After posing these important five questions to your online backup provider you should have a good picture of how reliable their services are and how safe your data will be. As the old IT saying goes, “A backup is only as good as its restore.”

Five Questions to Ask Your Cloud Backup Provider

1. Where is my data being stored?

It’s important to know if the facilities holding your data meet international standards and are secured both physically and electronically.

Privacy and reliability are our top priorities. In the IDrive cloud your data is held on our proprietary EVS servers in one of our four international standards-compliant data centers. Facilites are manned 24-hours and access to IDrive hardware is controlled through biometric and other security checkpoints. The network is monitored by our team ’round-the-clock to ensure your data STAYS yours.

2. How is my data being stored?

Is your data being encrypted properly before being copied? Who has access to the encryption key? Do you have the option to set your own encryption key?

With IDrive your files are scrambled before they ever leave your computer. When first installing the software customers choose one of two methods to encrypt (scramble) their data, with either IDrive’s default key-phrase or with their own. We recommend customers choose a private encryption key for maximized security. Private keys are known only to the user and never saved on IDrive’s servers, however, if you ever forget or lose the key neither you or IDrive will be able to unscramble your files.

3. Who do I contact if I need help?

Make sure your cloud backup provider has a client support team you can rely in case you need help. Can you call them? Do they have 24-hour live service for emergencies?

No one knows how important a backup is more than a business-owner who’s just had a hard drive fail. At IDrive we have people ready to help in case of an emergency or to walk you through your first backup. Our Call Center based at our Los Angeles headquarters is available from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. We also have 24-hour live chat and remote help on our website at http://www.idrive.com/support.htm.

4. What am I paying for?

Even though cloud-based backup services tend to be significantly more affordable than traditional solutions, especially tape, be sure to watch for per-client license fees and contracts!

IDrive offers 150GB of high-performance online backup storage space for only $4.95/month – and that’s space you can really use since your files (and the previous 30 versions of each file) are retained for an unlimited length of time or until YOU decide they’re old news. Many services automatically remove files 30 days after you delete them from your computer, that’s not much time at all! Some providers limit how many computers you can backup and charge you a fee for any extra machines. IDrive allows for an unlimited number of desktops, laptops, iOS and Android devices on any account and there’s never any extra fees.

5. What if the worst happens?

Hopefully you’ll never have to recover from a disaster, but if you do, is your backup provider going to help you get back up and running quickly? Some providers offer physically shipped restores in cases involving large amounts of data; would you need this kind of service? How much would it cost?

These days any companies have extraordinary amounts of data but not necessarily extraordinary amounts of bandwidth at their disposal. In an emergency you can always access files with any Internet-connected computer and a web browser but there are situations in which a customer needs to restore a lot of data and downloading would take too long or the hardware isn’t available. With our Rapid Serve service subscribers can have their data Express shipped to them on a special IDrive Portable USB hard drive. The cost is $69.95 + tax, the hard drive is yours to keep and it comes with software to perform local backups with the same security and versioning features of IDrive Online Backup.

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IDrive is available for home and server editions of Windows and Mac OS X and for mobile devices in the Apple App Store and Android Market.

Questions? Comments? Send them to askidrive@idrive.com. You can also join us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and LinkedIn.

Hoping you and your computer have a great day!
Stephen Gold, Business Development Manager | IDrive.com