3-2-1 Backup Strategy – Part 3: External Backup via Cloud Service

Now that we have covered backing up your computer and mobile devices locally using an external hard drive or a NAS, we can now set up our final security measure: backing up data via third-party cloud service.

There are many options available:

  • Drive
  • OneDrive
  • iCloud
  • Box
  • FileCloud
  • NextCloud
  • AWS

And many more…

Choosing the Best Fit

While you have many options available with a wide variety of prices, I recommend carefully evaluating your storage needs and privacy concerns to determine the best service for you.

Drive, OneDrive, iCloud, and Box are among the least expensive options. However, these options don’t offer precise user control over where files are stored or granular settings for privacy and reliability. For those who prioritize autonomy, security, and flexibility, a service like FileCloud or NextCloud may be more suitable.

To maximize privacy, running your own on-premises server with a cloud service (Digital Ocean, AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, etc.) is an ideal solution. You can fully control your data storage, but this control comes with a price. Running your own server is often the most expensive option. With that expense comes the ability to configure several layers of access barriers and encryption standards.

For example, you can run FileCloud on-premises on AWS, set up your S3 Bucket, and apply asymmetric encryption standards to your saved files. With these layers in place, if for any reason someone gains access to your S3 Bucket, your files will not be readily available–they would need the encryption keys or direct access to your FileCloud Server to decrypt the data.

The Cost of Running a Server

For users running their own FileCloud Server, we can apply some basic parameters to compare pricing, using calculators provided by cloud service platforms.

  1. Medium size computer
  2. Linux OS (Ubuntu)
  3. Additional 500 GB disk
  4. FileCloud Community Edition (sold separately)

For this example, we used the Google Cloud calculator:

Screenshot of Google Cloud calculator

With our initial parameters, the calculator has estimated that it would cost around $45 per month to run an independent server.

However, if your company already runs a FileCloud server or pays for FileCloud Online, you can take advantage of FileCloud’s backup option at no additional cost. This feature uses your existing cloud space; you can rest easy knowing your critical data is backed up in the event of a disaster (mobile device gone, computer gone, hard drive gone).

Backing Up Hard Drive Data to FileCloud

FileCloud includes an end-point backup solution that can help you back up specific folders from your local computer (like your hard drive) to your FileCloud account.

To add your local hard drive to FileCloud, open the Sync application and select “Backups” under the Configuration menu:

Screenshot of Backups Tab in FileCloud

From the “Backups” tab, you can select a folder, including that of your connected hard drive device:

screenshot of FileCloud Sync app, add a folder

FileCloud will then sync content found in the designated folder to your user account. I recommend enabling the “Email notification after the backup completes” option. This way, you can track when and how often your files are backed up.

screenshot of FileCloud Sync - backed up folders

Once configured, the FileCloud Sync application will back up your hard drive data to your FileCloud backups folder. This also completes your external source for backups, which cover the basics of your 3-2-1 backup strategy.

Article written by Daniel Alarcon