works? Do I copy my local files and put them online?
No, you don't have to copy files manually and upload them online. Online backup services provide a backup software for your OS which will automatically discover files on your computer to backup. You can review the backup set recommended by the backup software and choose to only backup files you want.
How long does it take to backup all my files online?
This depends on how fast is your Internet package's upload speed and how much data you are backing up? On a standard high speed Internet connection with upload speed of 0.5Mbps, you will be able to back up around 5 GB of data per day. So if you have 35 GB of data for your initial backup, it will take about 1 week to complete.
Will online backup slow down my Internet connection?
Yes, online backup will slow down your Internet activities such as video conferencing or online gaming when your files are being backed up to remote data centers. But most online backup providers such as MyPC Backup, JustCloud, Carbonite all allow you to schedule your backup and limit bandwidth usage for online backup. Why don't you schedule backups to run at night when you're sleeping? When you're using your computer, you can limit the bandwidth usage for online backup so it does not affect the performance of other Internet applications.
I don't want to back up everything online. Can I choose what to back up online?
Yes, you can. All online backup providers offer you an option to choose what files/folders to backup and which types of files you want to backup.
How do I get my file back if I accidentally delete it?
Most online backup services offer you to restore your file(s) from both web and backup software.
To restore your file using web browser, you can just log into your backup account using any web browser on any computer/device, browse to the file you want to restore, and download it to your local drive.
To restore your file using backup software, you can open the backup software, go to the restore section, select 1 or more files, and choose where you want to restore file(s).
If your online backup provider offers native mobile apps, you can install the mobile app on your mobile device to access files backed up anywhere.