Off-site backup quota reports: difference between compressed and uncompressed size

We follow the industry standard when describing our backup services, quoting the "uncompressed" size. For example, assuming a 50% compression ratio, a service described as "Off-site backup 20GB" will be assigned 10GB of "compressed" storage on our servers.

Most standard files such as documents, spreadsheets and the like compress to much more than 50%; by logging into the backup server's web interface you can view the individual files and see the exact compression ratio for that file - many are compressed to more than 90%. Therefore, most average users with standard files get far more storage for their money using this method.

Any files that are already compressed, such as .zip, .mp3, .wmv, will not be compressed much further using the backup software. These files will appear to consume more space on the backup server compared to standard files.

When viewing the backup reports the amount of quota remaining is always the "compressed" storage remaining. By logging into the backup server's web interface you can view more detailed reports as to the total number of files, the combined "uncompressed" space (the amount of disk space those files occupy on your hard disk drive), and the combined "compressed" space that those backed-up files are taking up on our server.

By using your operating system's file explorer on your computer you can view the properties of files and folders on your computer's hard disk drive to see what their uncompressed size is and also what type of files they are. You can often reduce wasting your offsite backup storage quota by carefully selecting which files to backup; you may find that some files that are already compressed (such as .zip and .mp3) do not really need to be backup up offsite.