If you had an unlimited supply of money, you would not need to consider backup options for your websites. Every site would have its own dedicated server, and every dedicated server would have second or even third backup servers with identical, redundant backups.
Unfortunately, we live in the real world, and you may have nothing more than a $9.95-per-month web hosting budget. Whether you have a single hosting account or a number of dedicated servers, your backup options are still limited. The following backup solutions are all possible options, but they also have limitations.
1. The home computer – Perhaps the most common backup device that new web hosting users employ is the home computer. Whether a desktop or a laptop, you can always backup your website files and databases and save them to your hard drive. The limitations are that you consume your own home’s bandwidth and your backups are only as safe as the computer. If you get a virus, accidentally wipe your hard drive, or watch helplessly as your child spills apple juice on the computer, your backups are gone.
2. Backup Drive or Local Device– Some hosting companies may encourage you to install a second hard drive on your server for backup. If something happens to the primary hard drive, the secondary backup drive is already in the server and ready to go. This may sound appealing, but it will do nothing to protect your data from disasters. If a fire, tornado, or earthquake destroys your server, the backups will be destroyed too.
3. Remote Storage – In this scenario, your backups are uploaded to a remote storage device. It could be at a second data center or somewhere on a cloud storage service’s server. Either way, your backup data is safely separate from your server. The only real limitation is that your data will only be secure if the facility where it is stored is secure. Therefore, you should do your homework.
Ultimately, the remote storage option is the most logical choice, but it would not hurt if you combined two of the three options. Having a local device backup as well as remote storage ensures that your data is protected even if one of the backup options fails.