A freelancer’s best friend: the back-up solution

When our home was broken into and – among others – both my laptop as well as my husband’s were stolen, I realised the importance of backing up as – had my husband not backed up our information – I would be sitting in a very difficult position as all the work I had done – from the time I was at university up until my last client would have been gone. If you don’t want to use physical hard drives to back up your information, there are a number of cloud storage solutions that you can use. Best of all: they are either free or cost very little.


Possibly one of the most-used cloud storage solutions in South Africa, the free version of Dropbox offers up to 16GB of online storage. Dropbox offers two paid-for versions: Dropbox Pro – which costs about US$10 a month (about R121) – and Dropbox for Business – which costs US$15 (about R182) per user per month. The pro version gives you 1 TB of storage while, with the business plan, each user gets unlimited storage.

The recent report – entitled Who has your back? –  published by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has lauded Dropbox as being excellent in terms of its security provision, so you – if you sign up for Dropbox – you won’t need to worry about your data being leaked onto the worldwide web.

The downside of this system is – unfortunately – the price as it’s dependent on rand-dollar currency fluctuations. If you’re a one-man (or one-woman) show, around R200 a month isn’t an exorbitant amount of money to pay for as much online storage as you want. However, when you have a 100-employee-strong organisation that each needs R200’s worth of online storage a month, this bill is a little harder to swallow.

One Drive

This solution – presented by Microsoft – offers 15GB of free online storage when you sign up. The paid plans on offer range from 100GB (US$1.99, which converts to about R24) up to 1TB (US$6.99, which converts to about R84).
The offering provided by OneDrive is pretty much on a par with Dropbox; however, where they definitely set themselves apart is that you get a one-year’s licence to Microsoft Office 365 with the 1 TB package.  Although you need to purchase the licence to 365 every year, you do get access to the latest software every time you renew your licence. And, on top of this, you get to maintain your 1 TB of storage on OneDrive.

Whatever back-up solution you choose to go for – whether it be on the cloud or on terra firma – you need to have one. Because remember: if your computer is stolen, you can replace it – but you can’t replace the information that’s on it.