Comparison of Home based Backup to Online Backup

Backing up or making copies of the data on your PC, Laptop, Mac, iPhone, Smartphone, iPod and any other place you store electronic information is like saving for a rainy day. It’s something you just have to do on a regular basis. your information is just too valuable to lose. If you use any of the above devices regularly, there will come a time when it will crash and possibly all the information you have on it will be lost! no doubt, it will happen.

OK, so now that we understand the importance of backing up the information, the next big question is where. Do I put in on a CD, DVD, external hard drive, online? Well, the best answer for the home today is to use an external hard drive (e.g. models from Western Digital). but do you back up online or use a local hard drive? what do I mean by that? a hard drive can be located in your house (local) or out on the Internet at a secure location (online).

There are pros and cons to both. Let me outline a few real fast.

Local Back Up

With a local drive in your home, you choose the software and hardware to best fit your needs and expertise. When dealing with your sensitive, private information, the local option gives you the most security. You control access to the actual device, both electronically and physically.

Most of the hard drive solutions are very easy to set up. some are connected directly to your PC and the others can connect directly to your home network (e.g. Western Digital’s World Edition). These network-based hard drives are the best solution, since all of your PCs, laptops, some game consoles, smart phones, etc. can be backed up in one place. some devices can back up automatically every time you turn on the device – meaning any time you are connected to the network, the system is working in the background to back you up — and others (e.g. phones) through a PC or laptop.

The local solutions entail an up-front cost for the storage device. but the good news is that some units come with excellent backup software solutions included on the drive. You can get a great 1 terabyte system, that is 1 trillion bytes of information, which could be 250,000 mp3 songs, 285,000 photos — any way, you get the picture – store LOTS of your digital stuff for under $150. Most of us don’t even need that much storage space and can save even more money.

Internet Secure Location (online)

Online backup is a method where you use a secure service located on the Internet. with online backup you have to use the software and security levels provided by the backup solution provider. your data is very secure but not 100% in your control. on the other hand, it is away from home and safe from any sort of disaster that could occur at home. Set up typically involves creating an account and downloading auto-installing software. You do need an internet connection to recover the data, which reduces the convenience of this approach somewhat. also your speed to back up will depend highly on the quality of your internet connection, which again can be inconvenient. the costs are typically an annual or monthly charge.


So, in reality, which is the best solution; local, online or both? the answer is “both”. a local centralized backup solution for your home is convenient and inexpensive. Plus you gain the extra value of having additional storage to share photos, videos, music and more [and be sure to back those up, too]. Using an online internet-based solution once a month ensures against the potential home disasters. for as little as $5 per month it’s worth the added peace of mind.

An alternative to paying for an online service is to simply buy an extra storage device and back-up to that device and store it away from your home. These drives are so small & inexpensive these days you could easily hook it up, backup and take it to your office or a safe deposit box once a month. but you have to remember each month and you know how that goes! Most important is to start backing up now before you lose something you will surely miss.

Comparison of Home based Backup to Online Backup

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