Online Backup


K

Ken Blake

My choice is Backblaze. Same price as the competition and when I was
shopping for off-site backups it seemed to be the best; too long ago
for me to remember the exact reason(s).

Thanks.
 
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K

Ken Blake

For small-volume critical files like this, consider using the Dropbox
application. Then you save something to a folder on your PC, and it's
automatically synchronised with Dropbox online, with a version history
built-in.

OK, but in what way is that any better than what I do, which is quick
and easy?

So you just have the Quicken file reside in your dropbox folder, and
quite of lot of what you need is taken care of for you. Personally, I'd
maintain my own version history, probably using Quicken's built-in
backup facility (if I remember correctly!).

That's what I do. I use Quicken's built-in backup facility, then copy
that to the thumb drive. I don't have to rely on the hard drive and
run the risk of a hard drive crash simultaneously causing the loss of
both the original and the backup.
 
K

Ken Springer

I can't remember who it was, but If I remember correctly, one of you
here (at least I think it was here) recommended an online backup
service other that Carbonite. Can you remind me of which service it
was and what about it you find better than Carbonite?
My two cents, Ken, which when I'm done will be worth nothing. LOL

I suspect you've considered some of my following points, but perhaps
others have not.

Regardless of how you do your backups, it all depends on what you expect
from that backup. Different programs do things differently. Do you
just want a copy of your hard drive as it exists when you shut down? Do
you want access to a 5 month old file that no longer exists on your hard
drive?

I don't know how Mozy and others work, but when I checked Carbonite's
site a few months back, their system simply mirrors the contents of your
hard drive that is 30 days longer than today's status of files. Let's
say you create a file XXXX today. After the file has served its purpose
for today's work, you deleted it from the hard drive. It's not in the
Recycle Bin for recovery. Next week you say "I need that file!!!" With
Carbonite, you can go there and retrieve the file. 30 days from now,
that file will be there. 31 days from now, it will be gone. Now, you
will have to recreate it. With some backup programs, as long as there
is space on your backup drive, and you use incremental backups, you
could have a number of differing older versions of that file for you to
retrieve.

Let's say that somehow, that file you used today gets somehow mangled.
By malware, software bugs, hardware glitches, whatever. As I understand
Carbonite's workings from the website, the file that's at Carbonite will
also be mangled. I want an incremental backup program that would have
an older version of the file before it's mangled, giving me a starting
place that doesn't require 100% recreation of the file.

I use Apple's Time Machine on this computer. Due to a software issue, I
had my main email inbox get scrambled, which I wasn't aware of during
normal use. As I understand Carbonite, the backup on Carbonite would
have also been scrambled. But with the way Time Machine works, I was
able to go back to a point before the file was scrambled, and retrieve
the emails I had at that time.

Which methodology do you prefer? I prefer the incremental approach with
access to files that Carbonite and others will throw away. I'm sure
there are some non-online programs that operate the same way. Carbonite
is used simply as an example.

I also look at the cost. Eventually, the monthly cost is more than the
cost of a hard drive. What I've generally heard for size
recommendations is 1.5-2 X the potential size of the drives being backed
up. Working with just the data size you've estimated for this example,
that means an external drive size 300-400 GB. A quick search found an
external 500 GB USB 3.0 drive for $70 with free shipping. One year of
home backup is $5/mo. After spending $70 for Carbonite, you own
nothing. You don't have that storage at your house to use for something
else. And with Carbonite, you start buying the hard drive all over again.

I don't think the Dropbox idea would work either, if the file in your
Dropbox folder on the computer is munged, the file on the Dropbox server
is munged. Dropbox does keep deleted versions for some amount of time,
but I don't know how a person accesses those. I also don't know if it
keeps older versions of files that have changed but possibly kept the
same name.

Speed has been mentioned. I pretty much avoid all forms of the cloud,
but I never see anyone claim it's faster than your desktop equipment.
Especially if you use Firewire, USB 3.0, or Thunderbolt.

Likewise, I am the one responsible for my data's security, no one else.
I don't want to hear anyone complain they gave their data to someone
else, and bad things happened. Some kind of failure or hacking perhaps.
You made the decision to turn it over to someone else, ultimately, it
was/is your responsibility.

And truly important information to protect your identity shouldn't be up
in the cloud in the first place.

Asger's comment about your home burning, etc. while true, is probably
unlikely. So rotate a number of drives, keep them in your car, a
friend's house, you inlaws, the gym locker. You can even rotate a
series of drives. Question really is, how paranoid do you want to get
with this?

There are advantages to using the cloud, but IMO, for my data integrity,
it's not my preferred method.


--
Ken

Mac OS X 10.8.2
Firefox 18.0.1
Thunderbird 17.0.2
LibreOffice 3.6.3.2
 
P

Philip Herlihy

OK, but in what way is that any better than what I do, which is quick
and easy?
If you use the Dropbox approach I outlined, you don't have to:
* Copy the backups after creating them
* Plug and unplug the USB sticks
* Remember where you are in your 3-day schedule.

In what way is the Dropbox approach not better? C'mon...
 
K

Ken Blake

My two cents, Ken, which when I'm done will be worth nothing. LOL

I suspect you've considered some of my following points, but perhaps
others have not.

Regardless of how you do your backups, it all depends on what you expect
from that backup. Different programs do things differently. Do you
just want a copy of your hard drive as it exists when you shut down? Do
you want access to a 5 month old file that no longer exists on your hard
drive?

I don't know how Mozy and others work, but when I checked Carbonite's
site a few months back, their system simply mirrors the contents of your
hard drive that is 30 days longer than today's status of files. Let's
say you create a file XXXX today. After the file has served its purpose
for today's work, you deleted it from the hard drive. It's not in the
Recycle Bin for recovery. Next week you say "I need that file!!!" With
Carbonite, you can go there and retrieve the file. 30 days from now,
that file will be there. 31 days from now, it will be gone. Now, you
will have to recreate it. With some backup programs, as long as there
is space on your backup drive, and you use incremental backups, you
could have a number of differing older versions of that file for you to
retrieve.

Let's say that somehow, that file you used today gets somehow mangled.
By malware, software bugs, hardware glitches, whatever. As I understand
Carbonite's workings from the website, the file that's at Carbonite will
also be mangled. I want an incremental backup program that would have
an older version of the file before it's mangled, giving me a starting
place that doesn't require 100% recreation of the file.

I use Apple's Time Machine on this computer. Due to a software issue, I
had my main email inbox get scrambled, which I wasn't aware of during
normal use. As I understand Carbonite, the backup on Carbonite would
have also been scrambled. But with the way Time Machine works, I was
able to go back to a point before the file was scrambled, and retrieve
the emails I had at that time.

Which methodology do you prefer? I prefer the incremental approach with
access to files that Carbonite and others will throw away. I'm sure
there are some non-online programs that operate the same way. Carbonite
is used simply as an example.

I also look at the cost. Eventually, the monthly cost is more than the
cost of a hard drive. What I've generally heard for size
recommendations is 1.5-2 X the potential size of the drives being backed
up. Working with just the data size you've estimated for this example,
that means an external drive size 300-400 GB. A quick search found an
external 500 GB USB 3.0 drive for $70 with free shipping. One year of
home backup is $5/mo. After spending $70 for Carbonite, you own
nothing. You don't have that storage at your house to use for something
else. And with Carbonite, you start buying the hard drive all over again.

I don't think the Dropbox idea would work either, if the file in your
Dropbox folder on the computer is munged, the file on the Dropbox server
is munged. Dropbox does keep deleted versions for some amount of time,
but I don't know how a person accesses those. I also don't know if it
keeps older versions of files that have changed but possibly kept the
same name.

Speed has been mentioned. I pretty much avoid all forms of the cloud,
but I never see anyone claim it's faster than your desktop equipment.
Especially if you use Firewire, USB 3.0, or Thunderbolt.

Likewise, I am the one responsible for my data's security, no one else.
I don't want to hear anyone complain they gave their data to someone
else, and bad things happened. Some kind of failure or hacking perhaps.
You made the decision to turn it over to someone else, ultimately, it
was/is your responsibility.

And truly important information to protect your identity shouldn't be up
in the cloud in the first place.

Asger's comment about your home burning, etc. while true, is probably
unlikely. So rotate a number of drives, keep them in your car, a
friend's house, you inlaws, the gym locker. You can even rotate a
series of drives. Question really is, how paranoid do you want to get
with this?

There are advantages to using the cloud, but IMO, for my data integrity,
it's not my preferred method.

Thanks for your thoughts. Many of them I was well aware of, but some
bear thinking about.

I won't answer the points individually, but just to clarify one
point--cost: I already have several external drives, so their cost is
no issue at all. If I go with Carbonite or a different online service,
I wouldn't discontinue using them. Carbonite would backup
automatically every day, but I would supplement that with my own
backups to an external drive every now and then.

One of the main advantages of using an online service is that it's
automatic. It doesn't require that you remember to do it on schedule,
not does it require that the backup media be permanently attached so
it can be scheduled.

And to tell you my history of backing up, I used to backup to external
drives once a week. And I was very diligent about remembering to do it
on schedule.

Then I switched to using Windows Home Server. That does automatic
backups every night.

But last week I started having problems with Windows Home Server. It's
not the first time, and I've rebuilt the entire operating system on
that machine a couple of times before. But it's a lot of trouble to do
it, and I wanted to consider the alternative of an online backup
service, which essentially requires me to do nothing once it's set up.
Yes, there's a cost to using one--$59 a year for Carbonite--but it's
not a fortune and I can afford it. And it's automatic, and doesn't
require me to do anything.

I haven't made up my mind yet, but I'm leaning toward to Carbonite.

If you're interested, you might want to read this article I wrote
about backup a while back: "Back Up Your Computer Regularly and
Reliably" at http://www.computorcompanion.com/LPMArticle.asp?ID=314 .
It precedes Windows Home Server, and if online backup services existed
when I wrote it, I didn't know about them yet. So neither is mentioned
there, although I would include both if I were writing it today.
 
K

Ken Blake

If you use the Dropbox approach I outlined, you don't have to:
* Copy the backups after creating them
* Plug and unplug the USB sticks

Both of those things costs me a total of four or five seconds every
three days. That comes to a total of about eight minutes a year.
Absolutely meaningless, as far as I'm concerned.

* Remember where you are in your 3-day schedule.


And that is no issue at all. It's a task I have set as recurring in
Outlook, and Outlook reminds to do it when necessary. And if I used
Dropbox, I'd have the same issue of knowing where I was in my backup
schedule.
 
K

Ken Springer

Thanks for your thoughts. Many of them I was well aware of, but some
bear thinking about.
You're welcome.
I won't answer the points individually, but just to clarify one
point--cost: I already have several external drives, so their cost is
no issue at all. If I go with Carbonite or a different online service,
I wouldn't discontinue using them. Carbonite would backup
automatically every day, but I would supplement that with my own
backups to an external drive every now and then.

One of the main advantages of using an online service is that it's
automatic. It doesn't require that you remember to do it on schedule,
not does it require that the backup media be permanently attached so
it can be scheduled.
So why not set up a schedule in Windows? And with multiple drives, you
could even create schedules that back up to Drive A today, Drive B the
next, Drive C the following, and repeat.

Or a group of files tonight, another group tomorrow, etc.
And to tell you my history of backing up, I used to backup to external
drives once a week. And I was very diligent about remembering to do it
on schedule.

Then I switched to using Windows Home Server. That does automatic
backups every night.

But last week I started having problems with Windows Home Server. It's
not the first time, and I've rebuilt the entire operating system on
that machine a couple of times before. But it's a lot of trouble to do
it, and I wanted to consider the alternative of an online backup
service, which essentially requires me to do nothing once it's set up.
Yes, there's a cost to using one--$59 a year for Carbonite--but it's
not a fortune and I can afford it. And it's automatic, and doesn't
require me to do anything.
Can I make nasty comments about Windows?????? LOL

Not a Mac fanboi, either. Some things I like about Windows, other
things about Mac. But overall prefer a Mac since switching 4 years ago.

Anyway, I prefer the option of as little of my stuff online as possible.
Others don't care, that's their choice. But as I said, I don't want
to hear any complaints about if your info suddenly is stolen or hacked.

And for me, in this type of scenario, I'd like to own something for my
$59/year, not have it be like a phone bill, insurance, electric bill, etc.
I haven't made up my mind yet, but I'm leaning toward to Carbonite.
Just curious, you don't care if some files are not kept over 30 days if
you should delete them from your hard drive? Regardless of online or to
an external drive, that's a deal breaker for me.
If you're interested, you might want to read this article I wrote
about backup a while back: "Back Up Your Computer Regularly and
Reliably" at http://www.computorcompanion.com/LPMArticle.asp?ID=314 .
It precedes Windows Home Server, and if online backup services existed
when I wrote it, I didn't know about them yet. So neither is mentioned
there, although I would include both if I were writing it today.
Thanks for the link. All of that resides somewhere in the grey matter
here. Only problem is, the grey matter is slowing failing! LOL





--
Ken

Mac OS X 10.8.2
Firefox 18.0.1
Thunderbird 17.0.2
LibreOffice 3.6.3.2
 
K

Ken Blake

You're welcome.


So why not set up a schedule in Windows?


Because a schedule means the backup drive needs to be permanently
attached. In my view that's very poor choice because it leaves you
susceptible to simultaneous loss of the original and backup to many of
the most common dangers: severe power glitches, nearby lightning
strikes, virus attacks, even theft of the computer.

Can I make nasty comments about Windows?????? LOL
Your choice. There are many things I like about Windows, and some that
I don't. But overall, it's my favorite. But we are all different
people, with different likes and dislikes.
Not a Mac fanboi, either. Some things I like about Windows, other
things about Mac. But overall prefer a Mac since switching 4 years ago.

Then what are you doing here in a Windows newsgroup?

Just curious, you don't care if some files are not kept over 30 days if
you should delete them from your hard drive?

"Don't care" is a little too strong, but it's not something I care
about a lot. It's highly unlikely that I would want something back
that I deleted 30 days ago.

Thanks for the link. All of that resides somewhere in the grey matter
here. Only problem is, the grey matter is slowing failing! LOL

Tell me about it! I'm probably older than you (75) and I'm well aware
of it.
 
K

Ken Springer

Because a schedule means the backup drive needs to be permanently
attached. In my view that's very poor choice because it leaves you
susceptible to simultaneous loss of the original and backup to many of
the most common dangers: severe power glitches, nearby lightning
strikes, virus attacks, even theft of the computer.
None of those bother me. I've one of the cheapest yet most reliable
electrical suppliers in the state. I don't remember the last time I
had a power spike, I don't even run uninterruptible power supplies.
Good AV software on everything, and haven't locked my doors in years. :)
Your choice. There are many things I like about Windows, and some that
I don't. But overall, it's my favorite. But we are all different
people, with different likes and dislikes.
It was a pure tongue-in-cheek comment. I don't badmouth any OS, unless
they are full of bugs that should have been fixed long ago.

I'm a "to each his own", there is no perfect OS unless you write your own.
Then what are you doing here in a Windows newsgroup?
I've always like experimenting with different OS's to see what's the
same, what's different. Figure out what's is being said that is true,
what is hogwash. Started out with an Atari 800, then moved to their
ST/TT line. Next was Win 98, XP, and switched to Macs when the XP
machine had a massive hardware failure that wiped it out.

On my Mac, I've got Parallels for Mac installed, with XP, Vista, and 7
installed. Working on getting Win 8 going. In addition, would like to
get OS/2 and Geoworks going, I've got the programs. Maybe a Linux
distro or two.

I have dual boot XP/Vista machine, and building one that will be triple
boot, Win 7, Win 8, and some flavor of Linux.

I don't particularly care where Windows and OS X are moving, so
anticipate I may become a Linux user somewhere in the future.

Never was a game player, but in the early days, I'd buy each new
productivity program out there. I've still got VisiCalc for my Atari
800, as well as two 800s.
"Don't care" is a little too strong, but it's not something I care
about a lot. It's highly unlikely that I would want something back
that I deleted 30 days ago.
I've needed the occasional file, but I suspect that situation may be
more important to a business user than a home user.
Tell me about it! I'm probably older than you (75) and I'm well aware
of it.
You're ahead of me by 10 years, is all.


--
Ken

Mac OS X 10.8.2
Firefox 18.0.1
Thunderbird 17.0.2
LibreOffice 3.6.3.2
 
K

Ken Blake

None of those bother me. I've one of the cheapest yet most reliable
electrical suppliers in the state. I don't remember the last time I
had a power spike, I don't even run uninterruptible power supplies.
Good AV software on everything, and haven't locked my doors in years. :)


You're braver than I am. Regardless of what happened or didn't happen
in the past, you never know what the future will bring.

I never drive without my seat belt on either, even though I've never
had an accident where the seat belt protected me.
 
K

Ken Springer

You're braver than I am. Regardless of what happened or didn't happen
in the past, you never know what the future will bring.
True, but it's a question of your level of paranoia and worry that
things will go wrong. I tend to think the opposite, generally.
I never drive without my seat belt on either, even though I've never
had an accident where the seat belt protected me.
Seat belts from day 1, here.


--
Ken

Mac OS X 10.8.2
Firefox 18.0.1
Thunderbird 17.0.2
LibreOffice 3.6.3.2
 
K

Ken Blake

True, but it's a question of your level of paranoia and worry that
things will go wrong. I tend to think the opposite, generally.

It's also a question of what you have to do with my level of paranoia
and your level. If my level is big enough or expensive enough, I would
lower my level to yours. In my view, what I have to do isn't that
much greater than what you do, so I'll stick with my higher level.


Seat belts from day 1, here.

Great! Glad to hear it! <g>
 
W

Wolf K

It's also a question of what you have to do with my level of paranoia
and your level. If my level is big enough or expensive enough, I would
lower my level to yours. In my view, what I have to do isn't that
much greater than what you do, so I'll stick with my higher level.
Many years ago, I qualified as a driving instructor. Our training
included movies showing unrestrained dummies flying around inside a car
in a crash test. In one case, two child sized dummies sitting
unrestrained on the back seat flew _between_ their "parents" and out
through the windshield. That convinced me.

We also saw some movies of accident aftermath, in living/dying colour
and sound. Gruesome.
 
P

Philip Herlihy

<snip>

So why not set up a schedule in Windows? And with multiple drives, you
could even create schedules that back up to Drive A today, Drive B the
next, Drive C the following, and repeat.
Be aware that if you use a backup process which uses differentials,
incrementals, etc, you need to be able to retrieve multiple backup files
to get back to your latest position. Distributing files across multiple
volumes only makes sense if you maintain multiple sets - e.g a Baseline
and all its Incrementals, or a Baseline and the latest Differential.
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

How practical is it to backup 500GB over an Internet connection? I find
backing that much over even an USB connection impractical, let alone an
Internet connection which would be at least 10 times slower.

Yousuf Khan
I'm using USB3 these days. Much quicker.

But still it tries my patience :)

Oh for the old days, when a 10 MB drive was big enough!
 
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