To explain fully we should probably begin with defining the scope of functions. Internet backup is, well, just that... backing up your files over the internet to a bank of disk drives in the sky (sometimes called "the cloud"). Internet backup companies can even offer ways to access these files through a web browser without requiring their backup software, but ultimately the primary purpose of these services is to simply provide a method to retrieve files should your computer decide to take a permanent vacation.
And, without question, proper backup is extremely important to all users. Too often, individual users have no backup processes in place at all. Do you? Likely not. What would happen if all your photos, music, videos, financial information, emails were suddenly not retrieveable from your computer?
But, as internet connection speeds get faster and faster, why not do more with your cloud? In fact, why not just simply store your music, photos, etc. on the cloud directly? Not only would the risk of losing the data be virtually eliminated (cloud servers typically have multiple layers of backup and redundancy built-in, oftentimes including offsite storage), but think of all the additional benefits:
- Easy access to your online hard drive through any web-connected device;
- Read-only sharing of your files with friends, family, etc.;
- No need to worry with losing flash drives when taking important data with you;
- Easy group sharing accessibility.
So, picture this scenario... You take an afternoon off to go catch a quick 18 holes with your buddies, when your boss calls and needs to review a contract you created over a year ago. Your computer is back at the office. What are the chances you have a year-old contract sitting on a flash drive, and can you talk the golf pro into letting you use his computer to access the flash drive anyway?
Solution: use your smartphone to access your (or your company's) VirtualDrive via a web browser, find the file, download it to your smartphone, then email it to your boss.
Or, how about this... you engage a contractor in Cleveland to help you create design files for a catalog, and another contractor in Chicago to work on other design elements as well. Both need access to the same files, and the finished product needs to be FTP'd to a printer in Boca Raton.
Voila! Provide a user name and password to a folder on your VirtualDrive, then create a subfolder for the finished project and have Net by Design create a scheduled FTP to the printer that sends files within minutes of them being deposited into the finished folder. No more YouSendit's or emails, with version issues and serious upload and download times.
What if you want to store all your music on your VirtualDrive and stream it to your iPod or Android? No problem, as long as your iPod or Android supports drive connections (typically supported by apps in their respective markets). Connect to the internet and stream away! Who cares if your Android phone is only 8 GB? Why pay more for a 64 GB iPod?
So, in summary, internet backup is absolutely fantastic and is revolutionizing the backup industry. But, shouldn't you do more with your cloud?