Cloud applications for data storage and management have become a staple for home and professional users. Storing data in a secure, offsite, online location has been heralded for the space and safety provisions it provides your information with, along with the accessibility. In the cloud, your data can always be found right where you left it, and is ready to be retrieved as needed.
While “encrypted cloud storage” and “encrypted cloud backup” may sound synonymous to many, their differences are vast and can be the difference between a thorough data solution, versus one that’s generally lackluster for your needs. Despite a few commonalities, there are more than a few important differences between the two you should be aware of.
What is encrypted cloud storage?
Cloud storage is an online space where you can store your data. The files that make it into your cloud storage are manually selected by you. There are two types of cloud storage: either files are stored directly in the cloud and accessed through the host site (Google Drive is a good example), or the service is integrated with your device and syncs your data, allowing you to edit files in the cloud from your device (much like Dropbox). Both options provide sharing capabilities to the user, which aid in collaboration, but can make encryption unavailable in some cases.
Many users make the mistake of using a cloud storage service as a cloud backup. While the two share some similarities, cloud backup and cloud storage serve distinctly different purposes. Using your cloud storage as your backup solution can be dangerous and may even make deleted, changed and lost files unretrievable. Let’s take a closer look at how cloud backup is a more thorough backup solution and why cloud storage should never be treated or used as a backup service.
What is encrypted cloud backup?
Cloud backup is a more extensive and comprehensive approach to cloud storage. The main function of cloud backup is to provide blanket coverage and protection against data loss from your computer and any computers you include in your network.
Whereas cloud storage allows you to manually select the files you want to store in the cloud, cloud backups are built to store the majority of, if not all of your data. Along with backing up your entire device, it also provides a range of other lifesaving features that keep all of your data secure and available, regardless of technological failures or human errors via your devices.
Every cloud backup provider will provide a mix of slightly different features, but the basic components of a cloud backup service include:
Unlimited cloud storage
Version history and recovery
Automatic and continuously synced backup
How do they compare?
Cloud backup and cloud storage differ in a few, critical ways, including data recoverability, comprehensiveness, and security.
The whole point of using a cloud storage or backup service is to have off-site storage of your data, should anything happen to your local storage device. So which option does this best?
Since cloud storage only stores a portion of your files in the cloud, the rest of your data is left vulnerable. Cloud storage is not a comprehensive data backup solution and cannot replace a full backup.
Cloud backup keeps a backup of all of the data on your computer, unless you specifically instruct it to exclude specific files with a custom setup. In this way, cloud backup is a complete, comprehensive solution to off-site storage. If your computer is ever damaged, stolen, or the data on it is compromised or lost, cloud backup allows you to restore it all to a new computer, like nothing ever went wrong in the first place.
Both cloud storage and cloud backup store your data in the cloud (aka online), which offers your stored data an additional layer of protection. However, when it comes to encryption, cloud backup offers more robust coverage.
Not all cloud storage providers are equipped with encryption, let alone encryption before your files are saved to the cloud. Also, because many cloud storage services are built to enable sharing, file encryption isn’t always an option. Dropbox is one example of a cloud storage provider that provides encrypted cloud storage, with some limitations.
Since the main purpose of cloud backup is to backup and secure all of your data, end-to-end encryption is a built in feature. It should be noted that because of the high level security features associated with cloud backup, cloud backup is not a file sharing/syncing tool like that of a cloud storage provider like Dropbox. The purpose of cloud backup to create a secure, complete backup of your entire system.
Most cloud storage providers don’t offer the option to retrieve previous file versions (aka version history). This means that when a file is deleted or changed, it’s often stuck that way for good. When cloud storage does offer previous file versioning, it’s often as an add-on, or limited to a 30-day retrieval window. This can make recovering previous file versions, or accidentally deleted files difficult, and sometimes impossible.
Cloud backup has previous file versioning built in to make retrieval easy. Even if a file is deleted from your computer, or from your network of computers — that file or version can still be found and recovered from your backup. Most providers offer a 60 to 90-day window for recovering previous or deleted versions, while a select few cloud backup providers give users the option for unlimited previous file versions.
Ultimately, encrypted cloud storage and cloud backup are two tools, intended for two different purposes. Both have legitimate uses, though one is more robust than the other.
If you want to use a cloud service that will protect all of the data on your devices, a secure, unlimited cloud backup service is the way to go.
To ensure you’re getting all of the features you need in a backup provider; from comprehensiveness to security and recoverability, get 30 days of free cloud backup with Nordic Backup. Our backup plans are thorough and reliable — including unlimited storage space, end-to-end encryption, military grade security, version history and recovery, continuous syncing and so much more. And with a range of cloud backup plans customized for both personal and businesses uses, you’re sure to find the backup plan that’s perfectly suited to your individual or company needs. Start your 30 day free trial today and enjoy peace of mind in knowing that your data is always safe and in the best hands.
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