Remote or online backup is a systematic way of storing backup and recovery data in an offsite location where folders, files and the entirety of a hard drive is copied regularly and is sent to the provider’s database over a network or the internet. It is also referred to as web based data recovery and backup.

 How it Works

Client software is at the heart of any online data backup. It runs daily on a set schedule and copies all the files that is set to be backed up. The process of collecting, compressing and transferring of copied data occurs simultaneously and is sent to the service provider’s data servers.

Online Backup at Present

Modern backup systems using high speed LAN connections offer an almost real time backup, encryption, compression and transfer for files used during business transactions and open file backups. Most companies offering online backup for ordinary computer owners offer beta versions and free trial to further promote their service

Why Use Online Backup?

The reason is obvious. Regularly creating backup files manually is a tedious task for individuals and even more exhausting for big companies. For this reason, automatic backup offered by online backup service providers offers ease and saves a lot of time. Online backups also help companies get rid of catastrophic effects from massive data loss after every disaster.


The advantages of using online backup include:

  • One most relevant advantage is that backup files are stored in a different location from the original ones
  • User intervention is not needed. Backup is created automatically
  • Unlimited data can be stored
  • Continuous backup updating changed files automatically
  • Most providers retain lists of file versions
  • Secured transport of data over the internet using 128 up to 448 data encryption
  • Binary bits of data recently changed are transmitted by other remote backup providers.


The disadvantages on the other hand include:

  • Data transmission and restoration depends on the internet connection and bandwidth. When something happens and connection to a network or the internet is slow. Tapes or labeled CD’s will be shipped from the provider.
  • Guarantee that data will be kept private is not sure. It is always better to have data encrypted first before backup process is automated.
  • Cost and access to data is at risk especially when a firm closes or is sold to a new owner.
  •  Loss of password for encryption will render all backup data useless and recovery will be impossible but proper management will be able to take care of this.

For ordinary computer users, the cost of having online backup can be high. If the purpose is backing up important files then it can be more affordable. This can be done by identifying critical files to be placed on a remote storage and manually storing less important ones on storage media like CDs and USBs. For medium to large enterprise business, investing on the cost of a remote backup can prove to be a wise step.