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Thread: Online Backup Services

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Missouri, USA
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    Ubuntu

    Online Backup Services

    I am trying to pick out an online backup service. My standards are: up to 100 GB of storage, price $3 - $10 per month, robust servers, works easily with Linux. I don't care if it is a nuts-and-bolts rsync type or proprietary software type of interface, although rsync is "good enough" for me. I don't care about file syncing across computers (I use Ubuntu One for that, but this thread is about offsite backup in case of disaster) Cost isn't the only consideration - I'd pay more for a more robust solution.

    I'd like a site that is "robust" - i.e. fault tolerant, so my stuff doesn't dissappear when their stuff loses a computer/drive/utility grid/etc.

    I'd like a reasonable level of security


    Here is a brief bit of research:

    Ubuntu One
    Cost for 100 GB: 20 GB $30/year 100 GB = $150/Yr
    Robust? - Poor? Ubuntu One Website does not address this AFAIK. Wikipedia reports Ubuntu One is NOT stored on a peer-to-peer network.
    Security - Medium. Files are stored unencrypted
    Interface: Proprietary GUI
    Around since: 2009

    SpiderOak
    Cost for 100 GB: $100/Yr
    Robust: Extremely. https://spideroak.com/engineering_matters#fault_tolerant
    Security - High https://spideroak.com/engineering_matters#true_privacy
    Interface: Proprietary GUI
    Around since: 2007

    Dropbox
    Cost: 100GB: $240
    Robust: ? Wikipedia lists "Partial" encryption - Can't find info on fault tolerance.
    Presumed to be high since this is the leading brand?
    Security - Some concerns: and more concerns
    Interface: Proprietary GUI
    Around since: 2008

    Datastorageunit.com
    Cost: 100GB: $50/yr
    Robust: Apparently this is one server running RAID 50, possibly also a
    one man show
    Security: Depends on how you set up Rsync
    Interface: Rsync (Nuts and Bolts)
    Around since: ?



    Right now, Spideroak seems to be winning the price/value war, with high security and a medium price.

    Any other contenders you'd recommend? Can you add any information in these five categories - Cost, Robustness, Security, Interface, Around since?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Magic City of the Plains
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    Hidden!
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    Kubuntu Development Release

  3. #3
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    Jun 2009
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    Oregon
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    Re: Online Backup Services

    I haven't tried it yet, but the one that's intrigued me lately is CrashPlan (http://www.crashplan.com/). The backup client is free and you can back up to a local disk, network share or over the internet with a friend or relative. The paid plan is $60/year for unlimited storage.

    Another consideration (particularly if you have a low-resource machine) is that Spider Oak and CrahPlan use Java for cross-platform development, so their clients are more resource-intensive than Ubuntu One or Dropbox.

    A low-tech way of doing off-site backups (and the method I'm currently using) is to keep a portable hard drive at an off-site location and bring it on-site once a week to do an rsync backup. For added security, you can encrypt the portable drive (I use TrueCrypt).

  4. #4
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    Re: Online Backup Services

    I just use the free 2GB from SpiderOak but if I were going to purchase storage I'd use them.

    Their software is solid, easy to use & they keep it up to date.

    Might be a little resource intensive but I doubt you'll notice on most modern computers.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    United States
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    Kubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

    Re: Online Backup Services

    i think online backup is madness.

  6. #6
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    Oregon
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    Re: Online Backup Services

    Quote Originally Posted by inobe View Post
    i think online backup is madness.
    How so?

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Re: Online Backup Services

    there are way too many backup solutions over a lan that are simply simple.

    i understand if it's someone with a chrome book or smart phone, but then someones gonna think micro sd, external hd, printer.....\

    it's madness to trust anyone but yourself with such valuable data.

    this thread reminds me of spam, sell me online storage...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Oregon
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    Re: Online Backup Services

    @inobe

    For on-site backups, a USB drive or LAN-to-server is sufficient, and everyone should be doing that.

    What does the average user do about off-site backups, though? They can hand-carry a hard drive to and from off-site storage, they can set up their own backup system using something like SSL or FTP to an offsite server, or they can use one of the internet backup services.

    I know my limitations and I'm not a computer security expert. Different backup services use different security models, and you can also encrypt your data before backing up. I figure the guys that are in the online backup business are going to do a better job on security than me. And I feel the risk of using online backup is less than the risk of losing all my data in a fire, flood or earthquake.

    People pay monthly fees for all kinds of stuff. Online backup seems like a reasonable expense to me. Oh, and I don't work for an online backup service

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    United States
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    Kubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

    Re: Online Backup Services

    not being sarcastic or rude, what's the cost of a 32gb micro sd card?

    this tiny little card can go in a wallet, under skin if folks are that paranoid!

    now imagine 20/ 30 of those little sd cards, keep them in some little box, in some safety deposit box, or in your house too, make duplicates

    your data if your isp goes down, your data at a much more efficient bandwidth, your data in your own hands.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Oregon
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    Re: Online Backup Services

    How big is your backup set? Mine is over 200GB and I don't think that's all that unusual. The last thing I want to do is faff around with SD cards.

    I do agree with you that on-site backup is easy. Just buy yourself a USB hard drive, install backintime (or another backup application) and you're good to go. Before the Thai floods 1TB drives were $60-$80, and they'll be inexpensive again soon.

    Where I disagree is with off-site backups for disaster recovery. I can absolutely guarantee that (except for a handful of IT geeks like us), no one is going to keep an off-site backup set fresh if they have to hand-carry the media and do the backups manually. That's why I still think there's value in online backup, it's a set-and-forget service that requires little to no ongoing intervention from the end user.

    It's true that it can take a considerable length of time to get your files back (especially if your ISP is down temporarily). You can, however, choose which files you'd like to restore first. And if you're recovering from a disaster you probably have bigger problems than worrying about how fast your MP3 collection is being restored.

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