No, web hosting companies do not provide reliable, effective effective backups for their customers. Most web hosting companies do not provide any backups by default. When a hosting company does provide simple backups, we frequently find that those backups haven't been tested recently, and are not actually running anymore. Further, there have been many cases of web hosting companies shutting down unexpectedly. If the company shuts down for any reason, your backups would be gone with them. Customers of Alpha Red and Acronoc hosting learned this the hard way when the companys shut down overnight and staff dissapeared.
Occasionally, a web hosting company does provide some backup storage, normally at an extra charge. in almost all cases, these backups are stored in the same room as your server, so a fire like the one at The Planet and Rackshack can destroy both.
If your site consists solely of static HTML pages, with no scripts, and it doesn't have a lot of video or other large files, keeping a copy locally can help protect you from some threats, but not all. If your site contains scripts such as a message board, a member database, or a blog such as Wordpress, this important data normally exists only on the server - the installation files on your local computer don't include any of the posts that have been made or other critical data. This also doesn't protect you from errors or corruption that originate on your local machine - when an error is made while updating your site, or files are corrupted, and then you upload the new version of the file to the server, both copies would then be unusable.
If your site includes video, calculate the time it would take to have a new server set up with a different company, have that server configured for your needs, then upload everything. While many homes and businesses have internet connections that can download quickly, the average broadband upload speed in the US is only 1.5 megabits per second. Is it okay for your site to be offline for days while you upload video?
RAID protects only against one very specific problem - physical hardware failure of the disk drive, and only certain types of drive failure. RAID does not protect your business from hackers, mistakes, fires, problems with your hosting company, or most hardware failure.
A frequent problem with other types of backup is that a problem isn't noticed until it's too late - after the backup copy has also been affected. Consider if you make a backup copy of the server at midnight, as a lot of people do. What happens if the site is hacked at 10:00 PM? Frequently, the problem isn't noticed until the next morning. By morning, the midnight backup is also infected - the infected files were copied over at midnight.
For this reason and others, Clonebox maintains four copies of your server - last night, yesterday, last week, and last month. If you wake up one morning to a Clonebox alert telling you that your site has been hacked, you can restore the copy from the day before. Even if a problem goes unnoticed for weeks, Clonebox can restore a copy from last month.
This feature also allows you to check for any changes to your files, or find out when a file was changed. This is popular when a site is infected with some type of malware. The Clonebox comparison can verify that any file changed by the infection has been cleaned up.
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