Saving Data on a Virtual Hard Drive

Backing up documents on your computer’s hard drive has always been an important part of any computer maintenance schedule, but there is a new option for backing up your data that can now also make it accessible via the World Wide Web and safe from loss due to hard drive failure or accidental deletion. Storing your personal and business documents online is quickly becoming a popular option and part of the Web 2.0 phenomenon. So how can you backup your documents safely online, and what are your options, both free and paid?Storing Data on the Web 2.0
Web 2.0 is the popular term for the development of web-based applications that promote the interactive nature on the internet. It describes such things as social networking sites like Facebook, interactive information sharing networks such as Wikipedia, and video sharing applications like YouTube. It has also changed the way we conduct business and manage our day-to-day activities. Storing data virtually is just one of the ways we are integrating Web 2.0 into our daily lives.Virtual Space Storage Options
There are a number of online applications that can offer you both free and paid data storage space. Finding an option that can for work for you will depend on a number of factors. Here are some of the most popular free and paid virtual storage options, and a breakdown of what they can offer you.Mozy
Mozy is one of the most popular online data backup applications on the web. As a paid virtual space storage option it offers both personal and business packages. For individuals, unlimited storage space is offered for only $4.95 per month, and Mozy also offers business packages starting at the same price. The features of Mozy include automatic updating, encryption, and “smart service” which only updates files that have been newly created and changed, thereby offering fast uploading speeds and times.Dropbox
Dropbox offers both free and paid file sharing and storage options to its users and is known for its user-friendly interface. It allows users to move files they want backed-up by placing them in a simple file-style application. With up to 2 GB of free space for personal users, it is a good option for backing up important personal files and documents, or a great option for students. It also has several paid packages for those who are looking for more storage space.Carbonite
Carbonite is an unlimited space virtual backup option that is available for the standard price of $54.95 a year. It works by installing a program onto your PC that runs in the background, automatically updating your remote backup account without you having to remember to do it. It uses an interface that completely integrates with your PC’s operating system, making it simple to use. It also offers the same security that many banks use, making it a secure option for businesses and personal documents.Microsoft SkyDrive
Offered free to anyone with a Microsoft Live account, SkyDrive allows users to store up to 25GB of data for free. Documents can stored as either private, shared or public documents making it a great choice for team or group projects. It is not, however, a good choice for a complete hard drive backup option as it does not allow dynamic uploading, making the process more difficult and time consuming.GoogleDocs and Gmail
Google offers a number of useful applications to anyone that has a free account with them, including GoogleDocs. This is another great option for accessing file remotely and sharing files from any location as the GoogleDocs application is part of your Gmail email account. Like SkyDrive, however, it is not a good option for backing up your entire hard drive.

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