Whether you should use online backup or cloud storage to save your important files and photos

Today, most people understand cloud applications and cloud computing, but some still question the differences between a cloud backup solution,

Today, most people understand cloud applications and cloud computing, but some still question the differences between a cloud backup solution, like Acronis, and cloud storage services, such as iCloud, Google Drive, and Dropbox. In some cases, the providers of the latter three products advertise their services as a backup solution. In other cases, consumers believe that anytime they store data in the cloud, it’s always protected in the event of loss. Let’s set the record straight when it comes to online backup vs. cloud storage services.

How Are Cloud Storage Services Different from Backup Software?

To start, take a look at the definitions of the different types of cloud storage services available today:

1. iCloud is a cloud solution from Apple Computer Inc. that provides cloud storage and apps for Apple desktop, tablet, and mobile devices. It includes the ability to store documents, videos, photos, music and other data online, and users can synchronise it between iOS-powered devices.

2. Google Drive is a personal cloud storage service from Google that lets users store and synchronise digital content across computers, laptops and mobile devices, including Android-powered tablet and smartphone devices. If you delete a file — whether intentionally or by accident — it’s gone.

3. Dropbox is a cloud storage service that enables users to store files on remote cloud servers with the ability to share files within a synchronised format.

The bottom line is that iCloud, Google Drive, and Dropbox are designed for cloud storage with the primary objective of synchronising data between devices so that documents, videos, photos, and music can be accessed and shared – and they do a good job at this.

For example, you may use your iPhone to take pictures but want to view these pictures on your iPad. You can use iCloud, Google Drive, or Dropbox, which store the pictures that are on your iPhone in the cloud. Then, you can access and view the pictures that are stored in the cloud using your iPad.

While Google Drive and Dropbox are not advertised as backup solutions, Apple does advertise iCloud as a backup solution. However, iCloud can only back up your mobile device and only some of the data on your Mac computer.

On the other hand, cloud backup software (also called online backup) protects data and systems in the event of file loss or deletion, stolen or lost devices, mishaps and disasters. Unlike public cloud storage services, today’s more complete backup solutions can back up everything to both the cloud and local disks and drives. This includes pictures, videos, documents, contacts, calendars, reminders, even an entire computer. You can restore a new device in a matter of minutes and be totally back up, running, and on the go — something that no public cloud storage service can do.

3 Ways Cloud Backup Solutions Provide More Protection Than Cloud Storage Services

Data protection is very important to Australian consumers. A consumer new study conducted by Acronis revealed that more than half of survey respondents have more than four devices in a household to protect and 47 percent of Australians fear losing photos and videos the most. 1 in 3 Australian users suffered from data loss.

Here are three ways that online backup solutions provide more protection and broader features than public cloud storage services:

1. Protects your entire PC or Mac computer — includes the operating system, applications, data, preferences, history, etc. — a full disk image backup protects everything on your computer. And you can restore everything to a new computer quickly.

2. Preserves all your mobile device content – includes pictures, videos, contacts, and events on your iPhones, iPads, and Android devices.

3. Manages all computers and devices from one place – backup and restore all your PCs, laptops, and mobile devices from a single online dashboard. Replace and restore devices any time from any place. This is great for families and households with multiple computers and mobile devices to look after.


Share your thoughts below.

  1. Recently a person who owned an ISP business lost ALL of his and his 1500 customers’ files. Everything vanished when he entered an incorrect piece of computer code. The moral of the story is trust no-one with your data.
    If you do use a cloud-based backup service or storage, I advise you encrypt it using one of the encryption programs eg, True Crypt (free) AND also keep an additional copy on a small portable hard disk drive where you can replicate your backup or data and then detach from your computer.
    One single backup anywhere is never sufficient and if anyone hacks into the cloud service, they will have full access to your data if not encrypted.

  2. Randolph  

    If you haven’t heard about the NSA prism scandal then you should educate yourself. Recommending storage owned by an US based tech company is foolish and reckless. Fact is that you as an Australian have NO Rights under the US constitution and the Australian government doesn’t care, hell they even encourage it. Look at the NSW schools usage of Google Classroom, the very same Google classroom who currently have a case in front of the federal trade commission for tracking children on line and in google classroom. The case was brought against them after revealing breaches in privacy discovered by Electronic Fronteirs Foundation.

    Fact is, the way that us companies behave with your private data, you might as well just post all your private information on a public forum.

    No one should be recommending using any of these services.

  3. DWY  

    I have recently setup a NAS drive using Synology which has a service to backup to a cloud provider in the background. To retain some level of security I create archive files that are then encrypted and then copied into off site cloud storage.

    Without a true personal off site company (like many enterprises have today) the cloud is a cheap way for home users to achieve some level of durable “not in my house” archiving.

    Copying files to HDD or SSD and storing in a safe deposit box are all options but not durable. The drives fail, interfaces change, and keeping cables around in the hopes you can later restore are all concepts that businesses fight against because it fails all the time. How many tapes are stored off site but the drives don’t exist any more? More than you think which is scary, considering fortune 100 companies do it all the time.

    Is the cloud perfect? Not even close but with some precautions it’s the best we have thus far.

  4. Jay  

    Don’t forget viruses, especially ransomwear. Attached cloud storage like ickoud, drive and dropbox will get infected just like your local hard drive. Always have a full backup.

  5. Pingback: 3 Best Online Storage Services for Photos and Personal Files – Answers 4 Anything

  6. sujit  

    Dual strategy needs to be adopted or best will be three.

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