Offsite Backup Services: Things to Consider



Offsite Backup Services are one thing that most businesses have to consider for data protection. Most small businesses today use computers for one purpose or another, and have data storage needs. Without reliable and secure data storage methods, files are vulnerable to being lost. There are many threats to stored data: power failure or surging, mistakes, hackers, crashes, etc. There are also many ways to back up data, to protect it from such threats. These include redundant drives, tape backups, and offsite backup services.

An offsite backup services company provides the tools and storage space necessary to keep your business’ data safe and secure, typically at a low monthly cost based on the amount of data storage space your business needs and how often you intend to transfer data to the backup site. It’s true that nothing is completely foolproof, and the backup services are no different. However, the service company has the time to keep up-to-date with the latest security technology – it’s their business to do so. Can you, as a busy small business owner, say the same? Do you have the resources to hire an in-house employee to take care of constantly updating your business’ security measures? Probably not, if your small business is like most others. Hiring an offsite backup services company relieves your business of the need to constantly update such measures internally, and can save you a lot of money – and headaches – in the long run.

In addition, using an offsite backup services company means that you retain full access to your data even if every computer owned by your business is destroyed. In a perfect world, local backups would be sufficient. In reality, disasters happen. Tornado came through and wiped out your data center? Flooding caused damage to your mainframe? Your computers got burned in a fire? With offsite backup, your data is still secure and accessible, at a remote location.

Normally, dedicated server space is established for your business’ data on the company’s machines, and your data is encrypted; some companies will go so far as to guarantee that they can’t even access it, because only you possess the encryption key. Typically, all you need to get started is an Internet connection (although you will likely want to have a broadband connection, rather than dial-up, with a good upload speed, to make sure that your data is flowing smoothly and quickly to the remote location). Some offsite backup services companies do have proprietary encryption software, however, so check to make sure that the monthly price includes the software, and at least one seat license, and also make sure that you’re not paying extra just to upload and encrypt, over and above what you’re paying for the basic storage space.

It is, of course, a good idea to shop around. The lowest cost option may not be the best bet. Seek referrals from other local business owners, friends, and family members, and check the local Better Business Bureau to see if complaints have been registered about the companies you’re considering. Ask for client references, and check the companies’ confidentiality and security standards, as well as pricing, and, again, make sure you know what the prices include for each offsite backup services company that you contact.

"I never waste memory on things that can easily be stored and retrieved from elsewhere." - Albert Einstein

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