Cloud Backup Technology is probably the hottest thing on the internet right now and everybody wants to be a part of it. There are more than hundreds of cloud backup service providers including big names like Google, Microsoft, Amazon and many more. In this heavily crowded market, every provider is trying to come out with something unique, which tends to differentiates them from others. Herein we look at some of the major players of the industry and what’s so singular about them that differentiate then from the rest of the masses. Here is the list of first five of the players, the next part (Part 2) of the article discusses the rest of them.
Major Cloud Backup Player : Dropbox
Dropbox is by far the most popular player in the field of cloud backup industry. Why? Because it’s one of the oldest (five glorious year), very simple to use, adaptability overall operating systems (windows, mac, linux) and across devices like tablets and smart phones, and 2GB of free full featured storage space!! This free space can be even extended to 18GB by way referrals (500MB per referral).
One needs to simply log on to www.dropbox.com and signup. Then the user is supposed to download software, which on the interface looks simply like a folder. The user just needs to drop all his files to be backed up on this folder and there goes all your data on the cloud.
Dropbox is one of the most popular backup service provider in the market today. The reason for its popularity can be attributed to the fact that it’s also one of the oldest service providers, running presently in its fifth year. DropBox’s major reason for success can be attributed to the fact that it provides new users with 2GB of free full featured space, which can be further extended to 18Gb by way of referral (500MB per referral).
What makes DropBox so special are the following features
- Adaptability – Dropbox runs over all operating systems (windows, mac, linux) and also across all devices (computers, tablets and smartphones).
- Sharing – Dropbox becomes essentially useful if the client needs to access data from multiple systems. Dropbox does not charges per system. It infact makes the process of sharing data much easier. A user can upload a hefty data from his account and share with any number of users across the world. This provides a faster method of data (especially big files) sharing over emails, a reason why dropbox became so popular in the first place.
- Easy to Use – Using dropbox is very simple. After signup, a user is only required to install a software on to his system (systems if he wants access across multiple systems/devices). The interface of this software looks like a typical folder. The user simply needs to drap and drop his files to this folder. The user, can then from any system in the world, log on to dropbox’s site, log in to his/her account and retrieve all data.
Dropbox premier range starts at 50GB for $9.99/month or $99.00/year and for 100GB $19.99/month or $199.00/year.
Dropbox is especially useful for those who are venturing to the cloud for the first time and have very limited use to start with.
DropBox uses a 256 bit encryption, same as what is used by commercial banks. The provider makes sure that only authorised users are allowed to view the shared files.
Major Cloud backup Player : Mozy
Mozy is another popular backup service provider and the one thing which makes it rise above all its competitors is the vast array of customisation that a user can set depending upon his or her individual needs. These includes certain very interesting features like –
- Bandwidth Allocation – Mozy allows a user to set how much bandwidth to be used while backing up. This means, during office hours, the user can tone down the bandwidth allocated to it so that other important works are not hampered by it, and during off times, the bandwidth allocation can be substantially increased. This is a feature which many office users are sure going to like.
- Scheduled Updates – Usually, what most of the backup software does is to automatically update any changes made in the files. This feature is present in Mozy too, however, here the user gets an option to schedule his updates, meaning the software does not automatically updates all the changes, indeed it will update the changes only at a pre scheduled time after asking the user whether if he/she actually intends the changes to be made in the original data.
- Successive Backups – Mozy provides its users to save successive copies of the data whenever its changed, meaning that if the user wants, he / she can keep both the older and newer versions of the file.
Cost of Mozy 50 GB for $6 a month and125 GB for $10 a month.
The biggest limitation with Mozy is comes with its limited accessibility feature. A file saved on one system can essentially be not shared on another system/user. Such sharing requires buying of additional licences. So, if the user needs to share the data over multiple systems, the cost of operating might rise significantly.
MozyPro Data Shuttle
MozyPro is the elder brother of Mozy dedicated especially for larger clients needs. Often the biggest issue associated with storing large chunk of data has been the time taken to upload the initial database. MozyPro in its latest offering has introduced a very unique feature called MozyPro Data Shuttle which tends to significantly subdue to the uploading hassle. Under this scheme, a user is not supposed to upload the data onto MozyPro’s server via internet, indeed MozyPro ships its external hard drives to its clients, who transfers their data onto these physical hard drives and ship it back to MozyPro’s office.
While this significantly reduces a very major issue of bandwidth problems associated with data uploading, it gives rise to several smaller issues, like lost of data by plane crash, physical robbery and all other risks associated with any other physical stuff!!
Also, the costs involved with this service spoil its fun. For 1.8T Mozy pro Shuttle, the client has to shell out something around fourteen thousand rupees when in the market 2TB external hard drives are available for as low as seven thousand rupees. However, with the vast array of services that it provides, that extra amount might be actually worth it.
Major Cloud Backp Player : Google Drive
Google Drive launched on 24th April, 2012 is the latest player in the field of cloud backup technology. Internet’s biggest giant has come up with a product which smoothly synchronises itself with all its various existing services like gmail, googledocs, youtube player etc. Google Drives offers its customer with a 5GB of free space which can accessed by signing up with one’s gmail account. It has its own software, which unlike most other players looks nothing different from a folder, where the user is supposed to drag and drop his files, which the software then syncs to the cloud.
The biggest USP of google drive its integration with existing services like google docs. Once a document saved on google drive can be easily edited using google docs. Sharing across google drive is also very easy and pretty much the same as sharing on google groups. There are options to track changes made by each user with which it is shared, also features like comments have too been made present which makes it very much useful for workgroups.
The free account, as per need can be be upgraded to 25 GB for only $2.50, 100GB $4.99, 1TB at $49.99, , with a maximum of 16TB $799.99 per month. Google's ability to scan a photo, and either "read" it using optical character recognition, or identify it using its own technology further enhances its usability.
Major Cloud Backup Player : iCloud
iCloud can be described as “of the apple, for the apple and by the apple”. iCloud is basically an accessory service provided to multiple Apple product users the facility to easily sync their data among all their Apple devices. It can be figured out with windows PC too, however, the sync is not very ideal.
As a cloud service, iCloud from a personal user perspective is great, maybe better than any other product. Once you edit a document on your mac, the change is automatically amended to your documents on the iPad, iPhone or any other mac system. The devices may connect with each other over wi-fi too eliminating even the use of internet! This is very different from what any other service provider offers. On a usual service, the change is simply amended on to the database stored in the cloud, the client is supposed to download the edited data from the cloud whereas in case of iCloud, if the two devices have been connected using the cloud, the changes are made on the devices remotely, so that the user need not require to download the file and update it manually.
iCloud is also very well synced with Apple’s music store, iTune which means that once you buy a song from the iTune store, the songs shall be updated on to the playlist of your iPod touch, baring the users of the hassles of corded connections. iCloud is a very neatly designed product from Apple to facilitate Apple product users only. Hence it cannot be considered for a work group or even a peer group making it handicap for business solutions.