Why Do People Pay for Websites to Back Up Their Files?
Backup websites becoming obsolete thanks to the "Cloud"
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: November 1st, 2012
few years ago, websites that offered to back up computer files were everywhere. Poorly-made, local-cable-channel commercials were all the rage, and the idea of backing up the files on your computer to a website was pretty new. Now, however, the websites still exist, but with the emergence of the cloud, we're curious as to why mostly anyone would still pay to use them.
Back when these websites emerged, smartphones weren't in everyone's pockets. Backing up files often entailed getting a relatively expensive external hard drive and hoping a)that everything would fit on it and b)that that wouldn't crash. Now, though, all it takes to backup data on your phone is the click of a few buttons. Poof—your photos and contacts and emails are all in the cloud.
But the websites themselves seemed like a bit of a scam; even if your stuff was backed up and you paid for it, all you needed to access it was a username and a password, right? In that case, what was stopping anyone—including the people who worked at the website—from rifling through your stuff?
Tech writer "kyengineer" says, "If the files you upload will not be encrypted, there's nothing to stop someone from looking at your files."
It's interesting to see these sites still existing if only for the hilarity of their web design. What's that? A flash animation of your files going into a safe? How original. Cloud storage doesn't need that sort of cutesy advertising. Because it's actually going into a secure place—unlike (probably) if you were to upload it to some no-name website that charges you an arm and a leg.
The best thing to ask about these websites, however, is since cloud storage is becoming more popular, will your stuff actually stay backed up when the website you're paying for inevitably shuts down? Our favorite explanation comes from an article on TechSupportAlert.com, in an article called "Best Free Online Backup Sites." Writer "kyengineer" writes, "This is subjective. If I have heard of the service before I became editor of this category or one of our readers makes a compelling argument, the site will be considered reliable."
We'd laugh out loud at that, except... Wait, no. We're going to laugh out loud at that. In other words, your stuff might not be there. And, the same writer confirms what we already figured: "If the files you upload will not be encrypted, there's nothing to stop someone from looking at your files."
Many sites don't offer encryption.
Say it with us now: don't upload your files that you wanted backed up to a website. Use the cloud or an external drive, but for your own peace of mind, stay away from those no-name websites.