Backing up data to a Cloud is a way of benefiting from a digital safe for all your data. But there are some important things that have to be considered such as price, PC/Mac server compatibility, and whether it be for personal or professional use, or operating client software.
For individuals, the most well-known backup options are Skydrive and Dropbox. Though these are more storage and sharing options, rather than true backups. A true backup software would be capable of:
- Analysing files for backup
- Backing up files even if they are in use, which is always the case with the software installed on servers, but not always with “standard” PCs and Macs
- Only backing up files which have been altered since the last backup rather than backing up everything each time
- Restoring all or part of the data set in a simple fashion
In the world of Macintosh, Apple launched iCloud almost 2 years ago. As Cloud backups go, iCloud is a convenient and easy to use personal backup. For those who operate over a mixed Windows/Mac OS X environment, a big advantage is that iCloud software comes installed as standard on a Mac, and can be easily downloaded and installed for free on a Windows PC. iCloud offers 5GB free, which isn’t much, but you can buy an extra 10GB for £14/year which is still an acceptable price, although 50 GB extra (55Gb in total) costs £70/year.
The drawback of iCloud is that it is assigned to a single user account, which means that all the data is accessible to everyone that configured said account. Not very suitable for a professional network, unless it were possible to use iCloud on Windows Server… But Apple hasn’t mentioned that…