Options for Backing Up Your Files

32 Comments

Are you backing up your desktop data regularly? It’s one of those important but not urgent tasks that many web workers postpone. Fortunately, a variety of solutions ranging from remote to local to hybrid make it easier than ever to backup your files.

Mozy logoBackup provider Mozy now offers a Mac client for remote desktop backup. You get 2 GB online storage for free and unlimited storage for about $5 a month. Previously, Mozy was only available for Windows machines and competes with Carbonite and Titanize in that space.

Mozy, Carbonite, and Titanize aren’t your only options for backing up your files, of course. Amazon’s S3 (Simple Storage Service) can serve as a backup solution; there are a variety of tools built on top of it to help. On its own, or even with these utilities, it’s not as easy to use as something like Carbonite or Mozy.

MediaMax provides 25 GB of free online backup space, with a Windows-only beta backup client. Other virtual hard drives include DivShare, Box.net, Xdrive, Localhostr, MediaFire, and Dropboks. You can even make Gmail’s storage available as a virtual filesystem on your Windows machine. Unless these services offer a backup client like MediaMax, you’ll have to manage backups manually. That can be okay if you are mainly concerned with making sure you don’t lose irreplaceable files like photos and important working documents rather than making full and incremental backups of your entire hard drive.

Maybe you want local backup to your own hard disk. SuperDuper! creates a fully bootable backup disk for Macs. That requires an extra hard drive but if your drive crashes, you just plug in the new disk and go. Chronosync offers another local backup solution to Mac users. Windows users can choose from many local backup solutions, including Acronis, SyncBack, and Norton Ghost.

CrashPlan logoIf you want to do local and remote backups over a network of PCs and Macs, look into CrashPlan. This is like a friends-and-family plan for backups. My dad and I could backup our files to each other’s PCs, doing the first full backups locally by getting our laptops together on the same LAN, then running incremental backups over the Internet. What’s the benefit? You’re not handing off your data to some unknown data center you don’t trust, the full backups can run over a fast LAN connection, but you still get the additional security of remote backups. It also supports backup to CrashPlan Central, their data center.

What’s your backup plan? Share it in the comments.

32 Comments

Michelle

I am using a virtual hard-dirve on 4shared.com, it is not exactly a back-up service, but its desktop app allows to synchronize data, since I know, for Windows only at the moment, but I’m ok with it )). I like the app, it is simple and free )) Hope they won’t make it paid.

rory

I recommend http://www.simple-backups.com We have been using this site for 3 months. its so easy. We have saved money by changing from tape storage to this online backup service. At 2$ per Gb it is very competitive.
The software works great, just install it and forget about it plus they focus on small business and home market.
The fact that you can access files from any pc via a web interface is really cool too. Makes it very easy when you are visiting a customer and you want to access a large file.
Highly recommend it !

simon

Hi everyone! I found a great guide to online backup.
The most efficient protection system for data backup.
You’ll find clear and accurate information on the most popular software that provides this service.
Read it!!!
mini guide to online backup
What do you think? Which do you like best?

Poonam Sharma

Please take off unscrupulous companies like MediaMax out of your reviews. Writing about them would also tarnish your reputation as recommenders.

I have lost all my file due to unethical practices by MediaMax. Read the account here:

http://alchemistpoonam.wordpress.com/2008/06/03/streamloadmediamaxlinkup-cheats-and-offenders-on-web/

But it seems like there are thousand more victims. See here:

http://flashvideoblog.wordpress.com/2008/01/03/online-storage-and-sharing-%e2%80%93-beware/#comment-11

Planbster

You haven’t mentioned Syncplicity (www.syncplicity.com)…which offers backup, syncing, unlimited storage, intelligent conflict resolution, and unlike any of the others, it works with Google Docs and Facebook. They’re in public beta, so you can sign up for free during their trial.

Susan76

I would like to signal MEMOPAL (www.memopal.com), a new italian start up on line back up softwere.
It is still in Beta Version, but you can storage 250GB, full system recovery, automatic back up, access from anywhere and from mobile. To try.

Chris Markle

I have been using Mozy on Windows for a few months now and am very happy with it. I set it run at midnight each night and it backs up my changed files while I’m snoozing. I’ve found it most useful when I’ve accidentally changed a file that I didn’t intend to – no problem just ask Mozy for it back. If you expect instantaneous restore, this isn’t the tool for you. The way restores work is you use a UI to request the file(s) to be restored, submit the request and then you’ll get an email later (not too much later) saying where you can go to get a zip file of your files. If this sounds like I’m complaining, I’m not. I’m a very happy customer. Chris

Robert Accettura

I’m a big fan of Acronis. Works great.

I’m planning to use Mozy soon. My goal is to get it working with a script that will use GPG to encrypt a few things and back them up on interval. While I’d loose incremental backups, I’d gain the comfort of the extra security (I don’t know how good theirs is). Other alternatives are to use TrueCrypt to protect your data.

I’ve also done backups of smaller mySQL databases by using a script on a cron to email them to a gmail account (also GPG protected attachments). Makes for great automated offsite backups.

Ani

Titanize has a brilliant Missing Files tab – shows up files if they go missing.
But what sets them apart is a “1-click Restore” button. One click and your computer is restored.

randramble

I have a big external hard drive and the very basic software that came up with it is good for me. I have setup automatic weekly backups and I’m happy that my data is safe.

I’m quite paranoid about uploading all kind of personal data onto some Web-based service.

peter

Shell script that takes my data every night and mirrors it on S3 via JungleDisk. Weekends, it’s tarred and same procedure …

Em

Another option, that I’ve been using and enjoying, is ElephantDrive. Easy to download, easy to set up, and, it just…works. The backup was fast, the pricing is reasonable (truly unlimited storage), and the security is stellar.

paul

A couple of things…

In paragraph 2, you say… “For $60 a year, you get 2 GB online storage for free”.

The deal breaker for me is the Mac Mozy client can only see your startup drive. I keep most of my important files on an external. :(

Ty

I’ve been using Mozy for a while and I think it’s pretty slick. As long as I don’t go crazy with the amount of stuff I am trying to back up, it’s pretty smooth. I haven’t needed to restore anything from mozy yet, but when my laptop HD decides to act funny again, I can get my data back quicker and lose less information.

Praveen Rajan

“For $60 a year, you get 2 GB online storage for free and unlimited storage for $5 a month.”

I believe there’s a minor typo in para 2.

2GB package is free, while unlimited storage is $5 per month ($4.95 to be exact)

Mozy Overview: http://mozy.com/mozy/overview

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