Last updated: December 2016
Original article date: Late 2014
Ever heard of "cloud backup"? If you don't know what it means, I'll tell you, and, if you do, you can just skip ahead to the next paragraph. "Cloud backup" is a method of backing up your data, where it simply synchronizes (or periodically backs up) your files to a server, or servers, on the Internet.
Now, let me explain why this is a bad concept.
The first reason is because your computer probably has a considerable amount of stuff on it. For instance, we will say that it has 300 GB of data on it, and that you have the same Internet speed as I do: 30 Mbps download, and 8 Mbps upload. 8 Mbps is exactly 1 MB/s, so, just from that value alone, fluctuations aside (which always happen in a real-world scenario), it would take precisely 300,000 seconds to upload, or a bit over 3.47 days.
Gosh, just why would you want to leave your computer on for that long? What if you want to use that bandwidth for something else? What if you have a family or roommate(s) that use your Internet connection, too?
Particularly on weaker routers, heavy upload traffic causes ping latencies to shoot through the roof, which makes pages very miserably slow to load, or games to behave badly, possibly to the point of uselessness. That's what all of this means to you.
What's real awful about this, is that we've ignored fluctuations in speed with these values. In reality, unless you actually are uploading equal or more than 8 Mbps most of the time, it's going to be even slower! Perhaps 6 Mbps? That is 750 KB/s, or 0.75 MB/s, which would take just a bit short of 4.63 days! 4 Mbps? About 6.9 days! 2 Mbps? Don't even think about it!
I'm not done yet, though.
The second reason is because of the waste it creates: the computer draws energy, which costs you money. The computer spins its fan(s), assuming it has any, which costs bearing life hours. The computer dissipates heat, which makes your Wi-Fi AC...um, I mean air conditioner work harder, assuming you live in a "less than pleasant in the summer" place like I do.
The third reason is because, if you have a data cap (which is not only for super-low-budget or cellular Internet access plans), assuming your Internet connection is even fast enough, you'll be blowing right past that cap, which that might mean more cash out of your pocket.
Between that and the energy bill, this bad excuse of a backup "strategy" might as well have been invented by power companies.
The fourth reason is because, how do you think you're going to even restore your backup, anyway? If your computer blows up, where do you install the backup software? On the ashes of your computer? Nope, that's not gonna fly. Perhaps you pull out your old NEC Versa 2435CD from 1996 and restore it on there? Have fun when you remember it has a 1GB drive, not one at least 300 times that! Besides, I couldn't get Wi-Fi working on that laptop, and Ethernet requires a separate card just like Wi-Fi does,
but at least it works...but this is still a bad use for such old hardware!
The fifth reason is because, whenever you back up your stuff, you're uploading your formerly personal data to another party. The company who runs the servers might snoop on it, or perhaps someone will break into them with a security vulnerability. You better hope there isn't any illegally-downloaded content in your backup, or anything else that the government might squawk about. Hey, this is
2014 2015 2016 (darn you, time), they could squawk about anything, including this paragraph.
So, to sum it all up, it takes ages, it costs lots of time and money, it's annoying, it's just downright flawed to no end, and it's potentially unsafe.
Well, do you still like the idea of it? For the love of Sonic's tush, I sure don't!
To finish this off, here's an appropriate picture for this article. This was not made by me.