Century IT blog

Offline Data Backups vs Online Data Backups

April 20th, 2013

A Discussion on Business Continuity and Disaster Planning



Let’s first discuss what constitutes an offline and online backup as some people immediately jump to the conclusion that all online backups are something which holds data in a Cloud somewhere.



Offline Data Backups

Offline data backups are generally ones where you backup company data to one or more types of removable backup media, for example removable tape, WORM drive (Write Once, Ready Many times), DVD, USB memory stick etc. etc.





Online Data Backups

Online data backups are generally ones where you backup to an external hard disk or network NAS drive, or perhaps copy your data to another computer, laptop or server.



Both in essence are great for making a backup of your data, but why would you choose one type of backup over the other?


Offline backups will be far more reliable and robust in a number of different scenarios


  • Fire, Flood or Theft
  • Office Break In
  • Virus or Spyware on the Computer System
  • Hardware Failure
  • User Error


Offline backups can be removed from the office and kept securely at a separate physical location and therefore not susceptible to erasure, change or deletion.


Viruses and spyware can corrupt, change or delete data on your computer network and your online backups, again, data within offline backups should remain unaffected.


Also if your office is broken into, the computers are likely to be stolen, along with the online data backups.


If there was a fire or flood in the office, again online backups would be destroyed whereas offline backups are likely to be safe at a different physical location.


Generally online backups and medium tend to be at the budget range of backups and generally require the least amount of effort to maintain, but that doesn’t mean that an offline backup will be hugely expensive.


Offline backups in the least can be a DVD or a USB memory stick that contains a backup of the company data and is kept at a separate physical location.


So What Should You Do

There is an old adage in the I.T industry that you can’t have too many backups, and often relying upon a single type of backup certainly has its weakness.


In the best interest of business continuity and disaster planning, generally we would advise:-


  • A Series of Offline Data Backups going back over a period of time
  • Use at least a couple of different mediums for the Offline data backups
  • A Series of Online Data Backups going back over a period of time



Each company is different and has its own challenges and there isn’t necessarily a one size fits all solution and in the first instance we would advise that you obtain tailored advice from a reputable and qualified I.T expert.


Century IT Services are based in Totton, Southampton. Hampshire and can help you with the installation or on going I.T support of your computer, server and network. We offer a broad range of I.T services covering, internet, email, anti-spam, anti-virus solutions, we are experts in virtually anything Microsoft Server based and have extensive troubleshooting skills.


If you have an ever growing list of I.T niggles or need a server, or network installed, you have come to the right place. You can contact us on Tel. 023 80 070101 or email us at sales@century-it.co.uk for a confidential, no obligation discussion of your requirements.