Email Archiving vs. Email Backup: What’s the Difference?

Our emails contain a treasure trove of valuable information – from important work documents to cherished memories in personal correspondence. It is crucial to safeguard this data but are you aware of the differences between email archiving and email backup? These two services serve distinct purposes, and understanding their unique features can help you make the right choice for your business.

Email Backup

Backups are your digital safety net, creating periodic snapshots of your email data and storing them in independent cloud storage. The primary purpose of an email backup solution is to enable easy data recovery in case of data loss due to accidental deletion, hardware failures, or cyberattacks. One can restore an entire mailbox or specific emails as they stood at a given time.

Be aware of retention limitation – older snapshots may be deleted automatically to save storage space.

Email backups focus on storing data efficiently and cost-effectively. They don’t usually offer advanced search and retrieval features.

Email Archiving

Email archiving is a more comprehensive solution designed to meet specific regulatory and compliance requirements while improving email management.

Compliance and Legal Requirements:
Email archiving is crucial for businesses and organizations that must adhere to strict legal and regulatory requirements. It ensures that emails are stored securely and tamper-proof for a defined period.

Efficient Search and Retrieval:
Email archives are equipped with powerful search capabilities, allowing rapid location of specific emails, even if they are years old. This feature is handy for businesses dealing with large volumes of email data.

Storage Optimization:
Email archiving solutions optimize storage by reducing the load on email servers, leading to improved email system performance. Archiving helps keep your primary mailbox clutter-free.

Long-Term Preservation:
Email archiving solutions often retain emails for extended periods, even indefinitely, making them ideal for long-term historical record-keeping.

Deciding which is best?

The decision is not an either/or choice to make. Having a backup is, arguably, an essential requirement for any business but the archiving option helps with the daily management of mailbox. With archiving in place, one can delete emails with impunity as each mail enters the archiving solution in real time. Archive searches are often more flexible than those built into email solutions, allowing one to find mails where the specific details (e.g. date, sender, etc.) may not be known but a search of subject or mail body content will produce results. The backup solution will allow you to restore and view a mailbox as it stood at a given time.

If you primarily require a safety net for data recovery, an email backup solution should suffice. If your organization needs to meet regulatory compliance, is looking to enhance data retention, or is regularly firefighting over-sized mailboxes, an email archiving service is a valuable addition.