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Of all the tasks that occupy a computer's processing time, none has greater potential to leap from mundane service to critical function than the backup process. In the past, backup procedures (whether implemented for personal or corporate use) were mostly physical and involved regular copy sessions to a separate floppy disk, tape, or CD-R/DVD-R. In recent years, the falling price of hard drive storage has made external hard drive-based backups a practical solution for certain personal or small business uses. The growing prevalence and rising speed of broadband, coupled with the aforementioned drop in storage costs, has allowed companies that specialize in online backup solutions to extend these services to a great range of clientele. Unlike physical backup solutions, online systems have the advantage of requiring no additional hardware and usually have a small software footprint as well, in terms of program size or memory requirements.