Some of the most popular online backup services for home consumers and small medium business owners are Mozy and Carbonite. Both of them work the same way – set it and forget it.
You download a small software program on your computer that runs in the background as per schedule (say, once every night while the computer is not in use). Then you suggest the files and folders on your computer that should be backed up.
The first backup is generally slow but subsequent backup are much faster since they are incremental in nature meaning only those files and folders are copied that are either new or have been modified since the last backup.
Both Carbonite and Mozy offer unlimited storage space and cost US$49.95 per year per computer. A good point about Mozy is that they also offer a free version with 2 GB of online storage space – that should suffice the needs of most home consumers. Mozy is available for Mac and Windows while Carbonite currently works only with Windows XP/ Vista. The Mac version of Carbonite is expected next month.
If you had a hard disk crash or if your computer is stolen, it is fairly easy to restore data from either of these services – you can initiate full restoration that via their websites or via their desktop client if you want to pick and choose what files / folders should be restored.
Other than automated online backup, there are some other good options like Box.net and XDrive.com (from AOL) – these services are like your personal USB drive that let you access important files from any computer without requiring any software on your computer – they will inside the web browser.
Unlike Mozy or Carbonite which monitor local files for changes, these online storage services require manual intervention. They are still very handy if you only have a small set of files to backup or are looking to save some bucks. XDrive gives 5GB of online storage space for free while Box.net is limited to 1GB.
While online backup services make life extremely simple, they are not a practical option for computer users who have slow internet connections as routine backups can take ages. For them, the removable USB Flash drive or the good old CD/DVD still remains the fastest and most convenient option for backing up their data.
Take a backup of your digital data before it’s too late. You’ll also feel much more happy and relaxed.