Why You Need a Cloud Backup


For many years, I have recommended that my clients maintain both a local backup and one that is stored in the cloud. 

Time Machine has matured to become an ideal local backup. Just attach an external hard drive and click "Backup to this Device" when prompted. Before Time Machine we used all sorts of software solutions to create local backups. Two software solutions that still rock are Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper. There are advantages to each of these local backup types.

Most people understand the necessity of backing up. Write a novel on your computer. The hard drive dies. And without a backup, the novel dies with it. The same is true for family photos. 

I try to avoid seeing my clients sobbing, so I strongly recommend a local backup. Until the cloud, having remote backups was a tedious business. I used to take bundles of CDs to my safe deposit box at the bank to regularly replace my previous backups. Later that morphed into external hard drives. It took a lot of time and attention to detail to keep that current. And if it wasn't current, it wasn't very useful.

Then along came full-computer cloud backups. Mac users began to think that having an iCloud account meant that all their data was backed up. When iCloud first came out, I was asked over and over again: "Does this mean I no longer need to back anything up?" The answer was a resounding "Yes you do!" Even these days, only under the right circumstances (hardware/software/settings/account subscription) can iCloud back up all your files.

Many of my clients have been resistant to storing their data in the cloud. Much of that resistance evaporated when Santa Rosa caught fire. Companies that were resistant to risking their data in the cloud lost almost everything, while those (mostly younger) companies that embraced the cloud did not lose much of their data. These fires melted computers and backups, as well as cars and safes. 

It doesn't take a fire or earthquake to lose all your data. A client came home from a baseball game to find a window broken and that a robbery had taken place. Her computer and her backup was taken. 

A cloud backup is simple to setup and easy on the budget. Most charge in the range of $50/year for unlimited backup (from one computer). These days I recommend using Backblaze as my trusted source for backing up to the cloud.