Imagine this: a salesman knocks kindly at your door and greets you with a friendly tone and welcoming smile. Curiously, you spot a product in their hand, and in which they begin to explain all of the heavenly benefits of using it. The salesman purposely leaves out the faults, but you are so captivated by this angelic facade it’s blinded you into believing this product is flawless and perfect for you. Hook, line, and sinker! You have just downloaded free cloud backup services with all their flaws and dangers.

Truthfully, even the “best” free online backup services can be like this, allowing the “free” labeling to bait you into thinking this is a viable option for your small business. But like most things in life, you get what you pay for.  Business buyers should be aware that free tools offer minimal, if any, customer support. You’ll need to read the help documentation and learn how to set up the software and perform data recovery on your own (cross your fingers!).

We’ve never met a small business owner who didn’t want to save money and avoid unnecessary expenses.  However, backing up important files to prevent downtime, protect client information, and ensure the recovery of a company after a cyberattack is a critical and necessary business activity you shouldn’t try to shortcut with a free data backup software. 

3 Reasons To Steer Away from Free Backup Services

  • Without a knowledgeable expert to call when you need help, it’s likely you’ll experience greater downtime when trying to recover data with just a free data backup tool.  Simple mistakes such as accidentally deleting files, clicking on a malicious email attachment or a bad web link can lead to data loss that requires you to restore data from backups.  Older computers and hard drives also increase your risk of data loss due to failure from normal wear and tear.  A business-grade backup service staffed with data recovery experts can get your systems back on track in minutes, not days. Unexpected downtime leads to lost revenue, lost productivity, and damaged reputations, not to mention the cost to recover files or repair any damage. According to Gartner, the average cost of downtime is around $5,600 per minute or $300,000+ per hour! Full image data backups enable your business to recover entire machines or individual files quickly, and in return, minimizes your business’s downtime. Considering how costly downtime can be, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Free services only backup files (not full computer images) and the minimum capacity can be as little as 5GB. The capacity of each free backup solution varies depending on the company. Still, regardless, it is unlikely to have enough space for a full-time business to back the thousands of files saved up over time with free backup software.  File-based backups also cannot be relied upon to protect your software and database programs.  In that case, during recovery you would need to have the software’s original installation files (or CD if older software) which you may no longer have! 
  • Although you’re not paying for your data backup solution, you may have to pay a ransom. These free solutions do not include the necessary programming or tools to protect business data adequately, and ransomware can easily infect your backups, rendering them useless.  According to the FBI, the average cost of a ransomware attack in 2019 was $133,000. In contrast, the cost of business-grade backup solutions can be as low as $20/month.  It’s true what they say, that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Save yourself the hassle and expense, and ensure you have a proper data protection solution for your business data. 

Now, free online cloud backup services are not the bad guys, but you have to know which situations they’re good for, and which they’re not. For anyone seeking to store only personal files, photos, or videos, a free backup service may be a good option.  However, if you’re a business running important software, have multiple employees, or have an obligation to protect the data of your employees and clients, you need a better solution. 

Do you really want to trust your business’s future to the same free service your mom uses to backup your childhood photos?  Probably not.

If you’d like to invest in the future of your small business, please take a look at eSilo’s business backup services or sign up for a Free Trial. Our support team is more than happy to help if you have any questions!

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