Relica lets you back up to places called destinations. A destination is essentially storage space. A single backup configuration may back up to one or more destinations. Multiple backups may back up to the same destination. And with Relica, there are various kinds of destinations you can back up to.
A local destination is a folder on your hard drive. It could also be a network folder or drive mounted to your computer. In other words, it's a storage place that's physically close to or inside of your computer. You can usually browse these places using your computer's native file browser such as Windows Explorer or macOS Finder.
Local destinations are extremely fast, reliable, convenient, inexpensive, and highly available. Backups to these destinations often finish fastest, and if possible, you want to restore from them because they are basically free to access and very fast. However, they should not be the only place you store your backups.
Backing up only to a local destination is risky because storage devices fail, get stolen, are lost, and other bad things can happen. Then you've lost your backup at a time when you might need it most. Even backing up to multiple local destinations—though better—is not a sufficient backup strategy.
You should keep some backups off-site, and that's what the other kinds of destinations describe don this page are for. For example, if a fire were to strike your office, it could render both your computer and your backups inoperable. Or a burglar could steal both your external hard drive and your computer in one swipe. Or you could lose physical access to the place where your local backups are kept.
While we highly recommend backing up to at least one local destination for their obvious advantages, we recommend backing up off-site as well.
The Relica Cloud is the best and easiest way to make off-site backups. This special destination is relatively fast, very reliable, and highly available. Because your backups travel securely over the Internet to be stored in this destination, these backups are safe from hazards that threaten any local destinations (like hard drives) such as theft, loss, fire, hardware failure, etc.
The Relica Cloud consists of multiple, independent cloud providers in several regions that ensure maximum restore availability. When you back up to the Relica Cloud, you select how many independent cloud providers you want to back up to. No matter how many you select, Relica will only upload your data once—not multiple times—from your computer. Replication to any multiple providers happens in real-time and will not slow down your backup.
We fully manage cloud storage for you: all you have to do is check the box to use it. You are billed simply based on your actual usage. See pricing.
See our article on The Relica Cloud for more details.
Peer destinations are other computers, either on the same local network or over the Internet. These computers could belong to you or to other people. Once a computer (or a server) is running Relica, it has the optional of sharing its storage to become a peer destination.
Backing up to other computers ("peers") offers some of the same benefits as the Relica Cloud does in terms of being an off-site backup, but with some tradeoffs.
For one, peer backups are usually less reliable and available since they rely on a direct route to the other computer that depends highly on actions of consumer ISPs. Sometimes, ISP configuration changes can cause a peer destination to be inaccessible for a few minutes or hours. Or the local network around the destination computer can change, since usually these are in an average home where the network is not managed by professionals.
That is totally OK: but you should know that it might cause delays when backing up or performing restores. One advantage to peer destinations is that they are available at no extra cost to you: this feature is included in your Relica membership!
See our article about how to share storage for more information about allowing others (and yourself) to back up to your computer from remote locations.
Your own cloud or remote
While the other destination types are accessible to users of any skill level, custom remote destinations require a little more technical know-how. But they can be useful destinations to back up to when you already have your own cloud storage accounts or when you want to back up to your own servers without installing Relica on them.
Relica lets you back up to Amazon S3, Backblaze B2, Azure Blob Storage, SFTP, WebDAV, and many other kinds of providers. Read about backing up to custom remotes for more details.