5 Cloud Backup Optimization Tips

Learn the 5 most useful optimization tips for backing up your computer to the cloud. The problem with backing up a lot of files is that it takes a while to do. This guide will show you how you can take a few steps to make it go a little faster.

David Blane
by | Posted: November 6, 2012 | Updated: April 22, 2013

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Since you are looking at this article, it's safe to assume that you know backing up files to the cloud can take a while. In some cases, weeks! This is probably not exactly what you had in mind when you signed up with an online backup company. This guide will help.

The Problem

The good and bad news is that it always takes a while to back up. Especially the first time. This is true on most internet providers because upload speeds are significantly less fast than download speeds.

The Solution

That being said, here are a few tips to improve the speed you can upload your files and still feel protected.

1. Prioritize Your Backup

Think about which files which are most important. Which of them are crucial to you? They could be anything from family photos, tax documents, to other types of sensitive documents. Make a plan that gets your important files safe first. Then get the rest of your files uploaded in groups. Some times it takes 3-4 backups before you get everything.

2. Upload By Type / File Size

If you can, upload videos and music last. HD videos are especially large files that take a lot longer to upload than a text document, for example. Pictures can even be rather large. Photographers and filmmakers will consistently have to wait long periods of time to backup using online services because of their media's large file size. Some companies like JustCloud have a file size limit option. This filters out the large files until you are ready to upload them and can help tremendously speed up the first backup.

3. Schedule Backups

Many of the online backups services will come with a way to schedule backups. This way you can schedule the backup for when no one is using the computer or internet. A weekend or middle of the night is a perfect time to get the first set of files backed up.

4. Folder Selection

Pay attention to what you are backing up. It may not all be necessary. For instance, many backup companies will select the Documents folder by default. This is nice, but what if you have 30 GB's of TV shows or movies in there? That will take forever. Go through each folder and make sure it matches your plan and includes only the smallest, most important files first.

5. Backup Regularly

If you can schedule backups regularly you will keep your queued files from getting, well, backed up. Excuse the pun. After your first few prioritized backups, backing up regularly helps keep them quick. The more frequently people backup, the less time new files or changes will have to build up in size. The smaller in size the backup is, the quicker it will be to backup.


One company we have used that has scheduling and a file type limiter built in is JustCloud. They make a well rounded online backup solution. It works pretty well and you can read our review here.


Like previously mentioned, most first uploads take a while. That being said, if you follow tips you will see an improvement in speed and save yourself any headaches lost data would have caused. If you have any other tips or want to share your thoughts about this guide let us know what you think on twitter @backupsearch.

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David Blane

David is fascinated with technology and loves trying out the latest and greatest apps. He's a big proponent of using technology to simplify your life; not make it more complicated. This is why he loves online backup and cloud syncing services. Follow him to stay informed with his latest posts!

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