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Using Cloud-based backup and sync services is the smart way to go today especially if you travel for work with a laptop as I do. I’ve been using these services since November 2009 when SugarSync first launched their service. Back then, there were plenty of online backup service providers, but only two of them synchronized between multiple devices, SugarSync and DropBox. There are a lot more available today who offer the synchronization including Google Drive, Amazon Cloud, and Microsoft’s One Drive just to name a few.
Over the last seven years of using Cloud based backup and synchronization, they have saved me a significant amount of time and help prevent data disaster on two occasions. Today, I’m no longer using SugerSync, but I still consider them the best. Today I use Microsoft’s one Drive primarily because I get 1 TB of storage with my office 365 subscription, but it’s not as powerful as SugarSync. Let’s look at why you should use cloud-based backup and synchronization services:
Instant Backup of Your Work
When your computer is back online, each time you create or edit a document, or save an email attachment to your storage folder, it is automatically backed up to the cloud. If you work on a document or file off-line, then the backup and synchronization software queues the backup until you’re online again. The main advantage is should your hard drive fail, or you have some other type of data disaster, recovery is much easier. And because the backup is on the fly, your loss of work is minimal.
No More Coping Files from one PC to Another
Files you create, or edit, are sent to cloud storage. These files are then synchronized to your other internet connected devices. If you work from two different computers, you no longer need to copy files between them. When I’m at home, I use my desktop PC, and on the road, I use my laptop. The documents I worked on from my desktop are automatically sent to my laptop once it’s online, making it much safer and easier than carrying around an external hard drive.
Easily Share Files and Documents in an Email Message
It’s not always possible to attach large files to emails due to attachment size limitations. A cloud backup and synchronization service will allow you to create a link to the document you want to share. Then you paste this link into your email message. The recipient of the email clicks on the link to download the file, bypassing the attachment size limitations.
I have the Microsoft One Drive app on my Samsung S7 Smartphone. What’s nice is it will access my documents in the cloud for quick reference. For example, I can open my price list or a customer quotation to verify a price without having to get out my laptop. It’s a time saver. Most cloud backup and synchronization services offer apps for both Android and iPhone’s.
Additionally, you can use any computer with a web-browser connected to the internet. Handy if traveling without your laptop as I sometimes do on quick overnight trips.
Tighter Integration Between your Smartphone and Computer
I’ve read lots of articles online about cloud backup and sync services, but somehow, they’ve all managed to miss this time-saving point. A backup and sync application installed on your smartphone for One Drive, SugarSync or Google Drive, can store to the cloud automatically your pictures each time you take a snapshot with the phone’s camera. Additionally, other document creation programs, such as Turboscan, can automatically store created documents to the cloud. Once your computer is online, these pictures and documents will automatically download to your PC. No fussing around connecting your smartphone to your PC to transfer files.
Recall Previous Versions of a Document.
Have you ever made edits to a document then wish you could revert to the original because you didn’t like the changes? With a good backup and synchronization service, you can do this. Both SugarSync and Dropbox support previous version recall for any document. One Drive and Google Drive support the earlier version recall also, but only for office documents. If you want this feature, then you should check its availability before signing up for service.
Very Easy to Transfer your Files and Documents to a New Computer.
I’ve always dreaded buying a new computer. Yes, it is fun to have a new toy, but to load it up with your software files and documents is a pain. Using an online backup and synchronization service makes getting a new computer up and running for work much easier. You connect the computer to the Internet, install the cloud storage software, log on to your account and wait. After a short while, depending on how much data you have, you will see all your files on your new computer.
Bill fetching services such as FileThis, will automatically deposit your E-bills to your online storage which then will synchronize down to your PC. FireThis supports Dropbox, Amazon Cloud Drive, and Google Drive. But not Microsoft’s One Drive at the time of this writing.
Collaboration with others on projects
You can share folders with others. Very handy for working with others on projects, or storing and sharing work procedures with your colleagues. DropBox for business and One Drive offer this capability with read-write restrictions to their corporate customers. Forder sharing between standard users has full read-write access.
When shopping around for Cloud Backup and Sync services, make a list your requirements. Have an idea of how much you want to spend each month. Most of these services range between US$4 and US$10 per month. A good place to start looking is Cloudwards.net; they compare features and services in a helpful comparison chart. When looking at this chart, you need Synchronization, Mobile Access, File Versioning and File Sharing Checked.
Do you have any questions, suggestions or comments? If so, please share them by leaving a comment at the end of this page.
Thank you for reading,