Your data is important, so you know how critical it is to ensure that it’s protected from the enviable data-loss. One of the smartest things you can do to lower the risk of data loss virtually down to 0% would be to go with an offsite backup service. This will ensure that your precious data is somewhere else in the case of a local network virus outbreak or some natural/technical disaster happen where your data resides. When choosing your backup service provider, take the following into consideration.1. Ease of use: Is the backup software provided by the service provider going to be easy to use and setup. Why mess around? In today’s market there are many providers with different types of software that ultimately have the same result. I would recommend asking the vendor for a free trail (if it’s not currently offered) and testing the software for user friendliness.2. Security: Your data should remain private. Your data will transfer over the Internet, then stored on a remote server that could be anywhere. How do you know your data is secure from prying eyes? Read through the documentation on the vendors site that describes their data security infrastructure. The software should encrypt the data locally and then transfer. This will ensure you are the only one in control of decrypting the data, so transfer is safe, and residence on a ‘strange’ server is safe, because no one but you can decrypt it.3. Redundancy: What are the mechanics of storing your data at the offsite backup facilities? The offsite backup server should consist of redundant servers. This insures your data against the possibility of offsite server crash, you’ll have another server taking its place immediately upon any failure; zero down time!4. Recovery Accessibly: You want to be able to access your backup data wherever and whenever. Data corruption and loss can happen any time. With the power of the Internet you should have the ability to plug in to anywhere there is an Internet connection and retrieve lost data.5. Support: Customer support is essential, but if the software is easy to use, you will be less likely to use it. So ensure there is some support material, user manuals, FAQ’s and a way to contact a real person – at least by email- and you will be golden.Offsite Backup services on the Internet are a growing in number, so you have an abundance of choices. Take some time to choose a service provider that will meet your needs and the criteria I’ve outline here and you’ll be making a informed choice that will save you in the long run.