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Tips for Using Online Backups

When's the last time you backed up your data?

What would happen if your laptop/desktop crashed and your data was lost...? Probably too painful to even consider.

Now there are affordable, relatively easy-to-use resources that allow you the comfort of never having to worry again (or at least worry a lot less) about backing up your data, taking the time to do so and what happens if you lose your family photos not to mention your list of customer accounts and being able to retrieve your data remotely at any time.

These programs do not back up system files or application files. They back up data files such as spreadsheets and photos, word documents and image files like PDFs, etc.

We list some of them here.

ONES WE TESTED

* Carbonite - Tried. Carbonite is simple and fast to download. It seemed easy to use. It's inexpensive (under $5.00 a month) and can store up to 3+ Gigs of data. I noticed no impact on the performance of any processes running. However, others did notice their computer began to slow after downloading Carbonite. About 25% of us noticed that Outlook could either lock or close suddenly. That's peripherally related to Carbonite. That never happened prior to Carbonite; And it wouldn't happen with fewer applications running on the desktop or with more ram and chip power.

Their site is good, with a very useful and clear video tutorial. But, their response rate was slow from their help desk and offered canned responses. Granted some of our questions were answered on their FAQ page. But...what's the point of Customer Service if it only generates canned email responses? They're adding staff to address this problem.

* Mozy  Tried. Mozy is very similar to Carbonite from our experience. Price is similar. Ease of download and use is comparable. What lost our account were 2 things: 1) Mozy doesn't perform when your computer hibernates. That means it only runs when you're using it. It won't run at night when you're hopefully away from your desk. 2) Their online helpdesk, with live chat, wasn't available on the weekends. It seemed that not only does Mozy, the service, not work when you're away from your desk but Mozy the company doesn't work either.

ONE WE LOOKED CLOSELY AT

* SOSOnlineBackup We looked closely at this resource. It seemed more oriented towards corporate users. And it was priced accordingly.

OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS

John Jantsch recommended these in a recent newsletter. We've tried none. We'll try them in the coming weeks and let you know our experiences.

* DropSend

* Xdrive

* Box.net

Back up your data. If you're good with routine and the implied discipline, then you can look to manually back your data up on a regular basis to another media and store that offsite. If you're not, if you have less than 3 Gigs, if you can manage the processes running on your desk, and if you want  the peace of mind knowing that your data is being backed up, choose one of these.

March 1, 2007 in Web/Tech | Permalink

Comments

There is a new twist on automatic off-site backup-- CrashPlan. Just like those you reviewed, you can backup to their server for $5/month. However they recommend you backup to an off-site destination of your own because it's:
- more secure
- less expensive
- get all your data back more quickly.

The product lets you backup to multiple destinations, so you can backup over your lan, to a near by friend/office, and to a remote location without any additional fees.

Posted by: Matthew | Mar 2, 2007 4:13:31 PM

Are you suggesting that you have programs that run while windows is "hibernating?" My understanding of hibernation is that Windows is basically off - I would like to see a video of you running an application while your computer is hibernating...

Posted by: Chris Sherman | Mar 2, 2007 2:22:58 PM

There is an excellent website for online backup information, news and articles. Check it out here:

http://www.BackupReview.info

This site lists more than 400 online backup companies and ranks the top 25 on a monthly basis.

Cheers,

Posted by: Jennifer | Mar 1, 2007 8:07:50 PM