If your goal is to give employees easy access to shared files from anywhere in the world, or to support off-site backup of critical files, online storage services can make a lot of sense.
Obviously, they’re far slower to use than local disks, especially on the upload side, which makes them a poor choice for storing huge files. But used selectively to complement your regular, offline full-drive backups, online storage can be quite valuable.
ElephantDrive.com offers an economical service for businesses, including selective or automatic backups, encryption, file sharing, web browser access, and multiple user accounts.
For individual computers, Carbonite.com’s automatic, continuous backup service costs $50 (about £25) per year, with unlimited storage. The down side is that you have to run the software continuously, with no option to do one-time or selective backups.
Businesses should also consider WindowsLive Workspace, a free web-based document-sharing service from Microsoft. It won’t let you upload anything except document files, so it does not constitute a complete backup option; but for the simple task of sharing files, it’s priced right.