online backupYour company’s data is your most valuable asset, and it is in constant peril. Whether the threat comes from malware or a negliglent employee, the resulting impact of data loss is the same: lost information, lost time, lost money, and lost customers. There are many ways to protect your data, but the most effective one is regular data backup. No matter what disaster occurs, natural or manmade, if your data is backed up properly to an off-site server, you will be more likely to restore it without suffering a loss. Here are tips on how to select an online backup and recovery solution that works for you.

What and When to Backup

Online back up services vary widely in this regard. Some will backup all files and folders, some will choose the most the files you’ll most likely want, and some let you choose specific folders and files. Not all platforms will allow you to backup program and system files though. If you need everything backed up, consider a service that copies your entire hard drive. As for timing of backups, there are two options, fixed and continuous. Fixed follows a regular, calendarized schedule. Continuous recognizes when files are added and backs up in response.

How Data is Restored

In the event of a loss, it doesn’t matter how your data was backed up if you can’t access it. If your data can’t be restored simply, then your backup solution isn’t worth much. “Look for a service that offers a search tool to find a particular backed-up file. It’s also desirable for a service to be able to replicate an entire folder-tree structure, so that it can deal with bigger data losses. One consideration in restoring is that if you bought a plan that covers just one computer, you may have to transfer the account to a new PC if you want to restore everything and use the service for that computer.

Versioning is another capability offered by many of the services. This lets you see earlier versions of a file in case you made some unwanted edits. Services vary widely in the number of versions saved and how long they’re kept. Some save every version forever. Some even permanently save files you’ve accidentally deleted from the source PC. Some providers don’t consider this an online backup function, but rather an archiving function. Call it what you like, it can save your bacon if you need an earlier file version or one that you deleted by mistake.” (PC Mag)

Accessing the Backup Data

In the event of a physical disaster, being able to access your data remotely is a critical feature. There are a variety of access levels available. You will likely want mobile access as well, so be sure to confirm the service you are considering offers it.


There is always risk when putting any data on the internet. Fortunately, cloud backup services know that data security is critical, so they encrypt your data. However, data encryption isn’t always as safe as you think, so it’s important to pay close attention to the service’s security features. Most services utilize military-grade 256-bit AES encryption. Some services use an even higher bit level – 446-bit Blowfish encryption.

The most critical security feature is whether you own the encryption key or not. If you don’t own the encryption key, then employees of the service can access your data. These services maintain the right to the encryption key for the purpose of serving warrants if they feel you’re storing illegal documents. Best intentions aside, a private encryption key means that no one can access your data without your encryption key.

There is a downside to maintaining a private encryption key – you’re responsible for making sure you don’t lose or forget it. If the key is lost, then you can’t access the files. The service can’t reset the key.” (Top Ten Reviews)

Back Up Your Data Today

Great Lakes Computer offers an automated and hassle-free, single comprehensive backup and recovery solution. We are a proud partner reseller and Managed Service Provider of Asigra Cloud Backup, a comprehensive end-to-end agentless backup and recovery software platform. With a simple, low impact, but powerful platform that ensures that not just backups complete in the fastest and most efficient manner, we ensure your data is stored in a secure and highly recoverable form.

Learn About Our  Backup & Recovery Platform