How to select the best backup plan for multiple devices

When planning to use a cloud service to store or back up files, one must make a few decisions beforehand. These decisions will revolve around the amount of data to store, the devices to back up, the amount of storage space to purchase, and the cloud storage provider to hire.

Protecting every single file on your computer and mobile device is certainly the safest way to go. However, backing up everything tends to make managing all data somewhat of a nightmare. There’s also the strain that is put on your system. Although most services claim that backing up your entire computer will not have much of an impact, the reality is that many services employ clients that will substantially curtail your system’s performance. Frequent backups can rapidly become a source of frustration.

Many users opt to only store or back up important files such as client information, useful photos, personal videos, etc. Doing this not only alleviates the possibility of performance hindrance, it also makes for a more cost-effective option as smaller amounts of storage space are needed.

You also need to determine which devices you’re going to be backing up. Are you only backing up your Mac or PC, or are you going to include other devices such as an iPad, an iPhone, an Android, your kid’s laptop, etc.? Knowing this beforehand will help in narrowing down your choices of service providers.

Also, if backing up multiple devices, ensure that any duplicate files are removed. Storage space cost money, there’s no sense in paying for the same file to be backed up more than once. For instance, I keep all my music on my desktop computer and periodically copy a selection of songs to my iPhone. So, before backing up my iPhone files, I’d first remove all songs since they will be taken care of by virtue of the PC backup.

The next step will require you to determine the amount of space you’ll need. For this, it’s best to consider both current and potential future files. We all continuously acquire data from various sources and for different needs. It is, therefore, a good idea to add about 25 to 50% of space to your current data requirements; in fact, 50 to 100% may not be a stretch.

It’s not necessary to buy that much space at the beginning, but planning ahead will help in selecting a provider that will be able to provide the extra room when to time comes. You will also get an idea of the cost involved.

OK, you’ve done all the preliminary work. Now you have to pick the right cloud storage provider for your needs. The preceding work will greatly help in narrowing down the list of companies that will best suit your requirements.

It is imperative that you not let price get in the way of the selection process. Your first and foremost concern should lie in such things as storage size, service features, customer support, file sharing and syncing and job scheduling. Once you’ve narrowed your list down even further, you can then look at price to settle on a particular provider.