SecurityMore and more companies are taking advantage of backup storage solutions via off-site servers. It makes sense that “cloud” storage is becoming more popular: even if your equipment is damaged or attacked, your data is safe elsewhere. It can be accessed remotely, so no matter what the circumstances in your data loss scenario, everything can be recovered easily. While backing up data on an in-office external drive is still a great option, there are limits to that method, and cloud storage expands beyond those limits to provide more comprehensive protection.

But all clouds are not created equally, so be sure to investigate before choosing a system to store your data. Ask the following questions in order to determine whether a particular cloud system is right for your business:

Does the cloud upload new files and update changed files immediately? Real-time updating is important for a couple of reasons. First, if an attack or natural event disrupts your operations, all data up until that moment will be preserved and recoverable. Also, remembering to update everything leaves room for human error, and just adds one more thing for everyone to remember at regular intervals. There’s no need for that when you can just choose a system that updates in real time.

Does the cloud allow syncing and sharing of data? This might not be important for every business, but in many cases it is necessary for employees or even your clients to share files across the cloud. If this applies to your business, you’ll want to choose a storage system that allows for ease of syncing and sharing.

Is there a mobile version? If you or your employees sometimes work on the go, having a way to access the cloud from mobile devices like smart phones and tablets will be essential.

How much does it cost? Considering the value to your business, virtually all cloud storage systems are a steal. However, there’s no need to pay for more than you need, so analyze your storage needs carefully and choose a plan that suits your business.