Back up! Don’t JUST sync your data

Arden Lim
Synology C2
Published in
5 min readFeb 24, 2022

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Just because your data is synced doesn’t mean that it’s backed up, and it also doesn’t mean that you will have the ability to restore your data in the event of a sudden disaster.

fPhoto by rawpixel on Freepik

Backup vs. Sync

Keeping your data continuously synced can be essential for your work environment. Whether you’re a business or an individual, it’s important to make sure all of your documents, accounts, and files are always updated to the cloud. But how do syncs compare with backups in terms of protecting your data?

Backups and syncs actually serve different purposes for your data.

A sync service constantly keeps your data updated to the cloud so that your device and the cloud always have the same set of data. Plus, syncs provide you access to your data across different devices, meaning that you can get to your data anywhere, anytime. However, if you erase something on your device, it will also be deleted on the cloud, and you will be unable to restore it. Some services, like OneDrive, may allow you to retrieve a file from the Recycle Bin, but this is far from ideal in the case of an actual disaster.

Photo by rawpixel on Freepik

Backup services, on the other hand, make copies of your data from one location to another without replacing any of your old data. For example, copying information from your computer to your external hard drive, cloud, or NAS. Since they generally keep multiple versions of your data, it means that you’ll be able to go back and recover it at certain points in time if needed. Some backup services even provide flexible retention policies and scheduled or event-triggered backup tasks, allowing you even more customization for your backup needs.

Why can’t I just sync my data?

Data syncing is the process of integrating the same and most up-to-date data available from a device with two or more devices. The most common example of syncing services is Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive.

With most syncing services, data are stored in an authorized data repository that you can access remotely via available devices such as PCs, smartphones, tablets.

Syncing to the cloud is also really useful in terms of collaboration. This has especially been the case recently with the need to work from home and have all of your data be constantly updated whenever edits are made. But everyone having access to the same file also means that they have the ability to edit or delete it, ultimately putting the file at risk.

Since automatic syncing won’t sync the entire original file and only sync those that were changed or new files, it means that once your file is deleted it’s likely gone forever. Syncing your data also does not necessarily protect your content from ransomware attacks, making your files even more vulnerable to data loss.

Back up your data

Backup and sync solutions, while they can work well together, are not the same thing and do not serve the same purposes. While syncing is convenient for collaboration and availability across all of your devices, you must also utilize a backup service and back up your data regularly so that you can recover it in the event of a loss.

Backup services also come with the following benefits:

  • Your entire device configurations and system files, as well as single files and folders, can be backed up and restored.
  • Protection against ransomware.
  • Versioning allows you to have access to and restore multiple versions of your data.
  • Retention policies can be set up to remove data so that you maximize the use of your available storage.
  • With cloud backup services, you don’t need on-premise devices, and you can check in on the backup status anytime you want.
  • Backups can be done automatically, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not you have backed up your data.

Protect your data with C2 Backup

By now, you’re probably ready to start backing up your data, but where do you begin? We highly recommend getting started with a cloud backup service like C2 Backup.

C2 Backup is Synology’s cloud-based backup solution

With C2 Backup, you get all of the previously mentioned benefits, such as entire device backup/restore, versioning, and retention policies that keep a minimum of 60 versions. With incremental backup, only changed blocks of data are backed up, so the entire device doesn’t have to be backed up each time, boosting storage efficiency and keeping the subsequent backup times as short as possible.

C2 Backup also allows you to customize your backup schedule or set them to be triggered by certain events, like whenever your PC starts up, the screen locks, or when you log out.

But how do I know my data is safe in the cloud?

With C2 Backup, your backups are secured using a C2 Encryption Key created during setup, and any uploaded data is encrypted on the client-side during storage. Through the use of military-grade AES-256 bit encryption and client-side encryption, your data is kept as safe as possible from anyone looking to gain access. For Windows device backup, end-to-end encryption is employed, and server-side encryption is used for Microsoft 365 accounts.

Plus, you can rest assured that your data will always be available with C2 Backup since your data is protected on servers with 99.999999999% data durability.

Still not completely sold? No sweat! You can get started with C2 Backup today with a 30-day free trial to try out all of its useful backup features.

Written in collaboration with Leigh Parker.

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