Five Tips for Choosing the Best Offsite Backup Plan for SMB (Small to Medium Businesses)

Choosing Offsite File Backup for Small BusinessesIf you are like most business owners and entrepreneurs today, chances are more likely than not that you need files backed up, offsite. You have grown to realize the inherent risk of backing up exclusively on removable hard-drives and the like, as they are deemed worthless should your office experience a robbery, flood, fire or any other natural disaster. In addition, it is often vital for all of your employees to have access to your business’ data, whether on the go, at a meeting or on vacation in Hawaii.

Presented below is a list of five important tips and pointers that will help you decide on the best cloud based back-up plan for your unique business:

  1. Security: A strong encryption key ensures that you, or your designated employees, are the only ones with access to the off-site storage. This guarantees that no one has access to snoop around in your data and important files. The flip side is: Do not lose the code! You then face the unpleasant reality of getting locked out of your own backups. Cautious business practice would be to write down the code and physically lock it up in a drawer or safe, the old-fashioned way.

  2. Size vs. Price: Your business doesn’t necessarily need 10 TB of backup. A mere fraction of that may be sufficient for your company’s backup requirements. Businesses that rely heavily on high-resolution images (think real-estate agents) will need much more storage than document and spreadsheet only based businesses. Generally, the greater your off-site back up requirements, the greater the price. Many cloud based storage companies offer the option of starting small, with the choice of upgrading later, if necessary. This might be your best financial bet.

  3. Reputation: The larger cloud-based data storage companies, with greater name-brand recognition, are not necessarily better. Taking the time to do due-diligence, researching ratings from real-time customers of the various options out there, is often the best and smartest way of choosing a back-up service provider that you can trust.

  4. Deduplication: Deduplication is a simple procedure that many offsite cloud based storage companies offer in their package. Deduplication ensures that the cloud will only back up one copy of multiple, identical files. This saves space, which ultimately, saves you money.

  5. Location: Bear in mind that “the cloud” is not a literal term. Your information is not hovering on snowy, cotton-candy shaped fuzz, floating 20 miles above the surface of the earth. In reality, any information that you have backed up and stored in “the cloud” is actually backed up in a different facility. Ensure that it is not too close to you, geographically, as should your office experience a natural disaster; it will not be helpful if your cloud is the building right next door to you. This might be a bit difficult to verify, as in general, off-site data backup companies don’t offer “brick and mortar” addresses.

A little bit of research can go along way in guiding you towards the best cloud based back-up plan for your businesses specific needs. Taking the time to research properly now, can save you heaps of aggravation, later.