Feeds

Online sync'n'store services

Your files on the cloud to access from... anywhere

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Group Test For the last couple of years, I’ve been walking around with a tough, shock-resistant memory stick in my pocket . It contains an emergency back-up of all my current work files - and has prompted more than one comment along the lines of, "is that a memory stick in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?"

However, 2011 could be the year when I finally dump my embarrassing digital appendage and migrate my files to that nebulous digital nirvana known as "the cloud". There are now several online storage services that allow you to upload documents to a server so that you can subsequently retrieve them from any location in the world that has internet access.

Illustration

Access your cloud-synced files on multiple devices

Of course, many of these services have been around for years – especially if you also include the likes of Flickr and YouTube, which are really just a form of online storage for photos and video files. But the now widespread adoption of Wi-Fi networks, mobile broadband, smartphones and, soon, tablets makes it much more likely that you'll want to access your important files when you’re away from home or your office.

Cloudbusting, Daddy

Big names such as Amazon, Microsoft and Apple are helping to drive this move to online storage, but there are lots of smaller companies offering their own over-the-net back-up and storage services too. In fact, the six best-of-breed services I'm reviewing here are just the tip of the iceberg.

You could also sign up with rivals such as BackBlaze, JungleDisk, iDrive and Norton Online Backup, and there are plenty more to choose from. Most external hard disk manufacturers, for example, also offer some form of online back-up to complement their hardware, so there’s no shortage of online storage options available.

There are quite a lot of differences between all these services, though, so it’s worth taking some time to think about exactly what you need before making your choice. The good news is that quite a few of these services are free – or at least provide a limited amount of online storage for nowt, along with the option to rent additional storage for a monthly or annual subscription fee.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Next page: Back-up basics

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Sin COS to tan Windows? Chinese operating system to debut in autumn – report
Development alliance working on desktop, mobe software
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?