Online backup services duplicate your files, update them, and store
them for you. This type of cloud
computing offers many advantages over traditional methods
of file backup.
Rather than having to remember
to copy files, many backup services do this for you, as long as
you remember to connect your
computer to the internet. You
can set the frequency as well as
the selection of files you want to
back up. The application runs in
the background while you work.
Note that some online cloud
storage services, such as Dropbox, store files but do not have
automatic backup systems.
Online backup services store
your data on secure servers.
All of the services listed here
use data encryption during
transmission and when files
are stored. It is also important
to use a strong password that
includes upper- and lowercase
letters and special characters,
such as the dollar sign. Never
use something obvious, like
Your entire collection of
documents transfer to the cloud
the first time you back up your
files. For subsequent backups,
just the modifications and additions get copied to save time
Most services permit you to
sync files among multiple de-
vices. This allows you and
your students to work on a
document at school, and then
continue working on it at
home. If you need to share a
file larger than your backup
service allows, you will need
to use a service such as Trans-
ferBigFiles.com, Send ThisFile.
com, or MailBigFile.com.
If you accidentally delete a
file, your hard drive fails, or
your computer is damaged
or stolen, you can easily find
the most recent version of a
specific file or even restore the
entire contents of your hard
drive. The ease of locating and
restoring files is an important
feature to explore before you
choose which service to use.
Download time will vary depending on the speed of your
Storage and Cost
Many services offer a limited
amount of space for free. Others
offer free storage for a trial period before requiring payment.
Most companies base their fees
on the amount of storage you
want. Discounts come with
longer commitments, and payments are usually monthly.
Online backup systems
are worth the minimal cost,
however. They are easy to use,
automated, secure, and provide
peace of mind for you and your
students. And that is priceless.
—Maureen Yoder, EdD, is on
the faculty of Lesley University’s
Technology in Education Program.
Online Backup Solutions