Monday, February 21, 2011

Is Your Head in the Cloud About Data Back Up?

Different than having your head in the clouds and being ditsy about this and that, having your head in the “cloud” about data back up can literally save your business.

If all your important data and photographs, including electronic address book and calendars, isn’t backed up, you’re in the vulnerable position of potentially losing everything if your computer is lost, stolen, or severely damaged.

But you already know this, or should.

Furthermore, having the data backed up but physically at the same location as your computer is almost as bad as not having it backed up all if there’s a major fire at the location where it’s stored.

So what’s the solution?


1. You can transfer important files, data, and photographs onto a disk, flash stick, or SD card and put it into a bank safety box. This is good for the annual storage of last years’ files, and better than not backing up at all, but not convenient for daily updates and not readily accessible.

2. You can carry the flash stick or SD card with you when you leave the office. This is better than the safety box approach for daily updates, but again, some of the data is at the same location as the computer some of the time.

3. The best solution to backing up with daily access for easy updates is in the “cloud.”


Simply put, it’s storing data at an off-site location via your computer. You access your account on-line, send updates to the cloud, and there you have it; your data is backed up safely away from your computer. Lose your computer, you still have its data.

Another benefit is that you can access the same data from different computers, a great option for people with multiple computers or who travel and don’t want to lug a lot of gear with them.

The two biggest concerns about cloud storage are reliability and security. Data you send to the cloud is encrypted en route and requires security pass codes for anyone attempting to access the information.

One of the most popular and easy to use sites for individual cloud storage needs is:

DROP BOX: Requires software download onto your computer, but once there, data stored on your account is accessible by you from anywhere. Also useful for sharing large files with other people; they access a public section of your account so they can view and download specific information with your permission. It’s free up to a certain amount of data, after that there’s an annual fee.

Storing data for individuals and small businesses is different than storing data for large companies, so do your homework and choose a service that’s appropriate for your needs. A simple Google search will show you the options.

Here’s a comprehensive article about “How Cloud Storage Works” if you want more in-depth information on the subject.

UPDATE: June 29, 2012 
For a comprehensive overview of data storage options, including a video, please click HERE.

UPDATE, MARCH 29, 2011
This morning announced a new service, "Cloud Drive," It's cloud storage of your data. They're a new entry into this marketplace and offer up to 5 gigs of storage free to anyone with an account.  More information is available on their website:

Since I wrote this article more than a year and a half ago, a lot has happened in the cloud, which probably means that I need to write a whole new article that's more current. But in the meantime, here's a handy chart that I think you might find useful. It's a comparison chart of all the best cloud storage services.

Painting shown: Georgia O'Keefe's "Sky Above Ground"

Information contained herein is for guideline purposes only, is not intended as an endorsement of any product, and is no guarantee of the results. 

Copyright © The B. Hammil Company 2012


  1. I'm a HUGE fan of Mobile Me. That's how I share my photo's with family and run all my iTunes playlists (through Apple TV) to stream to my TV. So convenient!

  2. I always say I have to do a backup and then I forget, and the days pass...
    I'm in Buenos Aires apartments, but when I return I must do it because at some point I'll lose all my info!


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