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  1. #1

    Personal PC backups

    So I've been on a quest to find a personal backup service for my pc. Some of the things I have really been pushing for is price, encryption and ease of use. So far I have looked at or tried the following and none of them come uo what I want:

    Amazon S3: You need to use jungledisk or some other program to use this. Jungledisk is pretty basic but large uploads routinely time out which makes the service extremely unreliable.
    http://aws.amazon.com/s3
    http://www.jungledisk.com

    Bingodisk: Great product easy to use however there is no encrption and you have to buy webdrive to use it which is an extra $52
    http://www.bingodisk.com

    Elephantdrive: Great product which uses S3, they provide 6 GB of space for free right now. They don't allow you to store large file sizes (silly)
    http://www.elephantdrive.com

    Omnidrive: Easy to use however things time out in the client, it is clunky and they offer no more then 1 GB right now
    http://www.omnidrive.com

    ProtectmyPhotos: great, easy to use however you can only backup certain file types.
    http://www.protectmyphotos.com

    Mozy: great, pretty easy to use however things get pretty slow.
    http://www.mozy.com

    Carbonite: their interface is horrible and I don't trust unlimited anything
    http://www.caronite.com


    Does anyone else have any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    I would never backup my PC to the Internet. First of all it takes too much time. Second, why not just get a few external hard drives and a safe place to keep them?

    If you have a data (fireproof) safe, that will work. Otherwise rent a safety deposit box from your bank. They are cheap, like $20-$40 a year for one that will fit a small hard drive.
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  3. #3
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    Running up and down to your bank could be painful if you have to update frequently.


    Why cant you use your own Amazon S3 account ? As I understand you need to create an account and submit your credit card details. They charge you for actual usage like utility billing.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/browse.html?node=16427261

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by RajanUrs
    Running up and down to your bank could be painful if you have to update frequently.


    Why cant you use your own Amazon S3 account ? As I understand you need to create an account and submit your credit card details. They charge you for actual usage like utility billing.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/browse.html?node=16427261
    I do but you need a way to get the data there and jungledisk isn't that good at all :-(

  5. #5
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    Hi Ross-

    Like the other guy, I'm wondering how come you don't use an external harddrive? It doesn't sound like you'll be needing enterprise-class backups.

    I have a 400GB and a couple 250GB external harddrives that I do routine backups of my personal desktop/laptop to. Works nicely.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Nich
    Hi Ross-

    Like the other guy, I'm wondering how come you don't use an external harddrive? It doesn't sound like you'll be needing enterprise-class backups.

    I have a 400GB and a couple 250GB external harddrives that I do routine backups of my personal desktop/laptop to. Works nicely.

    I do but if my house burns down likely my laptop, my computer and my external hard disks will be in it. I want something far away off site which also makes it so I can access my data from anywhere if need be.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossH
    I do but if my house burns down likely my laptop, my computer and my external hard disks will be in it. I want something far away off site which also makes it so I can access my data from anywhere if need be.
    Have you considered renting a cheap dedicated server or colocate somewhere? This can give you the flexibility of high bandwidth and high disk space. I'm not sure what O/S you use, but for example it is quite nice to automatically transfer your data with rsync on a linux box.

    I just colocated a server with a TB of space just for backup purposes and it's something I don't have to worry about in terms of 3rd party reliability on a daily basis (i.e. if a 3rd party backup service will go out of business tomorrow).
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  8. #8
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    Yeah I wouldn't be using any internet service to back my machine up, though I do understand the idea of the fire. That's a pretty good reason to be honest.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossH
    I do but if my house burns down likely my laptop, my computer and my external hard disks will be in it. I want something far away off site which also makes it so I can access my data from anywhere if need be.
    Not really... all you need is a plan.

    1) Keep a backup in the house.

    2) Keep a backup in the car (or work, if you have a job). I've kept a backup in the car for years without any issues (I work about 15 feet from my bed).

    3) keep another backup at another location that you can easily swap out at least once a month. I use a storage center. Actually, I use two storage centers, my parent's house, and the bank... search my name and backups and it explains how.

    Anyway, that should hold you. It is more or less getting it in your routine, that is the hard part. I use the same external hard drives so I don't have 50 cables in the outlet... all hook to the same drive... I unhook and hook up the old backup.

    Fairly easy.... if you sit down and think about it...

    I am glad you tested amazon... I was wondering how good that worked.
    Last edited by hekwu; 12-05-2006 at 01:42 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by hekwu
    Not really... all you need is a plan.

    1) Keep a backup in the house.

    2) Keep a backup in the car (or work, if you have a job). I've kept a backup in the car for years without any issues (I work about 15 feet from my bed).

    3) keep another backup at another location that you can easily swap out at least once a month. I use a storage center. Actually, I use two storage centers, my parent's house, and the bank... search my name and backups and it explains how.

    Anyway, that should hold you. It is more or less getting it in your routine, that is the hard part. I use the same external hard drives so I don't have 50 cables in the outlet... all hook to the same drive... I unhook and hook up the old backup.

    Fairly easy.... if you sit down and think about it...

    I am glad you tested amazon... I was wondering how good that worked.
    That's exactly what I was thinking. I stated originally that it didn't sound like he needed enterprise-level backups (which he doesn't).

    Why be limited by 5GB, 10GB, or even 100GB on these online services where their chances of "going down" is greater than a fire consuming your entire house? Not to mention, do you trust your valuable data on a 3rd party (shared) server? It all depends on how valuable your data is to you...if you're worried about losing everything in a fire, then maybe shelling out $50-100/month for colo or a dedicated server will help you in the long run in terms of convenience and reliability. But if you're not looking to spend anywhere near that, you'll have to develop your own strategy for backing up and keeping the backup offsite.
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  11. #11
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    My linux P2, 500Mhz, 64MB ram $40.00 with a 200GB (got it for $60.00 on ebay) backup server does quite well. That would probably be the cheapest, and easiest.
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  12. #12
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    That is so incredibly not practical.

    It would take a bout of severe paranoia, or obsession or both to carry out that ridiculous routine
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by e-places
    That is so incredibly not practical.

    It would take a bout of severe paranoia, or obsession or both to carry out that ridiculous routine
    When your business depends on "digital" information, it is wise to have a backup routine. Having one backup in the corner of the house is plain stupid (unless your information is really not that important…). Having one only in your car is ok, but if a tornado come to town, that could be history. Same with a job or storage center close to your house. Odds of both places being wiped out is slim (I would guess), but sometimes it is better safe than sorry.

    How far you go with a backup depends on where you are in life. My backup routine often changes as my life changes. It is something that is a part of my life, much like eating breakfast or remembering to contact friends and relatives on birthdays.

    If your data is actually worth something, then nothing is too paranoid, obsessive, or ridiculous. Ask some of the workers at the World Trade Center who no longer had jobs because the company simple did not exist… no backups. I’m sure someone said they needed backups, but some “talking head” called them paranoid, obsessive and ridiculous. The impossible (or highly unlikely) happened.

    But who knows where the OP is at in life… he needs to analyze the posts and make his own determination.
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  14. #14
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    Yeah I wouldn't know anything about a business running from a pc. but thanks for explaining it. lol

    Ever consider some of those talking heads (who are above you) might know something you don't?
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by e-places
    Ever consider some of those talking heads (who are above you) might know something you don't?
    I agree 100%. I operate a business and don't tell everyone everything.

    I can't remember if I ever had a boss that was a talking head.... Most of the time talking heads are peers or others outside the business who don't know WTF they are talking about.... they don't ask questions and assume far too much. Know what I mean?

    Anyway, like I said, it is up to the OP to decide what route to take. Normally, no two people will have an backup plan to read the same. It is all about risk.... lol....

    No right or wrong, as long as your data is safe (or you "feel" it is safe).
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  16. #16
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    Good point. It's not right or wrong, just different for each person. Very good point.
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  17. #17
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    Ross, another suggestion is https://mozy.com/. They have received some great reviews. I use their personal service (free 2gb) for non essential items and it works great.

    They have a 30gb plan for $4.95/month which sounds like a great deal.
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