Understanding the Difference: Cloud Sync vs Backup vs Storage

cloud backup storage and syncThe digital landscape is changing, and the organizations are navigating different service offerings to meet their growing demands.

These days we hear a lot of things associated with the cloud. Words like cloud sync, cloud backup and cloud storage are confusing and can seem the same.

Services like Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, OneDrive have gained massive popularity in the last some years and are often backend as backup and sync services. They can be considered as standalone service which uses a third-party cloud storage system.

Nevertheless, the shared goal of all three services — sync, storage or backup — is to protect the user’s data and make life easier. The differences in all three arise from what the user expects from that service. Below we’ve listed out some of the differences for three of them.

Cloud Sync

Cloud sync services basically sync folders on your computer or mobile device to folders on other machines or into the cloud. It helps users to work from a folder or directory across devices.

Most cloud sync services have tiered pricing, meaning you pay for the amount of data you store with the service or for tiers of data that you are allowed to use.

If for some reason, data loss occurs, many service providers have a version history feature. Unquestionably, only files that are in the synced folders are available to be recovered, and you’ll never get back files that were not synced.

Cloud Backup

Cloud backup services work automatically in the background. As a user, you don’t need to take any action like setting up and working out of specific folders like with sync services. However, some online services may differ. Ensure that you don’t miss out on anything like common directories who’re excluded by default.

Backup services back up new or changed data that is on your computer to another location. Just like CD or external hard drives were used for the backup before the cloud. However, cloud storage has become more popular, readily available and affordable in recent times. It’s the most popular offsite storage medium today.

Cloud backup services have fixed pricing. In the event of the system crash, data loss or disaster, all backed up data is available for restore. Besides, these services have version history and rollback features in case there is accidental file deletion.

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage is where most online backup, syncing and sharing services store their data. The storage providers serve as the endpoint for data storage.

The cloud storage services provide APIs (application program interfaces), CLIs (command-line interfaces), and access points for individuals and developers to tie in their cloud storage offerings directly. This empowers developers to create programs that use the cloud storage solution in any way they fit.

Cloud storage can act as a building block for whatever tool or service you want to create. The services are priced per unit stored, which means you pay for the amount of storage that you use and access.

Besides, these services are designed for high availability and durability. This means that data can live solely on these services. However, you can have multiple copies of your data, just in case.

The bottom line: All these services have merit for different use cases and are useful tools to have in your arsenal. If you have additional questions about which service is the best fit for your organization, get in touch with us.