Since the time when the concept of cloud computing gained popularity, online backups and saving everything on the cloud has become an absolute necessity for everyone who store important data on their computers. This is all because the cloud seems to be more secure than our local storage systems like internal and external hard drives. Another peace of mind in using the cloud services for storing all your important documents is that all the data is available online and can be accessed from anywhere without the need for any physical storage. I will talk about three of the best services in my opinion. I have used most of them personally and for my clients.
Dropbox is without doubt the best and the most popular cloud service for online backup of important data. The best feature of Dropbox is that it is very easy to use and does not even require any custom configurations once it is installed. You just have to select one local folder on your computer. All the files that you save in the specified folder will be automatically synchronized with Dropbox cloud. You can view the files online from your Dropbox account. You can also share any file with anyone on the Internet and it is as easy as right clicking the file and selecting the sharing URL. The free version of Dropbox allows 2GB of data to be backed up online. I think 2GB is more than enough if you only have to backup your important documents and not songs and videos. If you need more space, you can go for the paid editions of Dropbox. Dropbox can be driven on most of the Operating Systems including Windows, Linux, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry and also online.
Windows Live Mesh
Amazingly, there is a very silent but strong competitor to Dropbox and it is from Microsoft. Windows Live Mesh is a very similar service to Dropbox. The ease of use is the same as Dropbox. You only have to install and select a folder to be automatically synchronized on the cloud. You need to have a Skydrive account in order to store data online. Skydrive offers 5GB of free space for storing your files online. An added benefit of Windows Live Mesh is that you can easily backup your program settings with Live Mesh. So you will be able to sync your favorite program settings between multiple computers. Windows Live Mesh can be used on Windows and online.
SpiderOak is another very good online backup and synchronization solution for almost all Operating Systems including Windows, Linux, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android and online. SpiderOak offers a version sysytem in which multiple versions of each file are stored allowing you to browse through the history of changes you have made to one file. SpiderOak is superior in terms of security from rest of the solutions because it provides a two factor authentication resulting in an additional layer of security over the traditional security methods. SpiderOak offers 2GB of free storage like Dropbox. If you want more, you will have to buy storage from the service.
These are the best services in my opinion which offer ease of use and peace of mind. While these services can be used with almost all the platforms except Windows Live Mesh, if you are looking for some Linux only solutions, I have compiled some services that offer services specifically to Linux users:
SparkleShare is an Open Source app very similar to Dropbox. You can also setup your own online host to backup and sync data online.
Ubuntu One is another service the Ubuntu team. It offers free as well as paid subscriptions for storing data in an online cloud.
I hope this has been informative for you. If you are using any of the above services, please share your experiences and choice with us through comments.