This article describes how cloud backup differs from enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) products like Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, Box, or Dropbox.
There are similarities between the two, but they are designed for different purposes and there are key differences to consider.
For more on the benefits of cloud backup versus enterprise file sync and share, see our white paper Sync and Share Does Not Equal Endpoint Backup.
EFSS services and endpoint backup are two distinct solutions designed to deliver two distinct outcomes:
- EFSS sync's files across multiple devices. A file deleted or corrupted on one device is deleted or corrupted on all devices.
- Endpoint backup is made to securely back up all your files, and multiple versions of those files, so that you can easily restore your files when you need them.
- EFSS products are are designed to sync and share a subset of your files with other devices or people. Only the files you choose to upload to EFSS products are stored.
What is cloud backup?
Cloud backup services like CrashPlan for Small Business create a copy of the files stored on your device so that you can recover them in the event that the originals become lost or corrupted. If your hard drive fails, or files become infected by a virus, CrashPlan for Small Business can restore all of your backed up files. Additionally, with CrashPlan for Small Business:
- Files are encrypted before they leave your computer, transmitted securely to their destinations, and remain encrypted at the destinations to ensure the security of your information.
- Files are automatically backed up on a schedule and a real-time file watcher monitors your files for changes.
- The Code42 app runs as a background service that doesn’t interrupt or slow you down while you do other things.
- Data is analyzed and de-duplicated so that only changes are backed up, saving on bandwidth and storage.
- Versions are retained so that you can restore prior versions of backed up files.
- Files deleted from your device are never removed from your backup (using the default version settings).
- You can back up an unlimited amount of data.
- Web restore enables you to download files anywhere to any device with an internet connection.
What are EFSS services?
Although services vary, most are used to sync and share files across multiple devices. Whether or not those files are stored directly on your devices or in the cloud depends on the service and the settings you choose. These services typically:
- Let you select certain files that you want to sync across devices.
- Let you selectively share these files with other people.
- Sync any changes made to a file on one device to every other synced device.
Frequently asked questions
Here are five major differences to consider:
|Features||CrashPlan for Small Business Backup||EFSS|
|File protection||Files are encrypted and not shared.||Files are synced across devices and available for sharing. Files intended for sharing typically aren't encrypted (varies by service).|
|File management||All of your personal files are automatically backed up.||You need to manually upload a selection of your files.|
|Redundancy||Files are backed up for the purpose of creating redundancy in case one version is lost or corrupted.||Files are synced across devices. If a version is deleted or corrupted on one device, all devices syncing with it are also impacted.|
|Data storage and compliance||Choose where your data is stored, making compliance with data regulations easier to manage.||Data is typically stored locally, but ultimately leverages a central data repository in a separate location. This means that data may, at some point, be transmitted outside the region or country, violating data residency regulations.|
Because EFSS services and cloud backup services are designed for different purposes, there are inherent dangers in using a sync and share service to back up your files. Because most EFSS services sync changes across devices, a file that is deleted, corrupted, or infected by a virus on one device may sync to all of your devices and could lead to data loss.
Additionally, since these services or their pricing models typically only allow you to store a portion of your files in the cloud, anything not stored in the cloud is vulnerable in the event of a computer crash, theft, loss, or virus.
Yes. Using the Code42 app's default settings, files deleted from your device are never removed from your backup archive. In fact, restoring lost or accidentally deleted files is one of the things CrashPlan for Small Business does best! However, because CrashPlan for Small Business is designed as a backup service, not an online storage service, we do not recommend using it as a way to "archive" old files you no longer want stored on your computer.
To ensure the safety and integrity of your data, we always recommend maintaining files on the source computer.
If you have access to an external drive, you can move files you no longer want on your computer to the drive, then back up the drive with CrashPlan for Small Business. Even if you disconnect the external drive, the drive's files stay in your backup archive as long as you use the default setting to never remove deleted files.
Yes. We actually recommend it. Because syncing can lead to inadvertent data loss, we advise using Code42 to back up any files you choose to sync with an EFSS service. If the files are located locally on your computer, Code42 can back up the files.
See Back up cloud services using CrashPlan for Small Business for tips about including files from different cloud services in your backup file selection.