Data protection has become an essential part of modern-day business, and rightfully so. With the growing number of security breaches and data theft, you can never be too secure in today’s digital landscape. As a business owner, you must have come across the terms backup and sync, right?
Most individuals often use the terms backup and sync interchangeably. However, that isn’t correct. Backup and sync are two completely different processes that help you in protecting your personal and your business’s data. And as an entrepreneur or manager, you need to understand the differences between these techniques to make the right choices at the right time. And that’s what we will be talking about today.
In this article, we will walk you through the significant differences between backup and sync. We will also talk about their advantages and the cases where each of them will be a good fit.
So, without further ado, let’s roll!
What Exactly is Backup?
Backup is the technique of copying data from one location (source) to another location. Backup can be done both manually and automatically depending upon your requirements and the volume of the data. When you duplicate the files, folders, company records, etc. from your computer to your hard disk or cloud, it is called backing up.
The main goal of backup is to protect and preserve your sensitive and important data in other destinations in case it gets destroyed, corrupted, or stolen from the original location. Backup is the most traditional method of data protection and recovery.
Backup empowers you to continue your business operations even if your data is stolen or you’ve suffered a malware attack. It ensures that your data is protected and minimizes your financial and reputational losses.
What Exactly is Sync?
Now that we have talked about backup, let’s get an understanding of what sync is. Sync means to synchronize. It refers to the process whereby the most recent information, files, or records are copied or merged between two (or multiple) devices at the same time. The copied data can be accessed remotely with the permission of the owner.
The best example of data sync is Google Drive. When you save a file on Google Drive and give
its link and access permission to other parties, all of those parties can access the file from their own devices, right? Any changes you make to the original file also get updated in every copy simultaneously. In a nutshell, this is what syncing is all about. It is super quick and makes collaborating with a remote team very easy.
The only problem with sync is that when the file gets deleted from the original location or source, it gets deleted from all other destinations too. This makes the whole syncing process a little bit unreliable. To use it effectively, you’ll need to have some kind of additional backup system in place.
Backup vs. Sync: What are the Major Differences Between Them
While it may sound like backup and sync perform almost the same function, it’s not the case. In fact, backup and sync have some major differences between them. Here are a few such differences:
Backup is single-directional in nature. It is, quite simply, a one-way process. Your backed-up data lives on two (or more) different destinations including hard disks, cloud, flash drives, etc. Any modifications made to the original files aren’t reflected in the backed-up copies.
Sync, on the other hand, is bi-directional in nature. The data gets copied from the source to the destination in real-time and any modifications made to the original files are reflected in all the copies within seconds.
Syncing is a comparatively faster process. Backup, on the other hand, can take a few hours to complete.
Backup just involves copying data from the source to other destinations. On the other hand, sync involves two processes: copying and deleting. It not only copies the most recent version of a file to different locations but also deletes the previous versions.
The main purpose of backup is to preserve the original data and keep it safe. While sync is meant to update changes in real-time and facilitate collaboration in remote work.
What are The Advantages of Backup and Sync?
Both backup and sync have their own advantages and can be extremely useful in certain cases. In this section, we will walk you through some of the major benefits of using backup and sync.
Advantages of Backup
The biggest advantage of backup is that it can help you preserve and protect all of your sensitive data. You can copy your important files, folders, records, and everything else and store them in safe destinations. Cloud storage, external hard drives, flash drives, etc. are some popular backup methods.
The backup process can be easily automated. You can set multiple time slots throughout the day when you want your files to be backed up and that’s it. This will help you save a lot of time and effort.
Backup is several times more reliable than syncing. Even if the files are modified or deleted from the source, they will still exist in your backup destination. So, you can rest assured as you won’t lose any data due to technical error, data theft, or malware attack.
Streamlined Workflow and Limited Hardware
With the growing popularity of cloud backup services, you don’t even need to keep large volumes of your backed-up files on the premises. They can safely exist in the cloud infrastructure and you and your team can access them anytime and from anywhere.
Advantages of Sync
Access for Collaborators
Syncing offers a quick and effective way of accessing data and collaborating on work remotely. All you need is to give access or editing permission to your team members and all of you can work together without hassle.
Instant Updates to Shared Files
Changes made in the original files are reflected in every copy within seconds. This ensures that everyone on the team has access to the most recent information.
Data syncing is cost-effective
A well-implemented data synchronization system can remove conflicts and improve your data quality and organizational efficiency.
The Bottom Line
While syncing can be extremely useful when it comes to collaboration, it can’t help you in preserving your data the same way backup can achieve. Similarly, since syncing usually works with public cloud services, it offers limited storage space and so, you will need a backup strategy to store a large volume of data. Backup can be more time-consuming and expensive than syncing. Yet, backup gives you complete reliability and peace of mind with automation and secure storage for all your data.
When you put these two processes together, they make a lot more sense as a team. Syncing works extremely well when it is coupled with a fool-proof backup strategy.
Data backup has become a necessity for every organization, no matter its size. Currently, there is no way any other process can replace the need for backup. A comprehensive data backup strategy can help you protect your sensitive data from events like malware attacks, viruses, hardware failure, natural disasters, and so much more.
So, it is recommended that you use data sync and backup in unison and reap the benefits offered by each one.
Tech Masters helps business owners increase productivity and protect their most valuable data with the perfect backup strategy and IT support. Contact us today to learn more and to claim your free business IT assessment.
To learn more about backup and sync, check out our frequently asked questions below.
Is iCloud sync the same as backup?
No, iCloud sync and backup are not the same thing. iCloud sync helps you synchronize data, files, music, documents, etc. across multiple devices. It helps you ensure that your data is the same on every device and that any changes you make to the original data are reflected on all other devices.
Backup is simply what it sounds like. It helps you preserve and protect your important data. It ensures that all of your sensitive data, files, documents, etc. are backed up to a safe destination like hard disks, flash drives, or to the cloud.
Why is cloud storage the best?
When it comes to backing up your data, there are several reasons why cloud storage is considered the best.
It allows you to access your data anytime and from anywhere in the world. If you own a business, you or your team members can immediately access your company’s records, data, and files from anywhere. This is extremely helpful in case of an emergency, virus, natural disaster, hardware failure, or malware attack.
Cloud storage is highly scalable. When your business grows, you can opt to expand your storage space. Cloud storage can handle large volumes of data without hassle.
It is much more budget-friendly than external hard disks.
Cloud storage isn’t vulnerable to risks like human error, getting destroyed because of natural disasters, or falling prey to theft and sabotage.
Most cloud providers offer a high degree of security including password protection and data encryption.
What is the main drawback of backup?
Data backup has become an essential part of every organization. However, it still has several drawbacks. The major ones are:
The whole backup process is time-consuming and can take several hours to complete. Data restoration is also not quick and can take a long time to finish. However, backup providers are getting a lot more advanced and near-instant recovery is available in some cases.
Backups require a financial investment.
Cloud backups are sometimes prone to cyber security issues like ransomware or malware attacks.
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