The cloud is a *terrible* backup strategy! Let’s cover why and what you should be doing instead. (spoiler, you need a dedicated backup solution)
Have you ever wiped a hard drive? Or had a virus clean out all your data?
If you’re anything like me, I bet you have.
Of course, this is a much rarer thing than it was in the mid-2000s. Remember the days before Dropbox and other cloud services? When many of us literally only had one copy of most files… Scary stuff.
I’ll have to tell you about the time I wiped our (family of 4) entire personal computer and backup drive in a minute.
At least in those days, we didn’t have our computers filled with irreplaceable data like 5 years of photos and videos that could never be replaced.
Now you’re probably wondering why I’m talking about this, well I recently found out my backup provider is shutting down their consumer product so it’s been on my mind.
Now on that story, the worst part is that I literally wiped the hard drives myself. Both our backup drive and the computer itself… turns out I didn’t really know what ‘format’ meant (it means permanently destroy everything…). My folks were not impressed (even though I blamed it on a worm).
While we’re here, I want to point out that Dropbox, Google Drive and the like are not backup solutions. Having your files synced from your computer to those services doesn’t count as a backup. Why?
If you’re syncing files to the cloud and accidentally delete them on your computer, they’ll be deleted from the cloud too!
Storing data in the cloud only really covers one possible reason for needing a backup (hardware failure) like spilling a full cup of coffee on the keyboard of a shiny Sony Vaio. Not like I’ve done that or anything… Okay, maybe I did. To make it worse, it wasn’t even my computer…
Cloud services are great for that kind of thing, but what they don’t cover you for is if you accidentally delete your files, or a virus does, or the cat walking over your keyboard. Or one of those crazy ransomware viruses that encrypts all your files and makes you pay a Bitcoin ransom to unlock them. these kinds of things actually need a different solution.
Plus, services like Dropbox and Drive aren’t 100% foolproof. Things happen. So if your data is important to you, you should have it in multiple places.
Personally, I keep at least 3 backups of all my most valuable data. one in the cloud, one on a physical hard drive, and one in a dedicated backup service.
The dedicated backup service is the one that’s shutting down. So I’ve had to do my research on what the best option is to switch to. And it turns out…
Not only does it have unlimited storage, it’s incredible value at only $50 a year. Heck, it’d be a bargain at twice the price.
It’s also much nicer to use than the service I was using before. BackBlaze integrates directly with your system preferences (on Mac) so it feels like it was always meant to be there. It’s also Windows friendly but I haven’t used that as I left windows behind long ago.
It’s also super secure and allows 2-factor authentication, something I’m shocked Apple still doesn’t offer for services like iCloud.
They even offer an awesome service where you can get your backup physically sent to you on a drive if your internet is too slow to download the whole backup in a reasonable amount of time. Pretty awesome.
There’s also a free trial so you can test it out and see if you like it.
I’d definitely give BackBlaze my personal recommendation. So if you don’t have a dedicated backup solution already, go try it out!
Looking for more recommendations? Go check out the best book I’ve read lately.
Also published on Medium.