As with all technology, the first company in the market commands high prices, then, over time, with the concepts proven out, the imitators come along, figuring a method of entering the same market, yet having been spared the development costs, they can come in at a lower price point. It happened in the telecommunications market, firt in landlines, then later in the cell phone market place. We’ve seen it all before, and here is another field worth assessing: Cloud Storage.
For the home user and small businesses, Carbonite has been a good choice for a few years now. Early in 2011, I stumbled across Digital Lifeboat and signed up for an account as a tester. I’m all set for life and had to test it’s capability for a friend, who had a computer stolen. It was the think that got him back all his files….there is also Mozy, which has been around less time than Carbonite, but longer than Digital Lifeboat.
Each of these services have strengths and weaknesses, so the right one for you is a matter of clearly evaluating what things you use on your computer and how they store and access the data. Here’s some things to consider:
- Do you use a single computer or do you operate more than one?
- Are you running Windows or Mac OS, or both?
- Do you have a server based environment (and it doesn’t have to be using server operating systems, just you share centralized files/folders)
- If you have a multi-computer operation, do you have mulitple, simultaneous users?
- Do you have critical “work product” on just one computer or more?
- Are you now using an external backup drive for your redundant storage?
- Do you use any software that runs and SQL database?
- Will you need to periodically need to access individual files remotely?
- How much data do you have now?
- How much more data do you anticipate generating this year?
The answers to these questions will lead you to the right product for you. Certainly, price is a consideration, but if it’s your primary one, you could purchase the wrong product for your requirements, and then, when disaster strikes, be missing the most critical files of all. Short of that, you may find you end up getting some of your needs met, but you’ll find you then add on and add on to the price to get what you really need to secure your valuable data files, possibly ending up spending much more than you had to, had you thoughtfully considered the details of this process.
I’d be happy to help you figure out what’s best for you on a consulting basis. I make no money off of any of these products, but I have been able to use two of the three mentioned above, in home and business environments. I could run out the costs, but that is counter productive in my estimation, as your requirements need to be established first, then pricing can be reviewed. That’s my expertise: Determining what you really need, not what your friend/networking associate says they use, or is an affiliate for.
And that brings up a global issue: If anyone recommends a particular service or product, you need to ask if they are professionally engaged in the use of that product, and also if they will be paid on the back end. It’s not bad if they are, it’s nice to help someone out, but if they aren’t someone who specifically understands the service, they may well be making a costly recommendation to you, not comprehending your needs, or even capable enough to know there is much more detail to such decisions. Always get a second opinion, before spending your hard earned money, or committing to more overhead.