Backing up your cloud service files

Cloud Sync services like Dropbox, Onedrive or Box.net are great for keeping files synced and available across multiple devices and the web. However they should not considered as a backup tool.

By it’s very function “sync” means that it is designed to keep files in sync across all platforms. This includes any changes including delation you may do to those files.

There has been many examples of people accidentally or because of a virus deleting all their files. Some of the sync services like Dropbox will keep files for 30 days after they have been deleted, but that is not a guarantee that you will notice that one file out of 100 missing.

Fortunately there is a solution. Most of these services offer the option of keeping a local copy of your files on your hard drive of your computer. This makes backing up these files easy.

If you already have a backup routine for your local hard drive then in all likelihood you are already backing these files up. However it never hurts to check.

For example on my Mac there is a Dropbox folder located in my users directory. As I backup my mac using both Time Machine and Crashplan, these files are copied over to backup drives and my backup server respectively.

If you don’t have a backup system for your computer then you should set one up asap. It’s far easier (and cheaper) to restore from a backup then to try and recover a failed hard drive.