These services allow you to sign up for a free account (DropBox = 2.5 GB, Google Drive = 5.0 GB).
You then download and install the respective desktop software for your PC or Mac.
Any files you store in the folders that are created by the desktop software are automatically uploaded and synced with your online account.
While technically these are file synchronization services, the result is that your files are backed up to an offsite server (the “cloud”) and your files are retrievable should your hard drive crash.
If all you have are Word Documents, Excel Spreadsheets, or your QuickBooks Backups, this is a great, simple, and free solution.
If you have your photo or music collection, this isn’t really the right solution for you (although you may want to check out Google Play feature which allows you to store some 25 000 songs for free).
If your computer were to be lost, stolen, or broken, you can simply log into your account from any new computer or your mobile device, and all of your stored content is instantly available to you.
This is backup on the cheap, and it works.
For those that have >5GB of data and are more technically savvy, you may want to check out CrashPlan, which allows you to back up your data from a computer at location A to another computer at location B.
This is also great for sites that require secure backup, but are still on the fence about storing their data in a 3rd party’s data center.