Although backing up computers has been around for years, online backup has exploded over the last decade with analyst firm Gartner projecting it to grow more than 3.5 times faster than on-premise backup.

However, even with the enthusiasm around the benefits of lower hardware and software costs, and the ease-of-use of most solutions, there still has been much confusion, and outright misunderstanding, leading to a sometimes difficult decision for customers to make informed choices. In this article I examine the top 6 current myths – good, bad, and bogus – about online backup, and debunk them:

1. Synchronisation is backup

We love sync, but that’s not backup. Synchronisation automatically replicates your changes (and mistakes!) to all locations. Imagine you were retouching a photo, cropped it, and saved it. Months later, you wished you could undo that crop, you’re out of luck. Your original is gone as it was synchronised.

2. All online backup providers are about the same

All backup solutions are not created equal. The ability to back up external drives and what the solution does with your deleted files are just two of the many differences which if not made aware of, can cost you extremely important files.

3. Initial online backup takes forever

While this can be true for many online backup solutions, some options offer customers the ability to “seed” their backup cloud by having a drive shipped overnight to their data centers. This can shave months off your initial backup time.

4. It takes weeks to get your files back

This too is true for most solutions. However, there are solutions which offer the option to overnight your data to you for a small fee if you’ve lost everything. Better still, follow point #6 below and you’ll have a copy nearby for free.

5. Online backup is expensive

$5/month/computer can really add up, especially with most households having several computers. Four computers (his, hers, child laptop and media server) costs nearly $250/year. However, some solutions provide unlimited storage for all your computers for as low as $6/month and enable families to create their own private backup clouds for free.

6. Online backup is enough

Online backup is better than nothing, but putting all your files and photos in one basket is risky. Two destinations are infinitely better than one, so have backup onsite and offsite. That’s why I recommend multi-destination backups, allowing you to have all of your data in as many locations as you needed. (Online destinations are paid for, personal destinations are “free”).