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The most prominent online backup service providers stake their reputations on keeping your data safe and secure during both file transfer and the online data storage facilities. Before the files even leave your computer, they are secured using at least 128-bit SSL encryption technology. That is one of the same security measures that banks use while you are performing transactions.

Of course, in this day and age, nothing can be guaranteed to be 100% secure but that is about as close as you can get. The transfer and storage encryption techniques may vary depending on the online backup service you choose to use, but all of the reliable services will use one of the accepted security measures to keep your data safe and secure. I am not claiming to be a security expert but I will try to simplify the process.

How is SSL Encryption Used for Backup Transfer?

SSL, or Secure Socket Layer encryption is the standard for secure web communications and transfers and it is an encryption technique that is very reliable. When referring to SSL for an online backup solution, the security is handled on a software level. There is a client software that needs to be installed on the computer and server software that is installed on the server.

When files are chosen to be backed up over the Internet, essentially a handshake is made between the client and server to establish a secure connection. The client computer reaches out to say there are files coming and the server says, “I know you” and makes a secure connection that allows the data to be transferred with no fear of being hacked or interrupted. The same encryption standards are used when you need to transfer your data back to your PC.

How safe is the Data at the Storage Center

Once your data files are stored in the cloud, another layer of protection is added to prevent others from accessing your data. Depending on the backup solution used, either AES or 448-bit Blowfish encryption is used. AES stands for Advanced Encryption Standard. Not quite sure about the 448-bit Blowfish encryption but it sounds really cool and secure. (I did say that I didn’t claim to be a security expert :))

Most of the online backup solutions use geo-redundant data centers for another layer of security. Meaning that they not only back up your files but they also back up the servers to other data centers in a different location. That should give you peace of mind that if something drastic were to happen to one of the data centers, your data is safe and secure at an entirely different location.

Online backup services are very safe and secure. They will keep your data more secure than if they were stored on an external hard drive that sits next to your computer. Just think if there were some sort of disaster that ruins your computer, the files stored on the external drive would be ruined also. Keep your data safe by using an online backup solution.

As cloud computing becomes more prevalent in our daily lives, online backup solutions will become a more safe, secure and convenient way to keep those Megabytes and Gigabytes of data accessible no matter where you are, or what may happen to the original data.

Here are our Recommended Secure Online Backup Solutions:

Carbonite offers unlimited storage with their Personal plans so you will never need to upgrade your plan to get more space. There are three plans available; Basic, Plus and Prime each with a variety of features to suit your needs. The Basic plan covers all of your essential files stored on the computer. The Plus plan is a complete backup solution that allows you to backup your files to the cloud plus Mirror the Operating System files on a local external drive. The Prime plan does all of the above plus includes automatic video backup and in case of a disaster, all of you files can be shipped to you anywhere in the US. Hey you never know what could happen right? See our review of Carbonite.

SugarSync takes the online backup solution to a new level . SugarSync is the only cloud backup solution that allows you to backup, sync and share files across an unlimited number of computers. That means you can access, edit and share any of your files from any PC – and whatever changes you make will automatically replicate across all your computers. You can store documents, photos, music, video files – and once you are synced, you can access them from any web browser or smartphone. You can even share photo albums and stream entire music collections directly from the Internet. See our Review of the SugarSync Online Backup Solution. SugarSync is also available for business users to take advantage of the many file sharing, backup and collaboration tools available to keep productivity at a maximum and data loss to a minimum.

Norton Online Backup stores your files online so you can retrieve them anytime, anywhere using any computer connected to the Internet. You can get your files back fast whether you are at home, in the office, or on the road. Norton works with both Windows and Mac computers lets you search backup sets for specific files by keyword, simplifies file sharing and saves older versions of your backed up files. A trusted service by a trusted name.

SOS Online Backup is one of the largest worldwide providers of online backup for consumers, small and medium businesses and IT/managed service providers. SOS Online Backup delivers simple yet powerful online backup that has become the industry’s top award winner, including Laptop Magazine’s Editor’s Choice and PC Magazine’s Editor’s Choice Award since 2006. The SOS Online Backup solution utilizes 11 data centers across multiple continents to keep your data replicated for added security. Also has an iPhone and BlackBerry App, File sharing, Web Access to your files and a built-in local backup option. See our review of SOS.