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IT Untangled: Can I Use Dropbox as my Business Backup? Blog Feature
Accent Computer Solutions

By: Accent Computer Solutions on July 7th, 2017

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IT Untangled: Can I Use Dropbox as my Business Backup?

IT Support FAQs | IT Untangled

Toy Story 2 was a major hit for Pixar Animation Studios. Woody and the gang were back in the mix solving life’s little adventures, but it was almost lost forever.

Pixar Studios suffered a now infamous data loss, the biggest data loss in the company’s history and it included a significant portion of Toy Story 2. How could this happen you ask? Because their out-of-date backup method failed them.

With numbers like 60% of small business shut down within six months of data loss, and 58% of those small businesses not being prepared for data loss– can you take a chance? (Small Biz Trends)

And while we would never suggest that Dropbox is out-of-date, we can say that it will fail you as a backup solution for your business data given ample time. Let discuss why.

Problems with Dropbox as a Business Backup

The problem with using Dropbox, or any other cloud file storage solution like Box or Google Drive, as your backup solution is that Dropbox is not a backup solution. While it does store your files and synchronize them across different devices, it doesn’t have real backup support. 

What is real backup support you ask? The ability to recall.

The retention time for deleted files is 120 days with a business account, (30 for a personal account), and it can’t be increased. This means that there is no backup for your backup. If you were to accidently delete something, the chances of your getting it back is almost none.

Dropbox also doesn’t have the ability to backup system files, databases, and other server files that are needed to completely restore a server, or even something as small as a workstation. What about email? Nope, Dropbox can’t support a backup of your email.

You might argue that Dropbox can be used to store duplicate copies of documents, photos, videos, etc., and that’s true. But it can’t recreate your server in case of a virus, natural disaster or otherwise. And if your computer got infected with certain types of malware, it can get to your cloud storage too. The files on your computer and in your Dropbox account would be lost. 

So, while Dropbox may be a fine solution for your personal pictures or files, and Dropbox for Business works well for file sharing, it doesn’t offer a backup solution with the complexity your business needs.

How Small and Midsize Business Backup Solutions Differ

When planning for a disaster, your company’s foundation will be built in its backup solution. Where business-class backups thrive is in their ability to recreate any given timeline of your company’s history.

For instance, if your server hardware were to give out, your business-class backup solution would be able to get you back up and running quickly because of these critical components:

  • Image-based Backups (Operating System file backup) – one large file is saved periodically of your server, including all data associated with the operating system and application configurations, plus deleted files. Basically, it’s a snapshot of what your server looked like before the incident.
  • Onsite Data Availability - means you don’t need to download the files from the internet to restore your files. This can save DAYS depending on how much data you need to restore.
  • Vendor Support - Business-class backup vendors understand that the issue is impacting your business and will treat the problem with the utmost importance. Quality support from your vendor can make all the difference when you have lost something.

And while you might not need the colossal backup of a major animation company, don’t get caught in a similar situation. Make sure your backup protects your business and your future. Talk to your IT provider about your company’s essential data and its backup methods. Choosing a backup solution that is business-class can take you much further than you realize.

Dropbox and the Dropbox logo are trademarks of Dropbox, Inc.

IT Untangled

IT can be complicated. We're here to help "untangle" it for you.

IT Untangled aims to provide clarity on IT topics for business people. This weekly blog series will explain and discuss the complex world of IT, in words you understand. 

Related:  Ask an IT Guy: What Are Image-based Backups?


About Accent Computer Solutions

Accent Computer Solutions, Inc. is a managed IT services and IT support provider, serving businesses with 30-500 employees throughout Southern California. The company is headquartered in Rancho Cucamonga, California, with IT professionals strategically located throughout San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles, and Orange Counties, as well as Arizona, Texas, and Louisiana.

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