Cloud Sync vs. Cloud Backup – Let’s Understand the Difference



Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: August 26, 2020

We have been through tough times where we have lost our childhood photographs or our favorite playlists due to the failure of the computer hard drive. The cloud was unavailable, eliminating the possibility of synchronizing or backing up data on secure servers at a different location. But times have changed now.

Access to cloud infrastructure has enabled individuals, corporations, and other organizations to manage their data in a secure and efficient way. Evidently, more and more users are getting inclined towards cloud storage services. But whether they should opt for cloud sync or cloud backup, confusion still lingers on.

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Here we have discussed the fundamentals of cloud sync and cloud backup – their functioning, and the benefits of using these technologies. Once you are aware of these cloud technologies, you will be in a better position to invest your money.

What is Cloud Sync?

Cloud synchronization, or simply cloud sync, is a service that lets you access files on multiple devices via cloud storage. The cloud sync folder, visible on the device screen, serves as an interface to access files stored in cloud storage. When you make changes in a file, these are synchronized with the file in the cloud. Now when an authorized user views this file on any device, the updated version is available.

Generally, cloud sync maintains two copies of the file, one in the cloud and another in the device. But there are exceptions as well. For example, Dropbox Smart Sync feature eliminates the need to save the file until you need it, thereby relieving disk space. If you want to read or edit it then you can download the file on your computer. Only the file thumbnail is visible on the device screen. Click on it to download, open, view, and edit the file. Once the changes are made, these will be reflected in the file stored in the cloud. When you’re done with the file, you can make it online only to free up your disk space so you can access it only when you need it.

Benefits of Using Cloud Sync

Cloud sync boosts collaboration and employee efficiency. Working remotely is the trend now, and full-time workers and employees are in favor of this work culture. According to Upwork Future Workforce Report, 38% of the employees will work remotely in the next 10 years.

Now communicating and exchanging documents via email is a cumbersome task. The cloud sync facilitates collaboration among team members, as everyone has access to updated information at all times. Employees can communicate on a unified platform and render changes in real-time.

Most of the cloud sync services integrate with third-party apps and SaaS tools, such as Microsoft Office Online and Salesforce. This further promotes a collaborative environment, keeping everyone on the same page, thereby facilitating quick and efficient working process.

ud Sync vs. Cloud Backup

What is Cloud Backup?

Hard drives and tape drives are generally used for storing data. However, these storage devices are subjected to failure, jeopardizing the security of your data. This is where Cloud backup comes into the picture.

Cloud Backup is the process of backing up, or replicating, data on cloud storage. Cloud storage service enables users to upload their data on remote servers, in addition to storing it on local drives. The backup can be restored anytime using an encrypted connection.

To upload data on the cloud, you can schedule backups at specific time intervals. The backup process operates automatically, according to the schedule or independently. The restoration process takes place through a client login interface. Talking about retrieving deleted files, there is a buffer period that generally varies from 30 to 120 days.

Benefits of Using Cloud Backup

Since hard drives are prone to damage and failure, your data is always at risk. Cloud backup is the part of the disaster recovery plan that safeguards your data against loss due to any unforeseen circumstances like data theft, damage to property and so on.

Cloud storage services have to abide by stringent encryption protocols to protect customer’s data. The data is stored in an encrypted format at the data centers. The system requires you to authenticate your credentials to access data stored in the cloud servers. In most of the cases, two-factor authentication (2FA) is deployed to avoid data theft.

Cloud backup doesn’t fiddle with the file system structure when creating a data backup. The exact details are replicated on the cloud servers. So when you restore data on a local drive, you will obtain the data in the same, organized format.

Enterprises can save a considerable amount of money by utilizing cloud backup services. They don’t need to purchase on-site storage equipment and deploy human resource to monitor and maintain storage equipment. They can do away with the hassles by simply availing cloud backup services for backing and archiving data on off-site servers.

The Cloud Era Has Begun

Cloud computing enables users to interact with data, anywhere and anytime. Whether they use mobiles or laptops, Mac or Windows; they are constantly connected to the cloud. Services like cloud sync and cloud backup ensure increased work efficiency, data security, cost savings, and effective document management.

As a user, will you opt for cloud sync services like Smart Sync? Tell us about your views in the comment section.

This is a sponsored post for Dropbox. All opinions are my own. Dropbox is not affiliated with nor endorses any other products or services mentioned.

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