Losing important files — documents, music, photos, and video — from your computer is a wide-awake nightmare. Whether it’s for personal or business purposes, lost files mean lost memories and lost work. Recovering files once lost is expensive and unreliable. Backing up into the cloud with a service is the most reliable method, and the services available are increasingly secure.

SugarSync, MyPC Backup, and Ibackup are several examples of services that offer that security. Part of an increasing host of file backup sites, these services offer “sync” with other computers and devices, file sharing, and custom backup settings.

SugarSync

SugarSync is available to PC and Mac users with automatic backup to the cloud. When files are changed the service automatically syncs across all assigned devices. This is an ideal service for novices and power users who have multiple computers and devices.

Once downloaded the backup begins with SugarSync. The desktop application becomes the portal to the service, or users can use their browser. Ether way, users are in control. The service includes a photo gallery, custom archiving, and social networking features. Read SugarSync reviews submitted by customers of the company.

MyPC Backup

MyPC Backup does not currently have file sharing, but it syncs data and has unlimited storage. The low cost is its strong point. Like most services it syncs files across devices, has no restrictions on file types, and is soon to have file sharing. There are few limitations on devices or computers per account.

With a reputation for easy use, MyPC Backup offers uncomplicated use. By the end of 2011 the service will be Linux and Mac compatible. There is no live or phone support available. The service is accessed via browsers, and by default deleted files are kept for seven days. Read MyPC Backup reviews submitted by customers of the company.

IBackup

IBackup is more expensive and has limited storage, but it has superior security options with quality support. On their end, they maintain two data centers for a double backup of user’s data. It’s easy to use desktop application adds value, or users have three browser options available. File attachments can be e-mailed directly for online storage.

Their data encryption and compression, with scheduled backups, makes IBackup more secure than comparably priced services. The service’s strongest point is peace of mind for users who have critical or confidential files. Read IBackup reviews submitted by customers of the company.

Comparing backup services takes time, but it is better to spend time upfront than learn a new program only to find out later that it’s not what you needed. Cost should not be the first consideration. All services store data securely. Some add levels of security worth the cost — if you need it. Most offer social networking and file sharing options — if you want them. Some make data storage a wide ranging utility with multi-faceted unique capabilities, and others keep it simple.