Secure Mobile Data Means Not Taking It with You - Page 2

By Ronald Pacchiano
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Remote Access

For employees that have a primary PC in their office, remote access programs are a great solution. Unlike a typical VPN connection, which will only provide remote users with access to network resources such as servers and shared folders, a remote access program will actually allow you to take control of the PC in your office and operate it as though you were sitting directly in front of it.

In addition to securely accessing all of your data, you can also check your desktop calendar and even run network applications, without the lag commonly associate with a VPN connection. As highlighted in last month's column, Remote Access with Windows Live Mesh, there are numerous remote access products available.

Features and price points vary and many of these applications are even compatible with smart phones and tablets like the iPad. Some of my favorite remote access applications include Windows Live Mesh, LogMeIn Free, and Teamviewer.

Online Data Storage

Online data storage, or remote backup, is a technology that lets people store their data on the Internet (a.k.a., in the cloud), similar to the way they store it on hard drives, CDs and flash drives. By storing their data online, you can access it from anywhere, using any computer equipped with a broadband connection.

In addition to Macs and PCs, many of these services are even compatible with mobile devices such as smart phones. Best of all, since this data resides in the cloud, it will never be at risk of virus corruption, equipment lost, damage or theft. In many cases, online data storage can also be configured to act as an automatic online backup solution, as well as providing employees with a simple and effective method of sharing data with others.

You have no lack of choice when it comes to online storage providers. Microsoft's SkyDrive, for example, offers 25GB of free space, while others like Mozy or Dropbox will provide only 2GB of free space. If you need additional space, you can buy more at anytime. Pricing varies based on the amount, but Mozy offers 50GB and 125GB plans for $5.99 and $9.99 per month.

Vendors typically provide 24×7 technical support and some vendors offer additional small business security via two factor password authentication. These benefits make online data storage an ideal solution for both small businesses and anyone who works from home.

The biggest drawback to any of these options is that you need Internet access in order to do any work. Fortunately, mobile Internet access is not hard to come by these days, and -- for the most part -- it's quite affordable. In the article 3 Easy Ways to Get Mobile Internet Access, I discussed the various methods and the cost associated with them.

If you don't have mobile broadband service yet, I suggest you consider it. Although the added expense of mobile broadband access or of being tethered to a Wi-Fi network can be inconvenient, the peace of mind of that comes from knowing that your data is secured behind lock doors should more than make up for it.

Ronald V. Pacchiano is a systems integrator and technology specialist with expertise in Windows server management, desktop support and network administration. He is also an accomplished technology journalist and a contributing writer for Small Business Computing.

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This article was originally published on April 04, 2011
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