How does an online file backup service work?

You can perform an online file backup either through a tiny application you have previously downloaded and installed on your computer, or through a web-based interface. Regardless, you will select the files to be backed-up and set the date when the uploading will occur. The first backup you perform is bound to take up to a few days if the amount of data you upload is great. Subsequent backups take much less, because only new or modified files will be uploaded. It’s recommended that you backup your important files often, every day if it’s possible.

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What is the most important factor when you're choosing a cloud storage/ online backup provider?