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Remote Internet Backup Service
Old 02-14-2007, 08:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Due to several recent related threads discussing file backup practices, does anyone use remote Internet backup services, i.e., a service which either actively or passively copies your files and stores them in multiple locations on the Internet? Having suffered the effects of Hurricane Ivan, I'm looking for something offsite and virtual. I have seen several, some free, and would like any recommendation or advice. Here's a PC World write-up: http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/128774

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Last edited by DocSmith; 02-14-2007 at 09:27 AM..
 
Re: Remote Internet Backup Service
Old 02-14-2007, 09:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Several of our offices use a service from www.mozy.com Haven't tried it yet but hear good things about it.
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Re: Remote Internet Backup Service
Old 02-14-2007, 11:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I use Carbonite.

Only drawback is they only back up your C: drive, not externals. But if you have a huge C: drive this isn't a problem.

But, they offer unlimited storage and a set it and forget it style. No fuss. It just watches for new and changed files and backs them up. If you accidentally delete something it's easy to get it back too. It adds another icon under My Computer.

It costs $5/month. Check it out here. They have a 15 day trial.
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Re: Remote Internet Backup Service
Old 02-14-2007, 12:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Keep in mind that most of these services have a similar clause to this one. Check out the clause that is titled: "Changes to Service" and notice they can make any changes they want and they don't have to tell you about them. Also note later in their agreement the clause about "abuse". Since the term is not defined, it can mean anything. What usually happens with these types of services is that once you've used them for a few years and have a vast backup, they start playing games with the rates they charge. Also they often promise a large amount of space for backup, but if you actually use that space, they then invoke the "abuse" clause.

Keep in mind the reality of backing up photos. It is not unreasonable for many photographers to end up with several hundred GB of photos per year. Think about the huge hit to upload and store those files. And since most home ISP connection have a throttled Upload speed, you will find it takes a long time to upload the photos.

By the way, Carbonite actually has this statement on their site:

"As much as you have. Carbonite will back up all the supported files on your hard drive whether you have 1GB, 10GB or more. As a practical matter, the speed of today's DSL and cable Internet services will make it very slow to back up more than, say, 40-50GB of data. Our Terms of Use will allow us to deny service to abusers. "

Notice that if you go beyond 40-50gb, then they will deny you service as an abuser. Now this is open to interpretation, but I am generally wary of all of these online backup systems. In any event, be sure to still do your own redundant backups. Also keep in mind that if one of these companies goes out of business, you may lose your data.

Cheers,
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Re: Remote Internet Backup Service
Old 02-14-2007, 01:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I tried the Carbonite 15 day free trial. Just to back up my My Documents folder (approx. 8 GB) took 4 days over my cable modem. Granted the first back up always takes the longest, but for just a little more than what they charge per year I was able to go out and get a 250GB external. I like the idea of online back up, but for photographers it's not practical yet.
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Re: Remote Internet Backup Service
Old 02-14-2007, 02:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zytkiewicz View Post
I tried the Carbonite 15 day free trial. Just to back up my My Documents folder (approx. 8 GB) took 4 days over my cable modem. Granted the first back up always takes the longest, but for just a little more than what they charge per year I was able to go out and get a 250GB external. I like the idea of online back up, but for photographers it's not practical yet.
And that is one of the big problems. Typically a photographer might add 5-8gb of new photos at a time. I know that's about average for me for each shoot. So a photographer is always doing the large uploads which take days sometimes to perform. And, of course, as I pointed out previously, once you've reached the 30-40gb range, they may shut you down for abuse. So that would mean only 5 to 7 photo sessons for many of us. The Externals are the way to go.

By the way, some of the External drives come with a one button backup system. Two of the drives I have will automatically back up changed or new files from the hard drive to the external. The only draw back, is that you must leave the external drive on for longer periods of time which shortens its life.

Cheers,
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Re: Remote Internet Backup Service
Old 02-14-2007, 04:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Has anone tried a peer to peer system or knows of one? I there a system where someone accross the country in their office can have a spare drive and back me up, and I do the same for them? anone ever hear of that or tried that?
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Re: Remote Internet Backup Service
Old 02-14-2007, 05:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Has anone tried a peer to peer system or knows of one? I there a system where someone accross the country in their office can have a spare drive and back me up, and I do the same for them? anone ever hear of that or tried that?
Yes, I've done that before. I used to backup my source code when coding software. I might be in England, but would backup the source code to a network drive in Dallas as well as to a local backup source. But that has the same limitations (speed wise) as any of the paid services you sign up for over the Internet, because you are still transmitting the files over the Internet and that can take days in some cases for many GB at a time of photos. Keep in mind that when you are uploading 5 gb of photos to a hard drive somewhere else on the Internet that both you and they are dealing with bandwidth issues.

I believe the online backup services are only practical for small storage needs (less than 5 gb total) and usually for sets of files that change often, and the automation of backup of the changes becomes attractive. But you can do the same thing to a local external hard drive if you like and it is lighting fast by comparison and under your control with no foreign programs running on your computer and examining your files.

Cheers,
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Re: Remote Internet Backup Service
Old 02-14-2007, 08:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've signed up for Mozy.com Unlimited for $4.95/month. Backup is for all files on all drives. Hey, I drop $2.00 each for a couple of Bloody Mary's every Sunday at Brunch! My needs are modest (25GB currently, but I haven't shot in a while) and I'll let everyone know how it goes. It's running in background right now and I can see no adverse effects on processing speed.

Thanks for all the advice,
Doc
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Last edited by DocSmith; 02-15-2007 at 04:09 AM..
 
Re: Remote Internet Backup Service
Old 03-09-2007, 09:32 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Mozy is working out fine so far, for me. It took about two weeks for the initial backup. It runs in background and is so unobtrusive, I contacted customer service just to check that everything was working! I have a personal account - business accounts are $3.95/month + $0.50/GB - which is still pretty cheap.

Doc
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