8.5. Using Internet Backup Services

An increasingly popular way to back up your Mac is to use one of the growing number of Internet backup services. To oversimplify somewhat, backing up over the Internet is much like backing up to another server on your local network, except that your files are stored in a data center somewhere far from your home or office. Internet backup services offer numerous benefits but also suffer from some noteworthy drawbacks, so for most people, they're best seen as a supplement to local backups rather than as a replacement.

8.5.1. Internet backup basics

Conceptually, Internet backup services do nothing more than move the hard disk on which backups are stored from your home or office to a big, noisy, climate-controlled room full of servers far away. The software most online backup providers use is similar to desktop backup software in that it stores multiple versions of your files, lets you choose what to back up (or exclude) and how often, and also offers a convenient way to restore your data — often along with a few additional features.

To keep your data safe and minimize the amount of information that must be sent over the Internet, online backup services tend to use software that offers encryption, compression, block-level or byte-level incremental updates, and deduplication (all described earlier in this chapter). In addition, many of them offer bandwidth throttling (enabling you to reduce the amount of upstream bandwidth used to back up files) ...

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