Any backup where the backup storage medium is kept at a different geographic location from the source is known as an offsite backup. The backup may be done locally at first on the usual storage devices but once the storage medium is brought to another location, it becomes an offsite backup.
Examples Of Offsite Backups
- When the backup drives of the office computers are taken home by the Administrator or Manager for safekeeping.
- When the backup drive is kept at another branch office at another site or building.
- When the backup drive is kept at a bank safe deposit box.
- When the backup is sent across the Internet or network connection to a storage facility or data centre in another city. (Also known as online backup or remote backup)
Offsite backups offer all of the same protection as local backups with added protection against theft, fire, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters. Putting the backup media in the next room as the source would not be considered an offsite backup as the backup does not offer this added protection.
- Offers additional protection when compared to local backup such as protection from theft, fire, flood, earthquakes, hurricanes and more.
- Except for online backups, it requires more due diligence to bring the storage media to the offsite location.
- May cost more as people usually need to rotate between several storage devices. For example when keeping in a bank deposit box, people usually use 2 or 3 hard drives and rotate between them. So at least one drive will be in storage at any time while the other is removed to perform the backup.
- Because of increased handling of the storage devices, the risk of damaging delicate hard disk is higher. (does not apply to online storage)
NOTE : With faster Internet connections and more and more online backup providers coming up with competitive packages, the practice of bringing home a hard disk or bringing it to the bank is becoming less attractive.