4/14/09

On-line Backups

I have written about the importance of system back-ups many times before. I talk about it specifically in System Back-ups.

Today, in my news aggregater, Macworld reported on BackBlaze. BackBlaze is a $5/month online backup server and service for Macs and PCs, and has no limit to how much you can back up.

Also, The Unofficial Apple Weblog has a review with shiny pictures.

I've not tried it yet, but I intend to. The questions that have come to my mind are all the obvious ones. They answer some on their web page. For many of you, the important answer is "It is better than the backup scheme you currently have," knowing that many of you (twice I wanted to write "most") don't backup at all.

If you try it, let me know what you think. I will do the same.

7 comments:

Dwayne said...

Fred,

Thanks for the reminder. I am one of the "most" that doesn't back-up my computer info. Are there other options that do not require monthly payment.

Dwayne

Fred Avolio said...

There is no option that does not take money. Some ISPs provide back-up. For example, I just checked and Verizon offers this. It is free... for 250MB. That probably okay for documents. I happen to know you use Gmail so at least, assuming you keep your mail on Gmail, it is backed up. But, 250MB is small when you consider music, photos, etc. Verizon charges $2/month for 1GB, $5 for 5GB, up to $31 for 50GB.

One can do what I have been doing. I bought a 250GB USB drive and back up to it. On my wife's PC we use Allway Sync, a free (for moderate use) product. On the kids' Mac we use donation-ware called Carbon Copy Cloner and on my Mac I use SuperDuper!, for $28. We recently bought a 1 terabyte drive for $100.

So, if one has little to back-up, one needs to spend little. Backing up is insurance. Ask yourself three questions: Where and what is my "important data?" Is my important data duplicated anywhere else (e.g., all photos on FaceBook or PicasaWeb, all emails on Google, all music on an iPod)? How much would it hurt if my important data were lost forever?

Fred Avolio said...

Okay, I am bummed. I tried today to sign up for Backblaze and got the message, "Backblaze only supports Macs with Intel processors running OSX 10.4 or 10.5." I have 4 PPCs. No Intel Macs.

Fred Avolio said...

Backblaze has a competitor. I just heard about Mozy in Kevin Kelly's Cooltools blog. $5 per month and it supports PPC Macs as well as Intel Macs and Windows PCs. I will try it. My plan: to back up my internal computers to my server and then the server to Mozy. $5/month. (KK points out, "the first time you back up 50 gigs it will take a week. I am not kidding.")

Michael said...

Fred,
Both my MAC's are Intel and I, of course, use the Leopard built-in "Time Machine" to external USB 300GB drives. Those were the best investments. While I have not had to rebuild a system due to system failure, I HAVE used it twice to perform an upgrade of my internal drives. Having these drives local is nice because recovery is fast and there are no recurring charges. However, I do have to be aware that theft or fire could cause me to lose it all anyway. I was considering using Carbonite - promoted heavily by Rush Limbaugh. However, already having a robust (albeit local) backup regimen, I am reluctant to add another expense to my tight budget. FWIW to your readers, I am also a PC user and can vouch for the use of Allway-Sync which has saved me from digital disaster on PC's many times.
Regards,
Michael

Fred Avolio said...

Thanks, Mike. I also can recommend Allway Sync. We use it to backup my wife's PC to a system on our home LAN.

Fred Avolio said...

I am currently trying CrashPlan. Pricing is attractive for a family plan.

My son, away at college, is backing up his PC to my Mac server computer... from college... It is just working. And he needed to have it work. When he was home for Christmas, he needed to wipe his disk, reinstall Windows, and then restore. He was home at the time (so restore was quicker than across the Internet), but it worked brilliantly.

Now, as I said, I am trying out the 30 day trial of backing up to CrashPlan Central.

I will post a separate blog entry with my results.