Tech / Jun 22 2023

Cloud synchronization vs. cloud backup: what's the difference?

Learn about the difference between cloud synchronization and cloud backup, and when you should use each of these file storage technologies.

You're looking for a way to keep your important files safe and secure, so chances are that if you're reading this, you're trying to figure out what's the best way to do so using cloud technology. Cloud synchronization and cloud backup are two terms that often come up, but they are not exactly interchangeable.

A while ago, we wrote about the difference between cloud storage and cloud backup. So, this time, we're focusing on the difference between cloud sync and cloud backup. Read on to learn when to use each of these technologies for optimal file security without sacrificing productivity.

Cloud synchronization

You can use your Koofr cloud storage to set up a synchronized folder, which can then be accessed by and synced with one or more devices. When you make changes to a file stored in a sync folder on your computer, the changes will be saved in your cloud storage as well. Moving files to a sync folder on your computer will automatically create copies of the files in your cloud storage.

Cloud sync can be really useful if you want to access your files from different computers or share them with other people without spending time doing manual file transfers. You can use advanced exclusion rules to stop certain files or file types from synchronizing within a sync folder, too.

One important thing to keep in mind with cloud sync is that sync rules also apply to deleting files. If you delete a file in one location, it will also be deleted in all other synced locations. Synchronization is not a replacement for backup!

Use cases:

Here's how you can set up synchronization and how to exclude files from sync in Koofr.

Cloud backup

Backup systems periodically create snapshots of your files and store them so that you can restore your data in the event of sudden data loss. They come in many shapes and media types, and one of these is cloud backup. It just means that your backup snapshots are stored in the cloud, whether it is a dedicated location in your cloud storage account or a specialized cloud backup service.

Cloud backup is amazing since it's impervious to any mechanical failure you might experience. Cloud service providers ensure redundancy by storing your files in multiple different physical locations. Backup also requires much less storage space than if you were to save a copy of all your files in your cloud storage as is.

On the other hand, because the backup consists of compressed images and snapshots of files, you can't really access your backed up files on demand. You will first need to restore a backup before opening your file.

Use cases:

We recommend implementing a backup strategy that uses the 3-2-1 principle to ensure your files are backed up securely.

Comparison chart

/ Cloud sync Cloud backup
File availability Yes Needs to be restored first
Sharing options Yes No
Versioning Up to 5 (Koofr) Unlimited
Required storage space Full file size Compressed

Do you rely on cloud sync, cloud backup, or both? Join the conversation in our Reddit community!

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