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Article · Feb 12, 2016

Ask A Carbonista: What's the difference between storage and backup?

Ask A Carbonista: What's the difference between storage and backup?

Color illustration of a woman pointing to the words: Ask a Carbonista.

A great thing about being in business in the age of cloud computing is the many options people have for collaboration, storage and backup. But with so much happening in the cloud, many people have questions about how some of these tools function.

At Carbonite, we often hear from people who are curious about the differences between cloud storage and cloud backup, so we decided to put together this quick primer that describes what each one is and how you should use it:

What is cloud storage?
Cloud storage services provide a place to put data that you need to access from multiple devices and multiple places. It’s ideal for projects that involve collaborating with people in different locations, or for storing files that you need to access from different locations and different computers.

While cloud storage is a great tool to improve productivity and data access, it’s important to remember that the data is still in danger of being lost due to user error, accidental deletion, service outages, versioning issues (files being written over) or malicious users. Companies that rely on cloud storage as a way to protect their data instead of backup leave themselves open to lost data, lost productivity and ultimately, lost business.

What is cloud backup?
While backup solutions like Carbonite also allow users to remotely access data from anywhere, backup’s main purpose is to ensure that -- in the event your data is lost, deleted or unavailable -- that you can recover it quickly and get back to work. Back up tools provide a secured second (and sometimes third) copy of your data that you can use if your data falls victim to hardware failure, accidental deletion, computer viruses and any other natural or manmade disaster. Backing up the data you keep stored in the cloud is a best practice that will keep your data safe no matter what happens.

Read our new info sheet to learn more about the key differences between cloud storage and cloud backup:

Storage vs. Backup Info Sheet


Ryan Harnedy

IT Community Manager

Ryan Harnedy is the IT Community Manager for Carbonite. He blogs about technology, IT trends, and best practices for SMB IT pros.

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