File Sync vs. File Backup

The terms “file sync” and “file backup” are often used interchangeably. However, this is erroneous. There are a number of key distinctions between syncing a file and backing up a file, and a failure to properly understand these differences could have catastrophic implications for a business. So, let’s break down the major difference between file sync and file backup.

Syncing a file will only keep the most recent copy of a file. File backup processes, however, can be configured to keep a number of historic versions of a file. So if you’ve altered a file three times, you can configure a backup process to keep all those previous versions. It should be noted that file backup will use more storage space, as saving all these historic versions of a file does require significantly more space. However, this isn’t typically a big issue, as all of this information is compressed on the backup data.

In contrast, syncing a file only allows you to keep the most recent copy of a file. So if you’ve altered a file three times, only the last version will be saved. Why is this relevant? Well, let’s say a company’s computer system is hacked and infected with ransomware, like in the recent high-profile crypto-locker virus where hackers encrypted a California hospital’s files and held them ransom, refusing to hand over the decrypt key unless a large sum of money was paid out. In this case or a case like it, file syncing would have a devastating effect on the business, as all files would be encrypted and their would be no ways to access older versions of the files. With file backup, however, it is possible to restore previous versions of the files. We have several clients who have avoided potential crypto-locker virus catastrophes with proper file backup strategies, saving themselves huge sums of money in ransom payments.

So, should you be using file syncing or file backup? Well, ideally you will want to use both. File syncing is incredibly advantageous as it allows for easy collaboration in a business context. Employees can easily share files with themselves and employees, and can also edit files together simultaneously. However, file backup is the safest way to protect your files.

Are you using two different software solutions to protect your files — one for file syncing and one for file backup? If you do, you should not be. Consider RingStor enterprise software, which provides both syncing and backup in one affordable and convenient software solution.