Backing up your computer to a cloud storage account makes an awful lot of sense but if there’s one complaint we hear again and again it’s just how slow the backup process can be.
Fortunately there’s no need to cancel your storage account or stop backing up. Here we’ll present six simple tips that will speed up your backups and keep you from tearing your hair out while you’re waiting for the process to complete.
Many popular pieces of online backup software have a “throttling” setting that you can alter. In essence this controls the amount of your computer’s power that goes into backing up your files and how much is invested in other things like you surfing the internet or checking your emails.
The fact is that searching your computer for new or modified files and then uploading these to the internet can take a fair amount of memory and, if you’re unlucky, considerably slow down your computer.
So to speed up the backing up process, try altering the throttling to find the perfect solution for your needs. Some people like to set it nice and low, and let it run in the background while they’re doing other things. Other people would rather set it to “maximum” and find something else to do while their backups are happening.
Many of the more popular online backup applications can be set to run automatically – either every x number of days or alternatively every time you start up your computer. Some will Livedrive will even run continuously in the background with little or no impact on your computer speed.
But one useful tip if you’re finding that your backups are slowing down your computer is to find a provider whose software stops and starts in an instant.
Therefore if you stop working on your computer for a while to go and make a cup of tea, answer the phone or whatever your online backup software kicks into life and begins backing up your files.
Then, as soon as your computer senses you’ve starting working again – such as by typing on your keyboard or opening up a new document – it shuts down your backup software in an instant.
In this way your cloud storage can stay up to date by using the tiny periods of time where your computer is on but idle, while eliminating the problems of backup software running while you’re trying to complete other tasks.
Back Up Before/After Use
Another easy way to speed up your computer while backing up to the cloud is to simply pick a time for your computer to back up, set your upload speeds on maximum and simply leave it to it.
While I’ve used Sugarsync for many years and love their service, I have found that their software can have a serious impact on my computer speed. Infact, that’s a major reason why I moved over to a faster service. However I found the best solution was simply to turn my computer on and leave it running for a while as I got on with other tasks, during which the software could run at full speed.
Then, by the time I was actually ready to start my work, all the backing up was complete and my computer was running at full speed. Of course this suggestion depends on your circumstances; for some people this may well be a perfectly viable option, though for others it may be a constant source of annoyance.
Eliminate Unwanted Files
The larger your hard drive is and the more files you have on it, the longer your backups are likely to take. This is because your backup software will be searching through your computer for new or modified files and the more files you have the longer this process will take.
You can speed up the process of backing up your hard drive to the cloud therefore by limiting the files and folders that your backup software is set to check.
There are two alternatives; either spend some time deleting old and unused files from your hard drive or modify the settings of your backup software to only monitor specific folders on your computer while ignoring other, less important, files.
When your computer files are being backed up to the cloud they’re sent from your computer to a server at your cloud storage company. Understandably the further they have to travel, the longer this process takes so the longer your backup takes.
If you’re based in the USA this is unlikely to be too much of a problem because the majority of well-known online backup providers are based there. However for those based outside the US you might want to consider looking for companies that base their servers in your home country.
Many computer users have duplicate (or near duplicate) files on their computer. Furthermore most reliable cloud storage companies will back up everything on your hard drive, thus also wasting time and storage space on storing these unneecessary duplicate files.
However another way to speed up your backup process is to select a storage company that actively de-duplicates files, thus minimizing the number of files sent to the cloud and in doing so saving you time.
Ben Rutherford is a blogger and technology-freak who teaches others how to start and build their own blogging empire at http://www.TechToucan.com