Do we need dedicated, complete online backups anymore, considering Dropbox, iCloud, and Google? A few years ago, I would have said absolutely yes – we need complete, offsite backups of our hard drives so that, if something terrible happens to your machine, you don’t lose vital things such as photos, purchased music, files, and contacts.
But much has changed. With music streaming, photos stored in the cloud, and files online, I’m not so sure that is as absolute as it used to be. Mobile devices and SSD drives have led a move to online storage and synchronization that is simply amazing. To have all your photos online, reachable and editable, is staggering. What would you lose, if you lost your device? If you are using online services, probably less than your think. (The hardest challenge is still home movies and ripped DVD files, due to the size of the files – these are the files that should absolutely be stored offsite as well as on local backups.)
I’m not saying you don’t need to backup anymore. You should still have good quality backups, through Time Machine or another system. I also have cloned drive that gets updated weekly, and I use Arq Agent to also backup online. But with files in the cloud, and cloud sync being pretty stable these days, the issue of offsite storage has changed.