Like many web workers, I store a lot of information in the cloud. It’s great to have my data, my contacts and even my files accessible from anywhere I’m working, but there’s also something of a risk with having all of my data stored elsewhere, because it’s hard to make sure that it’s all backed up. Many of the services I use do enable backups, but it can be a fairly laborious process. LifestreamBackup provides a simple tool that will back up information you have stored to a variety of different accounts, and automatically manage your backups for the future.
LifestreamBackup can archive a variety of services, including:
- Flickr (s yhoo)
- Google Docs (s goog)
The site says that YouTube and Facebook backups are coming soon, and welcomes suggestions for services to add in the future. You can back up multiple accounts on each service.
As I added my account information to allow LifestreamBackup access to the data I have stored with each service, I noticed something about the process. While the site used Flickr and Google Doc’s authentication systems, to back up any of the other services, I had to provide the app with my user name and password. I know that some of the services supported, such as Twitter, offer authentication options that are not currently used by LifestreamBackup. Personally, I’d feel more comfortable if the site was able to work without requiring me to hand over my passwords, or having to remember to update it whenever I change my passwords.
You can see at a glance when your accounts have been backed up through LifestreamBackup’s history function. When you first sign up, it can take about 24 hours to get all of your data backed up, which can make your history seem a little sparse. However, after longer usage, the ability to sort through backups by service can come in handy. It doesn’t hurt, either, that each backup is labeled with the date of the backup. The service can be set to back up each of your accounts on a daily or weekly basis. If something happens, like a hacked account or problems with a service provider, you can download a copy of your backup at any time. The interface isn’t particularly complex — but it doesn’t need to be. You can tell at a glance how to add new accounts and to download your backups. You can also set your account to send you email updates about your backups, ranging from an option of an email every time a backup is performed to a weekly digest of your backup activity, as well as the option to receive no emails.
The service allows you to back up as much as 20 GB of data, with your choice of a monthly subscription fee of $4.95 or a yearly fee of $29.95. If you need more storage, you can use the LifestreamBackup service to save data to your own Amazon S3 (s amzn) account for $14.95. While using the service with your own S3 account seems fairly straightforward, I’m hopeful that LifestreamBackup will eventually offer a service with more storage — I have 20 GB of data in my email alone.
Do you back up your lifestream data?