The cloud has completely changed the way we travel, and in a very positive way. Whether you are looking forward to a family vacation or an important business trip, cloud-based services can provide convenience by allowing you to share photos and videos while on the road. And the cloud can also keep your priceless and irreplaceable travel data safe from harm at a time when data loss is extremely common.
But just like any tool, bad things can happen if cloud services are used improperly. That’s why it’s important for both consumers and business users to educate themselves about how to properly use the cloud while travelling.
“Boxes and Drives” vs “Backup”
The 2 most common tools used by travelers for managing data in the cloud are sync (often called Cloud Boxes or Cloud Drives) and online backup. It’s important to note that — although they may appear similar — these are 2 completely different classes of application. They are complementary, but their functionality and ideal use scenarios are completely different.
Cloud boxes and cloud drives are really only meant for synchronizing data between multiple computers, or for collaborating on documents.
For example, you can synchronize pictures between your phone and your laptop. Or you can synchronize your work documents on your office PC and your home computer. Cloud boxes also let you share pictures with family and friends, or collaborate on documents with co-workers.
These are excellent features and functionality to have while travelling.
However, this is very different from backup.
- When sharing files, other authorize users could delete and modify your files without your knowledge. You need some way to roll back the clock and reverse those changes.
- Cloud boxes will only protect one specific folder, and there are limitations on what kinds of files you can protect.
- Depending on your service, deleted might also get purged from your cloud drive.
- Cloud drives sometimes don’t have adequate privacy protection or encryption in place.
- Cloud drives won’t back up your emails.
- Cloud drives are not designed with disaster recovery features.
Now, I’m not saying cloud drives are bad. In fact, they’re incredibly useful for collaboration and file sharing. And they’re a much better and more secure alternative to USB pen drives or email attachments when it comes to sharing information.</p>
But even if you already use a cloud box or cloud drive for synchronization and collaboration, you still need to back up these drives… just like you would with any other hard drive. So in addition to your synchronization application which lets you share pictures and videos while travelling, you should also make sure to back up your entire computer — including your cloud-sync’d folder — with an online backup service that’s really designed for robust security, reliability and disaster recovery.
After all, your data is extremely vulnerable to loss or destruction when you’re on the road. And you need to take measures to protect the priceless memories you’re creating.