Where Exactly Are My Backed up Files Stored on the Internet?

Is My Backed Up Data Just Floating Around the Internet Somewhere?

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Where is all of your data stored when you send it over the internet to an online backup service? Is it spread all over lots of computers or kept on a server at the backup company's headquarters?

The following question is one of many you'll find in my Online Backup FAQ:

"Where is all of my data stored? I'm guessing they're on computer servers somewhere but where exactly is my data? Where are those servers located?"

Yes, online backup services house your data on enterprise-class servers in professional data centers.

Some services own their own data centers while others lease or purchase servers in data centers run by other companies (a very standard practice).

Most online backup services use data centers located in North America, most often in the US, but some also have them in South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia to better serve customers in those areas.

Information on data center locations for some of my favorite online backup services is available in my Online Backup Comparison Chart. For backup services not listed there, a quick email or look through their online FAQ should answer the question.

Please know, however, that your data will almost always be stored on one or more servers in the closest data center to your location. Exactly which data center, assuming your online backup provider operates more than one, or what the address of that data center is, isn't usually available for security reasons.

Here are some other online backup concerns that I often get asked about:

Here are more questions I answer as part of my Online Backup FAQ: