Online file sharing services are not a backup solution

Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive are great for file-sharing – but they should never be used for business backups.

The beauty of file sharing apps like Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive is their simplicity. Files uploaded to these services are available any place, anytime from virtually device – which sounds like exactly what you need for a robust backup mechanism.

In fact, we’ve even heard of an IT support company in Birmingham getting sucked into this trap. They have been configuring their client's computers to "backup" critical data only to Dropbox. The problem is that Dropbox is not designed to be a backup service – it’s a file sharing service.

Backups are more than just file copies


At this point you must remember that backup systems are not just about recovery in the event of a major system failure. Sometimes you need to salvage a file that has been edited, corrupted or which contains mistakes.

This is where the instant replication nature of Dropbox becomes a problem – what happens when the corrupt file is present on your live system and the backup? 

Google Drive does offer file versioning, but only on a file by file basis. In the event of a ransomware infection, you may need to trawl through thousands of files individually, identifying and restoring the most recent “good” copy of each. Possible yes – but incredibly time-consuming and inefficient too. 

A proper backup solution, like Enhanced Backup by Kimbley IT, takes a complete snapshot of all of your data stored in Google services (like Drive), and copies it across to another cloud service (AWS). This snapshot backup can be restored in its entirety, or on a file-by-file basis, with proper file versioning to make the process as quick as possible.

Backups are more than just files

It’s also important to realise that a true disaster recovery solution backs up more than just files. The ability to get up-and-running quickly in the event of a disaster is just as important as having your data to hand.

It’s all well and good having access to your files, but what about the devices you actually work on? 

Enhanced Backup by Kimbley IT is designed to take complete snapshots of your PCs and laptops – so if something goes wrong, you can recover everything immediately. Even restore the backup to a completely new machine. 

In an age where speed of business is a crucial differentiator between you and your competitors, recovering data quickly is vital. And the reality is that a backup system built on basic file syncing to a service like Dropbox is simply not good enough.