Friday, June 17, 2011

Online Backup For Disaster Recovery

In computing, disaster is always just around the corner. There are so many potential points of failure. Disks can crash at any time. Data can be accidentally erased. Both equipment and data can be stolen or destroyed by fire, storm or flood. So, why are we so convinced that it just isn’t going to happen?

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The problem with computer disasters is that you may never get a warning. One minute everything is humming along nicely. The next minute, it’s all gone. That scares most of us just enough that we occasionally copy important files to other computers, alternative hard drives, thumb drives, CD ROMs or DVD ROMs. It’s a lot better than nothing, but the hit and miss nature of these backups means that there are long periods when data is changing but only in one place.

The other weakness of our ad-hoc personal backup systems is that they only protect from certain types of losses. A CD ROM backup protects against a hard disk failure. It doesn’t protect from natural disasters that wipe out the entire office, not merely a few computers or one hard drive. Just what would a tornado, hurricane, flood, fire or earthquake do to your facility? Think your backup disks would still be in good condition? Maybe. Maybe not. Can you really take that chance?

The traditional solution for robust backups is to send copies of your files to a remote location, such as a separate data center across town. Smaller companies store CD ROM backups in bank vaults away from the company facilities. Today’s solution is online backup. Everybody has a broadband connection and there are companies that specialize in being that secure data center that you can’t afford.

One of the best online backup companies is SOS Online Backup. They’ve been around since 2001 and have won numerous industry awards.

A really important feature that SOS offers is called Engage Live Protect. It detects whenever a file has been changed and immediately backs up that file. This certainly takes the weak link of remembering what to backup out of the loop. With file backups happening as needed, there is also no long time lag to the next scheduled backup during which something can go wrong.

Another nice feature of this service is that you can access your files on the Web from any computer with a web browser. You don’t have to use the computer that the file came from, which helps if that machine smokes. You can even share files by using an email address. SOS lets you backup to five computers with one simple account. There are enterprise level services available for larger organizations with many employees.

Have you integrated iPhones or iPads into your organization? SOS iPhone App lets you access all of your files anytime, anywhere from your iOS mobile device.

The big hesitation many people have with online backup systems is security. How can you be sure the bad guys won’t steal your data right out from under you? SOS protects you with a three-tiered encryption system that offers military grade security. The data to be backed up is first encrypted right on your computer using 256 bit AES encryption. While in-transit, 128 bit SSL is employed to secure the link. Finally, the data is stored using 1024 bit AES encryption.

Are you feeling a bit squeamish about all those files on your computer that could go “poof” at any time? How much would that hurt? Don’t let it happen. Get SOS Online Backup now and rest easy that your important files are stored away securely in the cloud, ready to retrieve at any time.

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