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This is Why You Need a Cloud-Sync Solution. Now.

Here at Business Hacks, we pay a lot of lip service to cloud-sync solutions like Dropbox and ZumoDrive -- mostly for their ability to make your files accessible anywhere. But there's another reason to tap the cloud, and it's no less important: on-the-fly backups.

Let's say you store all your critical Word documents in a folder called, um, Word documents. Now let's say your PC decides one day that it no longer wants to boot -- which happened to me a couple weeks ago. Your data is effectively trapped inside your dead machine.

This can either be a huge, career-threatening disaster or a minor, mildly inconvenient hassle. In my case it was the latter, as I'd configured my Word documents folder to sync with SugarSync -- my current favorite of all cloud-storage services. My desktop was dead, but so what? I just hopped on my laptop, which was also configured with SugarSync, and got back to work. All the files were there, having been synced to the cloud and then back down to a local folder.

The beauty of SugarSync (and services like it) is that it's a set-it-and-forget-it solution. The files and folders I add to my cloud drive are automatically synced there, with no further effort required on my part. It's like having an instant backup of my most critical stuff, but without the additional hassle of having to "restore" when the need arises.

There's not a single business owner who wouldn't benefit from a cloud-sync service, and I continue to be partial to SugarSync (which has always struck me as more business-friendly than, say, Dropbox). For one thing, you can get a free 5GB account, enough to handle an awful lot of documents -- maybe all your documents. And as Dave recently pointed out, SugarSync has made a number of improvements of late, including a killer iPhone app.

Seriously, I can't recommend this strongly enough. Sign up for an account, sync your important folders, and then rest easy knowing that even a fire, flood, hardware failure, or virus attack won't cause a data disaster.

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