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Online Backup Solutions

04 Dec

I used to own a home NAS server (network area storage – basically a couple hard drives that you can access over your wireless network), and after it failed I looked into getting a better one – Be prepared to spend at least a grand if you want something good. Since I couldn’t justify spending that much, or even the time to research, build & maintain one – I looked into online backups for the first time.

DropBox

DropBox is great for sharing files between colleagues, clients & friends etc; But their pricing & limited amount of storage prevented me from choosing them as a final solution. Instead I use the free version as a way to quickly share files. One of the best things about it is that it tells you, in a fairly unobtrusive way, when it’s downloading new files that someone else has added to a shared folder – may only save a minute of sending emails, but I appreciate it.

Asus Web Storage

Takes forever, and didn’t seem to be backing up much – it was pretty frustrating. This is a work in progress, not a finished product.

Mozy

I tried this one, and didn’t like it. My experience with their support was the standard language barrier affair (dell anyone?)- outsourced support. It looks like it has improved since I’ve tried it  – they seem to have a few more features now. If you use Mozy now, I’d like to hear how you like it and their support system.

Backblaze

Allows you to throttle your upload speed if desired, and you can opt for them to send you a physical drive overnight ($189) if you have too much data (too much is defined hypothetically here by how fast your internet is, it’s not defined by Backblaze) to re-download. They also offer versioning of files – meaning you can recover up to four versions of a file that you’ve saved over (a potential life saver for me). This is the one I stuck with – It’s fast, unobtrusive (I have almost 400GB of data and their app is only taking up 7.4MB of ram), excellent price, unlimited storage, and the company itself is one I don’t mind getting behind either. They are pretty transparent about their business dealings – you don’t see that too often. They explain exactly where their data center is and how it’s protected, blog about possible mergers etc; etc; all in all they provide more peace of mind for me on top of being a great service. The only problem I’ve run into is that my external drive (which gets unplugged by me often) sometimes needs to be coerced back into Backblaze’s watch list. I contacted backblaze about it, and they haven’t heard of that – nor can I find anything online about it – so I’m fairly certain this is an issue with my computer. And – their support? They speak perfect English – it’s not outsourced. They also answered me on twitter pretty fast. A fairly new development to point out is that they now support individual files up to 9GB (the old limit was 4GB)

CrashPlan

I tried crashplan, and it wasn’t working well – it was a year or more ago when I tried it, so that may have changed by now. But if you try it out, and it works well for you, from what I hear from friends their support is as good or better than Backblaze’s.

Tried one of these or other methods? Let me know your thoughts on what the best online backup solution is.

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4 Comments

Posted by on December 4, 2010 in Recommendations

 

4 responses to “Online Backup Solutions

  1. Mozy Promotional Code

    December 4, 2010 at 5:40 am

    I use Mozy and, like you, have found their support to be frustrating to work with. I’ve only had to contact them once, and it took 2-3 times for them to actually answer my question, versus some random answer that wasn’t even related to my problem. But, once I got an answer, the fix worked!

    Their new support forum at http://mozy.force.com/support/ is a great step forward, allowing user-to-user support or even responses from high-level techs.

    Mozy’s just $5 / month for unlimited backup, so assuming the product works all the time (which, other than one issue I had, it’s always worked (and every time I’ve had to do a restore, it worked 100%)), I can understand outsourcing their first-contact support.

     
    • eriteric

      December 4, 2010 at 6:46 am

      That’s good to hear – especially about such a large company. $5 a month (combined with unlimited storage) seems to be the sweet spot for online backups.

       
  2. stodgy

    December 6, 2011 at 9:12 am

    “The only problem I’ve run into is that my external drive (which gets unplugged by me often) sometimes needs to be coerced back into Backblaze’s watch list. I contacted backblaze about it, and they haven’t heard of that – nor can I find anything online about it – so I’m fairly certain this is an issue with my computer.”

    No, it’s not just your computer. I had the very same thing happen to me. I had en external drive that had to powered on and off separately from the computer. I was constantly having to rescan my drives to get it back into the backup list. The solution for me was buy a “smart” external drive, the kind that you just leave powered on and it turns on and off with the computer. However, I never move the drive around so I don’ have to unplug it.

     
    • eriteric

      December 6, 2011 at 7:41 pm

      Thanks for that info stodgy – Yea, I still have the same drive, and still have the issue. However, I just let it find the drive on it’s own. Might take a reboot or two, but I at least don’t have to babysit it like I was. I’ll be sure to get a ‘smart’ drive for my next one.

       

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