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Backing up to a Cloud at a practical level

cloud data storage

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

And Macs?

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…

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