Back Up Solutions

Posted on August 13, 2008. Filed under: Hardware, Software | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Why you want to do a backup…

I was recently asked to comment on an online back up soltution. This is my response:

First, definitely do have a back up system. Anything is better than nothing and I do recommend my clients’ obtain a hardware or software solution.
  1. How much data do I NEED to back up and does it exceed the disk quota of my online or hardware back up system?
  2.  What data do I need to back up? My Documents is great but if you use Quicken or another program that stores data somewhere else on the hard drive then you have to be sure to configure whatever solution you use properly.
  3. Do I need portability? IE. I want to be able to physically take my data with me. What if the online solution requires software to be loaded onto another computer in order to work? You want to consider device independence. Some hardware solutions offer this. Carbonite and other online solution providers may require software to be installed on the local computer and you may need the owner’s permission or the computer rights are set up not to allow you to do this.
  4. What are the advantages and disadvantages for each solution?
Generally I recommend the following solutions in order of preference:
  1. An external hard drive of no LESS that 160 GB. Advantages: shared amongst more than one computer. Some portability depending on model. Capacity. Disadvantages: May not be portable. Expensive compared to online subscription initially.
  2. A USB key with good back up software. Specifically SanDisk Cruzer with the CruzerSync software. Advantages:  Dead easy to set up. Small and portable. Can be used easily on other computers. Disadvantages: Size…small and can be lost. Capacity cost compared to external hard drive.
  3. Online back up. Advantages:  Can be automated. Can be transferable between computers. Disadvantages: Software needed to be installed on other computers in order to work. Cost per GB. 4 GB is nothing these days.
As to Carbonite specifically I would not recommend it.
Though this review is a year old ( ) I think you would be better served with option 1 or 2.
Costs of external hard drives are very competitive and there are some solutions that are very portable.

Blog about problems with Carbonite.

Comparison matrix

Service Price Storage OS support
Carbonite 15-day free trial, $49.95 per year Unlimited (limited upload past 50GB) Windows XP, Vista
Mozy Online $4.95 per month Unlimited (up to 2GB free) Windows 2000, XP, Vista; Mac OS X 10.4 (beta)
AOL XDrive $9.95 per month 50GB (5GB free) Windows 2000, XP, Vista; Mac OS X (web client only)
Connected Backup/PC Free 30-day trial, $9.95-$74.95 500MB-3GB Windows 2000, Windows XP

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One Response to “Back Up Solutions”

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For all online backup, file sharing and storage related info, I recommend this website:

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