“Backup,” in the simplest terms, means copying files and folders from one location to another. Online backup means the data is transmitted from location A to location B (and in many cases, locations C, D, and E) through the internet. The files and folders stored online are an exact replica of what is stored on your local computer.
Cloud backup, the most popular type of online backup, copies files to a remote cloud server or servers. Typically, several copies of a user’s files are stored in several locations, so even if one server fails, another is ready and waiting with the up-to-date data. Local drives need to be physically connected to the computer and the backup is usually run manually.
Cloud backup services are automated and run in the background daily, hourly, or continuously. The initial backup will take longer than a local backup, sometimes up to a week depending on internet speed and amount of data.