Want to use a cloud-based service to back up your important files? Great choice. Cloud backup services are secure, flexible, and reliable, especially when paired with a secondary physical backup.

Do keep in mind, however, that not all cloud file storage services are the same. In fact, there’s quite a difference between cloud back and cloud file syncing. Let’s have a look at this in more detail.

What is cloud file syncing?

Services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive are primarily designed for cloud file syncing. These services allow you to store data (files, photos, videos, etc.) in a special folder, which can then be accessed by any internet-connected device using a password.

Cloud file syncing is very useful – it allows you to start on a word document at work and pick up where you left off at home; if you’re travelling, you can open and edit your files on-the-go.

The being said, we do not suggest using cloud file syncing services as your primary backup. And here’s why.

Avoid using cloud file syncing as your only backup

Put simply, file-syncing tools just weren’t designed with secure backups at the forefront. Here are a couple of considerations to keep in mind:

  • The majority of leading file-syncing services don’t support the synchronisation of folders outside of your main Dropbox or OneDrive folder, as examples. So, if you have folders elsewhere on your computer that you’d like to back up, that could be an issue.
  • These services were designed for syncing files. That means if you delete a file on one device, the file will be removed from all While you may trust yourself to keep your files safe, imagine if your computer became infected with ransomware.
  • Cloud file syncing services do not offer much storage space – unless you’re willing to pay top dollar.

So, what’s the solution? How can you back up your important files online? Consider purpose-designed cloud backup tools.

What are cloud backup tools?

In contrast to cloud file syncing services, cloud backup tools don’t automatically sync your files between all devices. Instead, they work similarly to a traditional backup device by backing up all files on your computer, regardless of where they are stored. Your files are then saved on the service’s online storage servers.

Benefits of using cloud backup tools

Here are three benefits of using a cloud backup tool, which file syncing services just don’t offer:

  • A large amount of storage space. While file syncing services do offer unlimited storage, you’ll end up paying an arm and a leg every month.
  • A cheaper subscription. Backup tools generally cost about half that of file syncing tools.
  • Customer support in the event of a major disaster.

Cloud backup vs file syncing: which should you use?

We’ve made it pretty clear – if you’re backing up your entire computer on the cloud, you’re better off investing in a purpose-built cloud backup tool. That’s not to say cloud file syncing services aren’t useful. They just don’t cut it as a primary backup storage solution.

Of course, you could pair a free version of Dropbox or Google Drive with an external hard drive backup, but that’s a pretty time-consuming process.

Whatever you choose, just make sure you keep your backups up-to-date. You never know when disaster could strike!

Get help with cloud backups

Need help deciding on a cloud backup service? Want assistance transferring your files into your new backup system? Get in contact with our team of cloud computing experts. We are more than happy to chat with you about your computing needs and come up with an effective backup strategy. Call on 1300 553 166 or fill out the form on this page.