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Offsite backup is what it sounds like: You have a backup set of data that is nowhere near your main place of business. Some or all of the data that flows from computer to computer each and every day is also stored on a server that is physically far away from your office. That way, in the event of a catastrophe, you will not lose every shred of your important data.
You control how often your data is transmitted to the offsite backup. Most companies make a total backup of their data every day or every week, depending on the amount of data they use on a daily or weekly basis. Some companies, particularly large financial institutions, might make several virtual or physical trips to the backup every day.
Offsite backup can take several forms. One of the most common is a data storage facility. This can be as large as you need it to be in order to store all of the data that you want backed up. You might not want all of your data backed up all of the time.
Data storage facilities commonly contain data storage devices. These can be as simple as magnetic tapes, CDs or DVDs, or as complicated as mainframes full of data. Data that is stored on portable storage devices such as tapes or discs is usually transmitted manually and hand-carried to the offsite backup. Data stored on mainframes might be transmitted this way as well, but is more likely sent electronically, either via your company's own network or using a secure Internet connection.
Software is available to make the offsite backup process easier. This software is usually customizable, so you can fill your company’s specific needs. The software applications can usually be set as well to do the data backup automatically, at regular intervals that you set, so that the backup process takes as little of your time as you want it to take.
Offsite backup is not only used by companies. Individuals use offsite backup as well. Data that you might want protected from your house or family can be transmitted to a backup facility using the same sorts of methods described above. The idea here as well is to ensure that you have more than one copy of your most sensitive data.