Cloud Backup and Cloud Storage: What’s The Differnce?


Wondering whether your business needs cloud backup or cloud storage – or both? While the two seem similar, they have very distinct purposes, so it’s crucial you know the difference.

We frequently receive questions about how cloud backup differs from cloud storage. While there are some similarities between the two, they are designed for different purposes, and therefore, there are some key differences to consider.

Basic Differences

At the most basic level, cloud backup is designed to securely back up all your personal files and keep them safe so you can easily restore your files. Cloud storage is intended to make a subset of your files available for syncing and sharing with other devices or people. Ultimately, whether cloud backup or cloud storage is best for you depends on the features that interest you most.

For more information, read our detailed description of cloud backup, cloud storage, as well as frequently asked questions below.

What Is Cloud Backup?

Cloud backup services create a copy of the files stored on your computer so that they can be recovered, known as restoring, in the event that the original becomes lost or corrupted. If your hard drive fails, or files become infected by a virus, we can restore all of your backed up files.

What Is Cloud Storage?

Although services vary, many consumer-grade cloud storage services are used to sync and share files across multiple devices. Whether or not those files are stored directly on your devices or in the cloud depends on the service and the settings you choose. These services typically:

  • Let you select certain files that you want to sync across devices
  • Let you selectively share these files with other people
  • Sync any changes made to a file on one device to every other synced device


How does backup differ from online storage?

There are differences when comparing any two services or products, but here are three major differences to consider:

FeaturesCloud BackupCloud Storage
File protectionFiles are encrypted and not sharedFiles are synced across devices and available for sharing; files intended for sharing typically aren’t encrypted (varies by service)
File managementBacks up all of your personal files automaticallyRequires you to manually upload a selection of your files
RedundancyFiles are backed up for the purpose of creating redundancy in case one version is lost or corruptedFiles are synced across devices; if a version is deleted or corrupted on one device, all devices syncing with it are impacted

Can I use cloud storage services as a cloud backup solution?

Since cloud storage and cloud backup services are designed for different purposes, there are inherent dangers in using a cloud storage solution as a way to back up your files. Because most cloud storage services sync changes across devices, a file that is deleted, corrupted, or infected by a virus on one device may sync to all of your devices and could lead to data loss. 

Additionally, since these services or their pricing models typically only allow you to store a portion of your files in the cloud, anything not stored in the cloud is vulnerable in the event of a computer crash, theft, loss, or virus.

[via: CrashPlan]

For assistance in storing and backing up your documents, contact the IT pros at Gulf South Technology Solutions.

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