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Everything You Need to Know About Offsite Backups and How They Work

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Everything You Need to Know About Offsite Backups and How They WorkAnyone that’s lost valuable files due to a computer crash, system update gone wrong, or natural disaster, understands the importance of having a good backup and recovery plan.

The old days of being able to backup critical files to a CD or thumb drive are long gone, since most offices now have many more digital files than they do paper ones. Regardless of your business size, having a reliable backup system that allows you to access files when you need them is the most essential IT service for business continuity.

Our expert Backup Team at Unity IT specializes in system backup and recovery solutions for organizations through a secure offsite server. Our clients enjoy the security and peace of mind knowing all their files are safe and retrievable if they need them.

One good question that comes up from time to time is, “Can I access my data backups from an off-site server if I need them?”. When a server is offsite, people naturally wonder what the retrieval process is since it’s not sitting there in their office.

Offsite backups are an excellent way to keep your data safe, so we thought we’d answer that question and a few others about storing your backup files offsite.

What’s the Difference Between Onsite and Offsite Backups?

First let’s take a look at some of the key differences between onsite and offsite backups.

Onsite backups typically mean backing up your data on a local storage device at your office. An example of this would be if you use the Mac AirPort or a USB G-Drive device for backups.

Onsite backup methods include:

  • Hard Drives
  • DVDs
  • CDs
  • Magnetic Tape

Offsite backups typically will use an internet connected client to back up your system files to a server that’s in another location. These are often called “cloud backups”.

There are two main types of offsite backups:

  • Physical backup that’s taken off premises
  • Remote backup stored on cloud servers

While onsite backups might make you feel like you have your data right beside you if you need it, they don’t offer the safety of protecting your files in the case of fire, flood, or other physical disaster. And with the speed of today’s technology, accessing cloud-based offsite files can take mere seconds.

How Do Offsite Backups Work?

Before we get into the nitty gritty of how offsite backups work, let’s go through a few benefits. There are several reasons that Unity IT and multiple other IT providers recommend offsite backups to secure company files.

Natural disasters are one of the top 5 causes of data loss (iMobie).

Natural disasters are the most unpredictable and uncontrollable form of data loss. And they’re a big reason storing your files offsite can protect your company from a major loss.

Here are some of the other benefits of using offsite backups:

  • You can access your data from any location on any device
  • Backup data can easily be shared with any number of remote locations  
  • It tends to be more reliable than physical onsite backups
  • It’s secure and uses advanced encryption tools
  • It saves time by backing up automatically in the background
  • You have pretty much unlimited space and can easily increase backup capacity

The Basics of Offsite Backup

So, where does your data actually go once it’s backing up remotely? And can you access it quickly when it’s offsite?

Yes, remote offsite backups are designed to allow you to access them easily with your login credentials. And you don’t have to be at your main computer, either. You can access your backup with an internet connection from anywhere.

Now, for the first question about where it goes. Your data may be “in the cloud” but it’s actually being stored on a physical server that’s somewhere else in the world, and typically more than one server. The backup client you use will have data centers that are filled with servers used for cloud storage.

The reason that more than one server is used for this offsite backup storage is for redundancy. By saving your information to more than one server in more than one location, it ensures that in the case of any type of natural disaster at one of their data centers, you can still access your data from a different location.

Step-by-Step of Offsite Data Backup

So, what does offsite data backup look like for the computer user? Here’s a quick step-by-step.

  • The computer user will download the offsite backup client software to their computer.
  • An administrator or IT professional can set up regular back up schedules for all office computers to save at intervals that meet your needs.
  • The initial backup may take a little while, depending upon how much data there is on the device.
  • The backup is designed to run in the background without disrupting normal computer use.
  • Data can be accessed anytime by logging into the backup client.
  • Recovery can be done to any device by downloading the software and logging into the backup client.

Looking for Reliable & Secure Backup Solutions?

Don’t wait for a disaster before you put a solid backup and recovery plan in place. It’s easier and less expensive than you may think! Book a complimentary backup assessment with Unity IT today… online or by phone at 559-297-1007.

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