Blog / Backups & Snapshots: The key to data protection

Backups & Snapshots: The key to data protection

by SW Team

Nowadays, it is essential to understand and use tools such as backups and snapshots to protect information and prevent the loss of valuable data. For this reason, in this blog, we will explore what backups and snapshots are, their best practices and importance.

What is a Backup and Snapshot?

A backup is the creation of an exact replica of the original data for the purpose of restoring it in case of loss, damage or error. Backups are performed regularly to ensure the availability and integrity of information and can be stored on external devices, remote servers or in the cloud.

On the other hand, a snapshot is a capture of the complete state of a system or data set at a specific point in time. Unlike traditional backups, snapshots do not replicate all data, but only record the differences or changes made since the last snapshot. This allows the system or data to be quickly and efficiently restored to a previous state.

Both backups and snapshots are fundamental tools for managing and protecting information. While backups focus on creating complete replicas of data for recovery in the event of a disaster, snapshots provide an agile and efficient way to restore systems or data to a previous state. The right combination of the two ensures a sound data protection and recovery strategy.

We would also like to inform you that all SW Hosting hosting and cloud plans include a backup service and you can make snapshots. If you want to know more information about backups, for example, how you can activate a backup or how to modify it in the SWPanel, click here. However, if you want more information about snapshots, such as how to plan them, click here.

The importance of Backups and Snapshots

Snapshots and backups are fundamental and very important tools in data management and information security. Here are some of the key reasons why they are important:

  • Protection against data loss: Snapshots make an instantaneous copy of the state of the system at a particular point in time. This means that if a problem occurs, you can use snapshots to restore your data to a previous state to prevent data loss. On the other hand, backups are essential to protect data in situations such as hardware failure, accidental data deletion, human error, malware or natural disasters. Regular backups ensure that you have update copy of your data to restore in the event of a disaster.

  • Data recovery: Snapshots provide faster system recovery by restoring only the changes made since the last snapshot, rather than restoring a full copy of the data. This reduces downtime in case of a disaster. However, it is important to note that snapshots restore the entire system, including logs and emails. On the other hand, backups do not provide such fast recovery, but they do allow you to restore specific data or files in situations of loss. For example, in the event of data loss or corruption, they are useful for recovering lost data and restoring normal operations.

  • Testing and development: Snapshots make data recovery fast and efficient. Instead of restoring a full copy of data from a backup, you can use snapshots to restore only the changes or modifications made since the last snapshot. This saves you time and reduces downtime in case of incidents.

  • Flexibility and scalability: These provide flexibility and scalability in data management. For example, you can create multiple snapshots at different times to provide a variety of recovery points. This allows you to select the most appropriate snapshot for recovery according to your specific needs.

  • Protection against malware and cyber attacks: They are also a measure of protection against malware and cyber attacks. In case of a ransomware or other malware attack that encrypts your data, you can use backups to restore your original files without having to pay a ransom. This gives you an extra layer of security and allows you to recover quickly.

  • External storage: Backups can be stored offsite or in the cloud for added security and disaster protection. This ensures that backed-up data is safe in the event of physical failure or adverse situations. In addition, cloud storage provides greater availability and access to backups from anywhere with an internet connection.

Best practices for Backups and Snapshots

To get the most out of backups and snapshots, it is important to follow some best practices to ensure the effectiveness and security of your backups. Below are some of the best practices to keep in mind:

  • Perform incremental backups: Instead of backing up the entire system, opt for incremental backups, which capture and store only the changes made since the last backup. This reduces the time and space needed to perform backups efficiently.

  • Encrypt backups: Ensure the confidentiality of your data by using encryption techniques to protect the information stored in your backups. This prevents unauthorised persons from accessing your data from backups, if it is compromised.

  • Store backups in external locations: Apart from saving backups on local devices, you should also consider backing up to external locations. For example, such as Cloud Storage services or external servers. This will protect you in case of natural disasters, fire or other events that may affect your physical equipment.

  • Automate the backup and snapshot process: Set up automatic backup tools to run backups on a scheduled and regular basis. This ensures that backups are performed without relying on manual intervention, minimising the risk of forgetfulness or human error.

  • Test the integrity of backups regularly: Run regular tests to verify the integrity of your backups and snapshots. This involves checking that the files have been backed up correctly, that no data is missing and that they can be easily restored. This ensures that your backups are available when you need them.

  • Keep multiple backups: Do not rely on a single backup or snapshot. Make multiple copies and store them in different locations. This provides redundancy and an extra layer of protection in case a particular device or location fails. For example, at SW Hosting we offer a multi-site backup service that allows you to activate multiple backups in different locations. For more information about this service, click here.

By following these practices, you can maximise the efficiency and security of your backups and snapshots. Remember, the key is to be consistent and back up regularly, using the right encryption and offsite storage options. That way, your data will be protected and you will be able to retrieve it easily when you need it most.


As you have seen, backups and snapshots are critical elements in ensuring data protection and availability. By following best practices and using secure storage solutions, you can minimise the risk of data loss and have a solid recovery plan in place. Don't wait until it's too late, start backing up and taking snapshots today to protect your data!

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