Online Backup is one of the most convenient ways to backup a home computer. Whilst you can do your own thing and copy data to USB hard disks, USB sticks, NAS boxes and other connected computers they all require a certain amount of you doing something to make the backup happen.


Over the years I have tailored different backup solutions to different customer requirements and the most reliable has always been the automatic online backup solution. I have done a many rebuilds and repairs following laptop drops or disk failures  for customers using both online and USB/NAS backups and in each case with the USB/NAS case the data on the backup was out of date or not the most recent because the backup job had not been manually run for a while.


Online backups are always on and always running so as soon as you save a file the file will be backed up with no user intervention. If the backup stops working for some reason the Online Backup Service will email you directly to let you know they haven't seen your computer connect for a few days.


Online backups also offer a version history for each file so if a file is modified it can be restored to a previous version easily. This was particularly useful to one customer who was writing a book and accidentally deleted the content of a document which went unnoticed for a couple of days. Restoring the file from the online backup we were able to download a copy of an earlier version of the file, this saved hours of work rewriting the chapter.


Online backup version history is also a benefit if you are unlucky enough to be infected with a virus such as CrytoLocker. This virus encrypts data on your computer and demands payment to decrypt the data so you can access it again. Local USB and NAS backups are vulnerable to this type of virus as the backup will be encrypted at the same time as the data. Using an online backup you can recover the files to a point immediately prior to the virus infection.


Backblaze costs £31 per year reducing to £29 per year if you sign up for a two year subscription. Backblaze do not cap the backup speed. The other major benefit of using Backblaze is the ability to order your data restore to be shipped you you on a harddisk. If you have a large amount of data to recover it would be much faster to do this rather than download the data over the internet.


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