One of the lessons to take away from the devastating destruction that has literally engulfed Japan over the past couple of weeks is that one never knows when disaster will strike. As a small business owner, it is good business practice to be prepared to some extent for the worst, or else you risk loosing your business and all that you’ve invested into it.

For any small business that stores vital business data- from financial reports and ledgers to customer contact and history information, then a good data backup and recovery system is an essential part of a business disaster plan. Below are five of the best online data recovery services for small businesses that are particularly suited to those who have little IT expertise:

SugarSync– SugarSync is a versatile data backup and syncing service that allows you to store, share, and edit files across several plaforms, including the iPad, Blackberry, Android, and the iPhone. Some of the most prominent features are continuous backup, the ability to access five of the most recent versions of all files stored with the service, multi-platform functionality and document syncing, and an easy-to-use interface.


SOS Online Backup SOS Online is probably the most feature-rich, yet user-friendly backup service of the lot. A “wizard” helps users decide how best to use the service and what files to backup; one account can be used for several computers and a feature called “Live Protect” patrols files for changes and then backs them up immediately. Finally, unlike other services, every file that is uploaded is held in the system indefinitely; it will never be deleted.

Norton Online Backup– Norton Online is a good all-arounder when it comes to data backup and syncing. One account can be used for several computers, and it supports both PC and Mac platforms. Its web-based interface is also easy to use and navigate, and like IDrive you can backup open files and conduct file searches.

IDrive The two most attractive features of IDrive are its feature-rich and easy-to-use web interface and the ability to open a free account with 5 GB of storage space. It also can perform open file backups and allows for searches within and among stored files. Don’t use this service, however, if you need it for both a PC and a Mac within one account.

Dropbox Dropbox is a sophisticated, yet amazingly simplistic file syncing service that operates automatically across multple devices and platforms. If you are using files that can be stored in a single folder, then Dropbox is for you. You can open a free 2 GB account or upgrade to Dropbox Pro for 50 GB of storage.

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