First, if you aren’t backing up…do it. You’ll be sorry when your computer crashes and your computer “guy” says ….I’m sorry but I can’t get anything off your drive. Do you have a backup?
Second, you should also think about what would happen if someone stole the hard drive you were using for a backup (or if you had a fire and needed to run out of the house).
I had covered number 1 easy enough…with an external hard drive.
I had covered number 2 sort of. I had my backup drives encrypted
But my failure was that my drives were all out of sync, I wasn’t sure what I had backed up or not, and was out of space. The computer doing the encryption of my local drives was slow (and only supported USB 1) so I couldn’t move the data around easily quickly (I had a 750GB drive and a 500GB drive). I also needed more space. I thought about a NAS, but the price drove me away. And I still wouldn’t have an off-site copy.
That let me to think often about online backups. Why should I have to buy a new hard drive when I could pay a service provider a small monthly fee?
But wait…I didn’t want the provider to have access to my files. I don’t want anyone having access to my files but me. Don’t get me wrong…I don’t have anything to hide. (But then again, you don’t write you love letters on post cards do you? Why? Do you have something to hide?).
I was also looking for unlimited space (like carbonite). And a family type plan that would let me backup multiple computers.
Well, I happened upon crashplan. Here’s the pluses:
Their client will let me do local AND cloud backups
They have a family plan for $14/month
They offer unlimited space
They have Mac and PC and Linux clients
They offer 3 levels of encryption (I picked the second).
I’m in the middle of the 30 day trial. I’ve found one thing I hadn’t thought of before this: speed. While crashplan doesn’t seem to limit my upload speeds (like I found out carbonite does more here). I seem to have dummed into that one because of my wanting encryption. But, I’m still limited by my ISP. I can upload at a blazing 1Mbit/sec (that’s .125 Mbyte/sec). Our initial seed is going to take forever! The better part of a month, if it is to be believed.
So, I think I’m going to keep it once the trial is open. I just didn’t think about the logistics of the initial seed.
Oh, I should add: crashplan offers a seed service where they’ll fedex you a hard drive, you back up, and send it back to them (they’ll do the same for recovery too). But it only works in the US.
Image from lmorchard via flickr