Best Online Backup Service: What You Need to Know in 2021

by Sarah Bader | September 30, 2021

Image shows man standing in a server room holding a laptop.

Online backup services are robust solutions that nearly all types of businesses depend on. We rely so much on our digital data that any kind of data loss or corruption is devastating to workflow and productivity, not to mention potential fines or penalties. Financial loss is almost guaranteed, and business continuity could be impacted, depending on the severity of the problem. Over 10% of SMBs affected by cybercrime in 2019 went out of business permanently.

It’s critical to have a plan in place that mitigates the risk of a data disaster. Online backup services provide this safety net by automating the backup process.

An online backup service is a reliable, user-friendly, budget-conscious way to ensure you can restore your systems quickly and carry on.

Online Backup Services: What Are They?

Online backup services are software-enabled ways to back up your business data using an online connection.

The online backup solution is installed on the devices you want to protect. Once installed, you’ll configure it to back up your files, folders, photos, and other data according to your needs. Depending on how much data you process, you can run backups weekly, daily, hourly, or continuously.

Businesses that handle high volumes of data, such as financial services and ecommerce stores, will generally want to run continuous backups. Financial data, especially personally identifiable information like names, addresses, and credit card information, is legally protected by regulations like GDPR, and fines and penalties quickly add up. Ecommerce businesses can also face legal consequences for data breaches, but the real cost of data loss for ecommerce is downtime – after all, you can’t buy back a lost customer.

An online backup service is a safe, secure, and worry-free way to ensure you always have a copy of your data ready to deploy when needed.

How Do Online Backup Services Work?

Your online backup service is fully managed, meaning that the backup function and the software that enables it are managed by a third-party provider.

It is the managed service provider’s (MSPs) job to ensure its systems, servers, and software are secure and operational at all times. You don’t have to worry about updates, purchasing additional hardware, or wondering whether your backups are protected by the latest security.

When you choose an online backup service, you’ll select a subscription plan paid either monthly or annually. Annual plans often represent the best value as most MSPs offer a discount in exchange for the commitment.

Once you’ve purchased, you will connect the devices and systems you need to back up to your account. You’ll need to configure several settings, such as what kind of backups you need, how often you want them to run, and various other parameters, depending on the provider. You’ll also need to provide the appropriate permissions to any SaaS apps for your backup provider to back up the data stored there.

Your first backup will be a full backup of all files and systems on your protected devices. Subsequent backups are usually incremental, meaning the online backup service will only back up new files or data that has changed since the last backup. Using this approach helps you reduce cloud storage capacity and costs, and also makes it easier to undo small mistakes with granular data restorations.

Online backups are encrypted and sent over an internet connection to a cloud server, where they are stored securely until you need to access them.

If you need to restore your data, whether it’s a single file, account, image, or the entire system, you will sign into your backup vault and initiate the restore process. The software would then begin to restore your files via an internet connection.

Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Online Backup Service

Choosing the best online backup service is not always straightforward. There are many different solutions on the market, each with its own feature set and capabilities. The best online backup solution for you is the one that suits your needs and budget.

Here are a few things you should consider when choosing the best online backup service:

Who is Using Your Online Backup? User-Friendliness is a Must

Think about who will be using your online backup service. Then, look at the process involved in restoring your files from an online backup. The process should be easy enough for the person with the least technical ability.

How Much Data Are You Backing Up? Cost Implications of Cloud Storage

Your monthly subscription fee will generally come with a set amount of cloud storage space. If you go over your allocation, will you pay additional fees? Be sure you know what the parameters are and that you can set notifications to tell you when you’re getting close to your limit.

How Safe is Your Data? Data Privacy Compliance

Most cloud backup providers are compliant with international data privacy laws, but it’s always a good idea to check your service level agreements. For regulations such as the GDPR, you are responsible for ensuring that your vendors are compliant, too, so some due diligence is required.

Disaster Recovery: What is Their Plan?

What happens to your backups if your cloud backup provider experiences a disaster? Find out what their disaster recovery plan (DRP) entails and how it will affect your ability to access your backups. Do they have a customer support line or any other assistance for customers experiencing difficulty? Do they have a status page where you can quickly check the state of their backup vault? It’s important to think through the steps you would need to take in an emergency data restore, and assess whether your online backup service is equipped to help you through it.

Essential Features of the Best Online Backup Service

Knowing the essential features of the best online backup services will help you choose the one that’s right for you.

  • Cost. Your online backup service should fit your budget.
  • Features. Choose a cloud backup solution that offers the features you need. Ensure it can back up all of the different types of files that are essential to your business.
  • Automation: Will you need to manage your backups, or will the online backup service provider automatically handle backingup your data? If you choose to manually trigger backups, ensure you have a system in place to remind you to do so regularly.
  • Scalability. Your cloud backup service should be capable of growing with you.
  • User-Friendly. Ease of use ensures your backup and restore processes are fast, efficient, and easy to manage.
  • Industry Focus. If you’re protecting niche business data, choose a cloud backup system that specializes in your focus area.
  • Reputation. Look at what others are saying and partner with a provider that has an excellent track record.
  • Customer Service. How do you access customer service? What are the provider’s support hours? You don’t want to be left in the dark when you’re dealing with a data emergency.
  • High Availability. It’s not a good sign if your backup service has a lot of downtime. Look for services that offer a minimum of three nines (99.9% uptime).

Rewind Online Backup Services for Your SaaS Applications

Businesses today rely on third-party software-as-a-service (SaaS) to drive productivity, reduce costs, streamline processes, and add value. SaaS solutions cover all kinds of business processes, enabling enterprise-level efficiency at a cost just about any company can afford.

In 2020, Statista reported the average number of SaaS at about 80 per company. But what happens if SaaS data is lost or if a system crashes? Rewind’s recent customer survey found nearly half had lost data in the cloud. Many of these apps leverage dependencies to work correctly. Though you would think the software provider is responsible for backing up data on the platform, most only backup their own frameworks—not the customer account data.

Rewind specializes in backups for many popular SaaS solutions, including QuickBooks Online, Shopify, BigCommerce, Trello, GitHub, and more. Rewind online backup services will restore your SaaS data and all dependencies, ensuring you can get back up and running quickly should anything happen. Rewind integrates seamlessly with your SaaS apps, enabling fast and easy restores of everything from a single file to your entire system.

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Sarah Bader
Sarah Bader is a content writer, tech enthusiast, and passionate supporter of the Oxford Comma. When she puts her pen down, she can often be found riding her bike around Ottawa or watching trashy reality tv with her dog (he’s a big fan).