October 16, 2008

Making remote (online/offsite) backups

This topic came up over on the LDS Writers Blogck blog, so as a service to other paranoids like myself whose living very much depends on all those bits being safely stored inside their computers, I'll post my recommendations here as well.

First of all, if you have a reasonably fast Internet connection, you should definitely install Mozy. The first 2 GB are free, and at least for me, everything in My Documents (except for My Music) takes up less space than that.

Once Mozy is set up, it keeps your hard drive busy for several hours while it images your files. After that, it only saves the "delta" (files you've changed). It's fast and transparent (it can be instructed to make backups when the computer is idle), and has never given me a lick of trouble. With the "free" plan, you only pay if you have to restore more than one file a month. I think of it as fire insurance.

Another free Internet service is Box. Unlike Mozy, you treat Box like an ordinary external hard drive. The free plan offers 1 GB of storage with a 10 MB individual file limit.

In a pinch, you can email files (as attachments) to your Google or Yahoo email account. I also image my entire hard drive every six months or so using the ThinkVantage Rescue & Recovery software that came with my ThinkPad and an external USB hard drive (a similar product is Norton Ghost). Plus, I make critical backups (that I can immediately access) to a couple of USB flash drives.

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# posted by Blogger Th.
10/16/2008 12:20 PM   

I'm glad you posted this; I'm going to set up Mozy this weekend.
# posted by Blogger Joe
10/23/2008 3:28 PM   
There is no limit on the number of restores or files in a restore with MozyHome Free. The only limit is that you can have only one restore queued up (pending).
# posted by Blogger Joe
10/23/2008 3:34 PM   
Also be aware, that if you delete a file locally, it will be marked for deletion on the backup servers. In other words, you cannot use this service to archive material and then remove it from your local computer.

Also, when you set it up, just be sure to exclude things like your "My Music" and "My Videos" directories.