The statistics of computer users who experience the loss of irreplaceable documents and other files are staggering. According to the latest statistics;
- Nearly 1 in 2 computer users – that is 46% – experience the loss of irreplaceable documents and other files every year.
- 50% of hard-drives die within 5 years.
- 15% of households experience computer theft.
- Human error, viruses and other software problems are also responsible for significant data loses.
These statistics make it clear that home and small business users need a proven data recovery plan to protect their assets. Documents and other files change rapidly and as such backing up files to CD’s, memory sticks or other devices is no longer enough.
- You could lose hours and even days of work if your hard-drive dies before you have the time to back-up your files.
- Manual back-ups are not only time consuming; there are no guarantees that manual backups are reliable.
- Restoring a document that was backed-up days or weeks ago will not recover the work that you did since the last manual backup.
Cloud backup service plans offers home and small business users proven data recovery plans for no more than pennies a day. In fact the starting price for home and small business cloud backup service plans is about $4/month or $60/year. As such it is makes sense to purchase a cloud backup service plan that will automatically backup your files and allow you to recover your files on any computer that is connected to the Internet.
The advances in cloud service technologies have made it possible for countless service providers to offer cloud backup and storage services. As such finding a cloud backup solution that meet your needs can be a daunting task. This article discusses the most well know, cost-effective and reliable cloud backup service providers that should meet the needs of most home/small business users.
Symantec has a suite of security and cloud services tailored to the needs of home users and small businesses and enterprise clients. While most Internet Security products include cloud backup solutions Symantec’s Norton Security with Backup offers the most comprehensive cloud backup package for home and small business users.
Norton Security with Backup
Home users can purchase the Norton security and backup suite at an annual cost of $89.00 for up to 3 PC’s. The Norton security and backup suite includes:
- Protection against viruses, spyware, malware and other online attacks.
- Avoids unsafe websites and suspicious downloads
- Easily locates lost or stolen smartphones and tablets
- 25GB of storage for an automatic back-up of your documents and other files.
Norton™ Online Backup 25GB
If you already have an Internet Security suite you can purchase Norton Online Backup 25GB as a separate product for $54.99/year. The notable features found in Norton Online Backup includes
- Web-based File Management: Easily back up, manage, restore and transfer files — including previous versions backed up in the past 90 days — from up to five computers, through a secured, password-protected Web page.
- File Versioning: Automatically saves the previous versions of your files for up to 90 days, so you can easily restore older files if necessary.
- Accidental Deletion Protection: Allows you to restore files that you may have mistakenly deleted.
- Open File Backup: Backs up files even if they are open and in use.
- Comprehensive file restore capabilities: Quickly and easily restore your documents and other files in the event of computer hard drive crashes, accidental deletion, computer theft, natural disasters or other mishaps.
Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition
Small business with 10 or more employees can save up to $20.00 per end-user a year over the cost of individual licenses of Norton Security with Backup by switching to Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition. Symantec Endpoint Protection provides all the features included in Norton Security with backup plus:
- Available as a cloud-managed service or as an on premise management application
- Easy setup and web-based management
- Simple subscription pricing covers either management choice.
- Gain flexibility to enjoy the power and convenience of a cloud-managed service with always-on protection or manage locally on-site with a server.
- Save on time and labor with set up in just minutes with no additional hardware, and no special staff or training required
- A single subscription fee flattens operating costs and covers maintenance, service updates and 24×7 support, regardless of whether you opt for the cloud-managed service or on premise management.
CrashPlan offers cloud-based backup solutions for as low as $4/month ($48.00/year) for home users and $10/month ($120.00/year) per computer for small businesses.
Crash Plan Home Edition:
- Unlimited online storage
- Continuous, minute by the minute backups
- 448-bit file encryption
- Access files via the CrashPlan mobile app
- Restore files from any web browser
- Optional seeded backup and courier restore
CrashPlan Small Business Edition:
- Includes all the features found in CrashPlan Home Edition
- Manage other users (administrator)
- 24/7 phone support for severe issues
- Real time dashboard/reporting
Carbonite Online Backup
Carbonite Online Backup offers the most comprehensive and granular online backup solution for home and business users. Home user packages start at $59.99/year and multiple computer plans start at $269.99/year.
Enterprises that run mission critical applications that includes a live database, such as Client Relationship Management (CRM) systems, document management systems and other missing critical applications should consider the server plan that starts at $799.99/year or the appliance plan that starts at $1199.99 a year. Please visit the Carbonite website for more details about the server and appliance plans.
Carbonite Online Backups at a glance
- Eliminates the risk of losing files: Automatically backing up the irreplaceable photos, music, e-mails, financial records and other valuable files on your computer to a secure, offsite location.
- Quick and easy install: Carbonite takes less than 5 minutes to install and beings working right away to protect your most valuable files, continually updating your backup while you work — without slowing down your computer
- Secure: Everything is encrypted before it leaves your computer.
- Automatic: Runs quietly in the background to ensure your backup is up-to-date.
- Unlimited: Back up as much as you want for only $54.95/year.
- Hassle-Free: Recover lost files anytime, anywhere with just a few clicks.
- Easily Backup Computer System Files: Right Click on system files and select “back this up from the Carbonite menu
- Easy Backup Customization: Carbonite offers a wide array of options for customizing your backup, however 95% of Carbonite users prefer to stick with the default settings.
- Quickly restore documents and other files: Simply right click on a file or folder to restore documents and other files. Online backups are stored in the same folders found on your computer.
- Restore document and file versions: You have the option of restoring the file to a new location, by selecting “Restore to…” or recovering a previous version of the file by selecting “Restore previous versions…”
Carbonite Personal Plans:
- Unlimited cloud storage
- Automatic cloud backup
- U.S.-based support, 7 days a week
- Sync, share and access files remotely with free apps
- Includes all the features found in the basic plan
- External hard-drive backup
- Mirror Image backup
- Includes all the features found in the plus plan
- Automatic video backup
- Courier recovery service
Carbonite Professional Plans:
- Supports HIPAA Compliance (U.S Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act):
- Includes all the features in the personal plans
- 250GB of cloud storage for an unlimited number of Computers, External drives and Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices.
- Includes all the features in the basic plan
- 500GB of cloud storage for an unlimited number of Computers, External drives and Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices.
- Backup Windows File Servers
Server Pro Bundle
- Includes all the features in the prime plan
- Backup physical and virtual (Hyper-V) Windows Servers
- Backup databases and live applications
File and Records Management
The cloud backup solutions discussed in this article provide a comprehensive overview of the most popular cloud backup service packages that should cover the needs of most home and small business users. Nevertheless these cloud backup systems are not a substitute for a documented file and records management policy.
Most small businesses with 10 employees or more will need a documented file and records management policy that spells out:
- Retention time-frame of documents and other files.
- Regulatory compliance
- Ownership and access to documents and other records