Keeping copies of your important files is the single best way you can protect your computer from catastrophe. Over the decades many different protection schemes have emerged and the average user is faced with an array of choices. Some of the earliest mass storage devices on computers were magnetic tapes. Even as computers moved to hard drives for immediate storage, tapes were used for backups. Today, businesses still use tape drives for server backups since they are an economical choice for large organizations. Although you can get tape drives for home computers, they aren't the best solution for the average user. One of the biggest problems with tape backup is that hard drives have increased in size exponentially while tapes aren't much larger than they used to be. Backing up requires using many tapes, each of which has to be inserted in sequence. This may be fine for a computer operator who is being paid to watch lights blink, but the average consumer has better things to do. You also have to take the tapes offsite to protect your backup. If you are backing up your computer nightly this can result in multiple trips to an offsite storage location. CDs and DVDs have one advantage over tapes in that your computer already has the drive installed. However, they still suffer from the same need to swap media to collect all your data and daily trips to an offsite storage location.
There was a bit of a revolution when USB hard drives became available. These external drives could be plugged into a computer without opening the case. Data could be copied to them without having to swap between media. USB drives suffer from the same problem as tapes and dvds in that they need to be stored offsite to truly protect your data. If you do not move the drive offsite then you aren't truly protecting against lightning, fire and other disasters. How many of us actually want to carry a bulky USB drive to some remote location? And if a thief breaks in, do you think he's going to take the computer and leave the external hard drive? Probably not. USB drives also have to be moved from computer to computer if you are backing up more than one computers. With an online backup solution you can back up multiple computers to the same account and it is all done automatically for you.
As upload and download speeds continue to improve, it is now feasible to store files to remote systems over the Internet and the online backup market is growing. The industry has gained a lot of attention and has seen significant growth after Hurricane Katrina. Businesses in New Orleans that followed the conventional practice of offsite tape backups found that Katrina not only destroyed their businesses but also their backup tapes stored miles away. Online backup stores your files on a remote server that is located in a separate state so files are protected not only from hard drive crashes, viruses, fires, and theft, but even widespread natural disasters. This is the most economical storage solution for most people. Try out our free online backup and get started today.