This sponsored post is produced in association with IDrive.

If the idea of losing a few terabytes of your data can bring on an apoplectic convulsion, cloud storage has probably crossed your mind. Third-party cloud backup has become a lot more popular because the convenience is so attractive and it avoids the capital investment in infrastructure and hardware for server-based backup.

Of course, concerns around data loss also apply to personal info. A lifetime of photos and family videos isn’t something to be trifled with — and the consumer world is rife with stories of horror-struck individuals unable to retrieve precious personal data.

To help make sense of all the available cloud storage options, we’ve compiled a cheat-sheet of features to look for when choosing an online backup service.


Whether you’re approaching cloud backup on an individual or business level, it’s important to have backup that will cover multiple devices. It’s standard now for people to have as many as five devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets (with varying storage capacities) and smartphones (sometimes more than one, for personal and work use).

In a business context, a large network of devices is a significant security concern. One thousand employees — each having multiple devices which can be used for work — may be storing critical data that requires backup. While a server environment tends to manage a company’s on-site technology, employee-owned devices also need to be considered.

On the personal level, the average family can easily own over 10 devices altogether. And while photos or videos transferred to your laptop may get backed up, what about those spontaneous moments captured on smartphones or tablets?

When choosing backup, it’s important to understand what your needs are, and find the service that meets them. For instance, how many devices do you need to backup for yourself, your family or your business? What service will backup all those devices for the best value? Some cloud backup providers like IDrive provide backup for an unlimited number of devices, even for businesses, so be sure to explore backup services that offer exactly what you need.


Security is the biggest concern on people’s minds when considering cloud storage. Major security breaches of the last few years have put everyone on high alert, which itself is not a bad thing. People are taking more care to have stronger passwords, and different ones for different accounts (no, you do not want to use the same password for online banking as your email). But for cloud-based backup, it’s critical that your data is protected by the highest level encryption. 256-bit AES encryption is today’s gold standard. AES stands for Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), and it’s the same encryption used by the U.S. government to protect classified information. However, make sure the cloud backup you’re considering is 256-bit AES — not 128-bit AES — which is older, less secure technology.


Recent corporate hacks have sounded a huge alarm bell calling for better data security. But it was the recent celebrity selfie hacks which struck a chord with the public on a human level. Whether it’s your family photos, or the kind of intensely personal data that celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence are fighting to keep out of the spotlight, you want your personal STUFF to stay private.

This is where you may want to consider private key encryption, another layer of protection that makes your data virtually impossible to crack. Private key is only offered by certain backup providers. In fact, some of the bigger cloud players don’t provide it. With a private key, even the cloud service holding your data cannot access your files. That means only you can unlock your data. Private key encryption can protect data from all devices, a measure which Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, and Kirsten Dunst may have already put into place.

Comprehensive backup and sync

For both SMB and enterprise organizations, you’ll want to be assured you can backup servers, databases, SQL, Exchange, Linux devices, etc. Regarding Linux backups, you may want to handle your own code, but you can also explore a simplified backup process available through some third-party providers such as IDrive.

With enterprise-level backup, you want assurances from your provider that you’re not going to be held back by the amount of data you have. If you have 100 terabytes of data, you don’t want to learn along the way that you’ve come up against a threshold limit. This kind of comprehensive approach is essential for growing businesses. It’s also important to have a cloud-based backup service that will manage both the backup and sync side of the equation. That way you can consolidate functionality, and work more efficiently and nimbly as a business or individual.

Ultimately, choosing cloud backup is a matter of knowing your needs and the best practices for meeting them. Armed with this cheat-sheet, you’ll be in a great position to make the move to the cloud.

To get more info about cloud backup, visit IDrive.

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