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JamesG
31-10-2011, 07:08 PM
I was wondering if anyone had any experience of various online backup systems.

I currently backup the bulk of my stuff to an external HD, and use Dropbox for the more 'mission critical' stuff. However, if things ended up going all IndieStone on me I'd still end up losing several GB of stuff I'd quite like to keep.

Case in point, my users directory is 70GB, and while some of that will invariably be uneeded, it includes huge numbers of photos etc. I should also probably include my music in that, as if fire takes my computer, it'll also take the CD collection from which I could restore it.

Dropbox isn't really geared up for backing up everything I want, unless I'm prepared to pothole my entire system with symlnks.

So, I'm really looking for personal experience. Especially if you've had to use the restore feature.

DigitalSignalX
31-10-2011, 11:01 PM
This earlier thread concerning the theft of a developers laptop (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?1721-Laptops-stolen-from-Indie-Stone-%28Project-Zomboid%29&highlight=backup) touches on a lot of free to medium ranged solutions, toward the end you'll have to wade through a bunch of vitriol but some good ideas are presented. I personally just use a blu-ray burner and dump the discs into a firechest. I also use an encrypted flash (truecrypt) drive for a more immediate, portable solution. I still really don't trust online solutions yet.

Ezhar
01-11-2011, 12:48 AM
For my gaming peecee:

Amazon S3 (dirt cheap storage)
GoodSync (rsync with a GUI - syncing my profiles/savegames/screenshots to S3)


For my srz bzns:

SuperDuper (smart updating a bootable full disk copy on external harddisk so I can be up and running in 2 minutes when my drive dies)
Dropbox for documents
Google Apps for mail/calendar/contacts (so I can still email even if my house is nuked from orbit, assuming I wasn't inside)
Beanstalk/Fossil SCM for source code (version control)


Standard advice:

Don't keep your crap all in one place, have off-site backup (this is easy and cheap today)
Make sure you have the passwords to access your off-site backup memorized so you can actually access it when all your crap is gone from one place


Bonus lessons learnt from running cloud based IT for some years now:

Don't keep your cloud stored crap in only one place, because if that places goes down, goes out of business, gets "hacked" or decides your credit card is no longer valid, you risk losing all your crap.
Make sure you can download/export everything you upload/import into a hosted service. Bad example: Flickr makes it easy to upload your entire photo collection, but then holds it hostage and you need to buy third-party tools if you ever want to download it all again (unless you want to do it one picture at a time).

TailSwallower
01-11-2011, 02:53 AM
I stopped trusting Dropbox - not because they got hacked, but because around about the time that everyone was hacked they left the back door open (being able to access accounts without the password).

Spideroak seems to be a far more secure option as it stores the encryption key on your computer. Not sure about cost because I only backup my writing and a few other bits and pieces, so it's well under the 2gig you get for free.

I'm not sure what you mean by the symlink bit, so I'm guessing that a) you're smarter than me, and b) you'll need to check Spideroak yourself to see if it also shares this issue.

winterwolves
01-11-2011, 12:32 PM
I stopped trusting Dropbox - not because they got hacked, but because around about the time that everyone was hacked they left the back door open (being able to access accounts without the password).

I use Dropbox + Sugarsync and is a good combo I think.
BUT I also use SyncBack to do the backup process, and I .zip all my source files with a looooooong password, so they're secured BEFORE they're uploaded. Even if my dropbox is hacked, they just see a list of .zip files with a password :)
Never heard about Spideroak, going to check it now.

TailSwallower
01-11-2011, 01:29 PM
I .zip all my source files with a looooooong password, so they're secured BEFORE they're uploaded.

I did think about that, but the main thing I use backup for is my writing, so setting the program to just grab everything from certain folders means all the changes I make get automagically saved. As soon as I have to start zipping things and doing it manually I don't trust myself to keep it up.
If I found a free program that automatically zipped and encrypted all my files and saved them to a folder that Dropbox then picked up that would be great. Because, admittedly, Spideroak is a bit clunky compared to Dropbox. I'm paranoid though, so at the moment Spideroak is the best thing for me.

Kaira-
02-11-2011, 12:56 AM
Dropbox isn't really secure for any sensitive data, so don't use it for that.

Ubuntu One is now available on Windows, Linux, OS X (I believe), Android and iOS. And from what I've understood, Ubuntu One is geared towards media backup much more than Dropbox. Oh, and 5Gb of storage for free account.
https://one.ubuntu.com/

JamesG
02-11-2011, 09:58 AM
Thanks for all the ideas suggestions, some places I hadn't looked at so I'll have a look.

Symlinks are a bit like shortcuts on steroids, they basically allow you to access a folder through two separate paths. It means you can move content to the dropbox folder, but still access it through where it used to be located. They're needed with Dropbox as it can't sync folders outside of the dropbox folder.

Ezhar
03-11-2011, 12:07 AM
Spideroak seems to be a far more secure option as it stores the encryption key on your computer.

Where do you store that encryption key so you can restore your data after your computer was stolen/destroyed?

TailSwallower
03-11-2011, 12:54 AM
Where do you store that encryption key so you can restore your data after your computer was stolen/destroyed?

When you're setting up the new computer you just download Spideroak, login with your existing username and password, add the new computer to your network thingy and download everything from the cloud. I'm pretty sure the program generates a new encryption key for the new computer.
I think that answers your question.

Dropbox, by comparison, has the encryption key on the server side, so basically anyone with access to the server (including staff and hackers) can access your files. This is all according to articles I read around the time Anonymous was hacking everything, so they may have changed their security protocols since then, but seeing as they were completely unapologetic at the time I doubt it.

Item!
03-11-2011, 05:34 AM
I have used Backblaze (http://www.backblaze.com/) for all my home PCs (Mac and Windows) for about 3 years now and I have been well happy with the service.

It defaults to just backing up everything (certain system, app folders and file types excluded) and you can filter that down if you want to. The storage is "unlimited" for a set subscription - about $50 a year per machine. The backup includes all my music and my Aperture photo DBs as well.

Their restore service is available via online download (great interface) or if you want to recover a lot of data, they will courier an optical disk or a hard drive (or 5!) to you.

The application itself is discrete, reliable and has a great interface on both formats and it has been recently updated to allow you to transfer backup states if you rebuild or get a new PC as well, saving significant time and bandwidth! Of course this does rely on your being consistant with your volume and folder structure on the new PC, but still...

So yeah. Backblaze.

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05-07-2012, 10:06 AM
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FriendlyFire
05-07-2012, 04:25 PM
I'm using CrashPlan. Fairly simple and solid service with client-side encryption. The great advantage is that the software also lets you back up to different locations, so I have it setup to backup to my external disk as well as their servers, and it takes care of everything (versioning, pruning, file diffs, etc.) by itself. You can even pick to backup to a friend/other computer with CrashPlan installed if you so desire.

The service is also fairly cheap and uses Amazon S3 if I'm not mistaken.

Otherwise, I use Dropbox for a variety of things. If I want them secure there I put them in a TrueCrypt container.

djbriandamage
05-07-2012, 04:37 PM
I pay about $7/month to 1and1.com who is my web host. They give me unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth as well as a secure FTP account so I can back up whatever I like on there. They're one of the biggest web hosts in the world so I know they're not going to shut down overnight.

FriendlyFire
05-07-2012, 05:14 PM
8.16.

You shall at all times use Web Site Space exclusively as a conventional Web Site. You shall not use the Web Site Space or Your Services in any way which may result in an excessive load on the 1&1 Equipment, including but not limited to installing or running web proxies, using your allotted space as online backup or storage, or mirroring mass downloads. Use of Web Site Space and Your Services shall be in a manner consistent with this Agreement and shall not in any way impair the functioning or operation of 1&1's Equipment or network. Should your use of the 1&1 Services result in an overly high load on the 1&1 Equipment, in 1&1's sole discretion, 1&1 may suspend your account until the cause of any such overload is determined and resolved.

From 1&1's terms & conditions, emphasis mine. I know I wanted to do such a thing with my own web host, but they *all* have such clauses in their T&C. I seriously wouldn't recommend using web hosting as a backup solution as they can pull the plug at any time at their sole discretion since you are in clear violation of their terms.

djbriandamage
05-07-2012, 08:38 PM
From 1&1's terms & conditions, emphasis mine. I know I wanted to do such a thing with my own web host, but they *all* have such clauses in their T&C. I seriously wouldn't recommend using web hosting as a backup solution as they can pull the plug at any time at their sole discretion since you are in clear violation of their terms.

Thanks for pointing that out. Based on this crucial information I rescind my advice.

I read this condition to mean that they don't want you uploading 500GB of music and clogging their intertubes with selfish personal data, but it's written sufficiently open-ended that they might close your account for uploading anything not intended to be hosted on a website.

halexkrian
26-07-2012, 09:44 AM
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leyonchung
21-01-2013, 10:57 AM
I was wondering if anyone had any experience of various online backup systems.

I currently backup the bulk of my stuff to an external HD, and use Dropbox for the more 'mission critical' stuff. However, if things ended up going all IndieStone on me I'd still end up losing several GB of stuff I'd quite like to keep.

Case in point, my users directory is 70GB, and while some of that will invariably be uneeded, it includes huge numbers of photos etc. I should also probably include my music in that, as if fire takes my computer, it'll also take the CD collection from which I could restore it.

Dropbox isn't really geared up for backing up everything I want, unless I'm prepared to pothole my entire system with symlnks.

So, I'm really looking for personal experience. Especially if you've had to use the restore feature.

Hello James,

Dropbox isnít a recommendable cloud backup solution because its core functionality is based on the cloud storage and there is a slight difference between the two. If you look around for cloud backup services (http://www.cloudreviews.com/blog/cloud-backup-services), then you can explore several options as the market is full with dozens of service providers. In my opinion, Mozy, Crashplan and MyPCBackup are the perfect fit in the domain of cloud backup. Rest you can explore others, depending on your need, and company size.

theodoros
27-03-2013, 09:43 AM
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Smashbox
27-03-2013, 08:45 PM
The real thing preventing me from doing this is the ridiculous data caps on my ISP. Backing up my PC to the cloud will get me throttled.

Jambe
29-03-2013, 12:44 AM
The real thing preventing me from doing this is the ridiculous data caps on my ISP. Backing up my PC to the cloud will get me throttled.

You needn't upload all of your files, and you needn't upload all at once, either. It's worth pointing out that the broader principle behind backing up doesn't require a cloud service; the important thing is to have copies of your important/precious data somewhere offsite (i.e. at some physical location other than your house/building).

This could be some cloud servers somewhere or it could be discs at a friend's place or hard drives in a safe deposit box or whatever. Obviously you lose the utility of being able to back stuff up the instant you get/modify it... but the point here is if you only have important data at one location (regardless of how many places it's copied within said location) then said data is vulnerable. How conscionable this vulnerability is depends on the data's importance, ofc...

BillButNotBen
01-04-2013, 04:18 PM
I haven't used it, but i think Crashplan allows you to backup to a friend's PC for free. (should be encrypted).
So if you have friends/family with PCs and decent hard drives then you can cross backup to each other.

I guess I should do something. Right now I just have a usb drive for local backups.

For passwords I use sugarsync + keepass. That way I can access my passwords from my android phone if needed.

Boris
01-04-2013, 04:23 PM
You can always just buy an external hard drive, make it encrypted with TrueCrypt and then ask a friend to store it in their closet if your ISP has ridiculous data caps.

trjp
01-04-2013, 05:37 PM
You can always just buy an external hard drive, make it encrypted with TrueCrypt and then ask a friend to store it in their closet if your ISP has ridiculous data caps.

Terrible plan and almost totally pointless as a primary backup solution.

Unless you're planning to rotate the drive between home (for backups) and offsite (for safety) with great frequency, all you'll end-up with is a very out-of-date backup - cloud backup is the ONLY real way to protect your work properly, you just have to use it wisely.

Crashplan does allow remote 'friend' backup - I've not used it but it's there and it's in the 'free' version too. I pay for the Pro Unlimited service with Crashplan and have about 22Gb backed-up there at any given time (took days to sync initially but most changes now are quite small).

trjp
01-04-2013, 05:41 PM
Just to outline my own backup plan in-case you're curious.

All my "work" is stored in Dropbox and so backed-up in the cloud constantly and mirrored across all my PCs. I use 'free' Dropbox but have over 60Gb of space on there (using about 12Gb of it)

All my work plus things like source-code-control files (which you MUST NOT put into Dropbox) plus all the user directories (game saves!!) are backed-up with Crashplan from my main PC only - I only run that once-per-hour.

My system partitions are all backed-up to a local NAS using Macrium Reflect about once a month. Once those are run, I rotate the HDD (I ahve 3 in total) between my desk, the fire safe downstairs and her-indoors Granparents house (closest relative).

When I had an HDD failure back in February I lost nothing - although I have to admit it took me a good 3 hours to work-out exactly where the best place to get all the files back from was!! :)

Spoilt for choice > Screwed

Mctittles
23-04-2013, 06:31 AM
I use SugarSync for the main reason it allows you to right click a folder and keep it's location across multiple computers instead of having to use a special folder for sharing. So when I install a game on another pc and login to SugarSync everything is already setup.

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20-07-2014, 07:02 PM
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