So what do Dropbox, Box Sync, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc. all have in common. They are file sync/sharing tools, NOT backup solutions. Some of our customers have come to us misinformed thinking that they are backup solutions with disasterous effects. With that said, we are not bashing any of those tools. They are all great tools, and we've used them all, but great tools for their intended purpose.
So what are sync tools for? They are meant to sync files across devices or share them with others. One use is to keep working files like Word docs in sync between your PC and let's say your iPad. So when you save that Word doc in Dropbox on your PC it shows us on your iPad or in the Dropbox of someone at your workplace. That is to say it syncs what happens on one computing device to another.
Let's do some risk analysis here. What if you get infected by one of the Ransomware viruses that are becoming more prevalent or parts of your hard disk have stopped working unbeknownst to you. That Ransomware virus has infected your computer, but you don't know that it's secretly encrypting your files in the background, including those in Dropbox and the Dropbox folder your colleague shared with you. Possibly, you could call Dropbox and get the files brought back if you noticed the problem within the 30 day retention window. But, what if the virus undetected after time went by and you couldn't get your files back. What if your hard drive was failing siliently and syncing bad/empty data to your sync tool? These are both scenarios that we've seen happen to people.
Tell me what a good backup solution is. A good backup solution includes some kind of local option like an external hard drive or Time Capsule. It also includes some sort of off site solution such as Carbonite. Those solutions are generally fine for residential needs. However, businesses generally need a more robust solution. Many businesses have data storage requirements beyond a month or even a year, especially CPAs or attorneys. Most residential backup solutions don't offer this kind of retention, and they don't offer the monitoring, management, and backup verification that a business needs to be assured their valuable data is safe.
If you this blog entry has made you realize that your current solution or lack thereof leaves you exposed, please contact us for a free consultation.
Contact Accurate Computer Solutions for any more questions or concerns.