Internet, Networking, & Security Home Networking Will My Internet Be Slow If I'm Backing up All the Time? Constantly Backing up Data Will Bring My Internet to a Crawl, Right? by Tim Fisher General Manager, VP, Lifewire.com Tim Fisher has 30+ years' professional technology support experience. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Tim Fisher Updated on June 24, 2019 Jose Luis Pelaez Inc / Getty Images Home Networking The Wireless Connection Routers & Firewalls Network Hubs ISP Broadband Ethernet Installing & Upgrading Wi-Fi & Wireless Tweet Share Email With your data being backed up over the Internet at all times with online backup, does that mean that it's constantly uploading everything on your computer? Won't that make everything else you do online really slow? The following question is one of many you'll find in my Online Backup FAQ: "Won't my Internet connection be slow if I'm sending all my files over the Internet all the time?" Generally, no, you should not notice that your Internet connection is slower during uploads, especially if your large initial upload is already complete and are just doing normal web browsing, video watching, music streaming, etc. After the initial upload of your data, the software installed on your computer that was provided by your chosen online backup service watches for changes and additions to files and locations and then uploads those changes. The whole of your selected data isn't continually being backed up. For example, let's say it's Tuesday night and you've just completed your initial backup of 320,109,284,898 bytes (almost 300 GB) of data. Then on Wednesday morning, you make a 5,011 byte change to a file. After that change is saved, only that 5,011 byte change is backed up, keeping what's on your computer in sync with what's backed up on the remote server. Next, let's say you add a 6,971,827 byte MP3 file to a folder you've previously selected to be backed up. Only that new file is uploaded, not your entire music collection all over again. It's actually a little bit more complicated than that, and one cloud backup service may do it slightly differently than another, but that's the gist of what's called incremental backup. Additionally, some online backup service's software have advanced bandwidth control options that allow you to limit upload rates to certain levels, only backup when you're not using your computer or device, etc. If bandwidth control is really important to you, look for my favorite services that feature Bandwidth Control (Simple) and Bandwidth Control (Advanced) in my Online Backup Comparison Chart. Here are some other online backup concerns that I often get asked about: Is It Safe to Send & Store My Private Data on the Internet?Where Exactly Are My Backed Up Files Stored on the Internet?Do Online Backup Services Limit File Formats or Sizes? Here are more questions I answer as part of my Online Backup FAQ: How Exactly Does Online Backup Work?Is Online Backup Better Than Local Backup?What's the Difference in Cloud Backup and Online Backup?How Do I Decide Which Online Backup Service to Pick?How Long Will the Initial Backup Take?Can I Restore Old Versions of Files I Back Up?Do I Have to Back Up Everything on My Computer or Device?What Exactly Should I Back Up?How Much Online Backup Space Will I Need?Do Some Online Backup Plans Really Allow Unlimited Data?Why Would Anyone Choose a Limited Plan over an Unlimited One?Are Online Backup Plans Priced by the Month or Year?Are Free Online Backup Plans Really Free or Just Free Trials?Can I Back Up All My Devices Using One Backup Plan?If My Backed Up Files Are Online, Can I Access Them Anywhere?How Do I Restore a Backed Up File?If My Entire Computer Dies, How Can I Get My Files Restored?Why Aren't Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive, Etc. In Your List?Where Is JustCloud & ZipCloud in Your Online Backup List?What Online Backup Service Do YOU Use, Tim?