What backup service to use?

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retire14
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What backup service to use?

Post by retire14 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:01 am

I am currently backing up my Mac with an external HD, but would like to find another backup mechanism. What backup service do you use and why? Is iCloud a good backup?Thanks.

tmhudg
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Re: What backup service to use?

Post by tmhudg » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:16 am

I use Mozy. I started using it primarily because it was subsidized by my employer. I haven't really compared other options.

I don't think iCloud is a good backup option. iCloud is really more about cloud storage - a folder structure that is replicated to the cloud. Backup is about version history, comprehensive selection of various files throughout your whole system that you want to protect. You *can* do this via a cloud drive such as iCloud or Google drive for example but it's not really the same thing as "backup (and recovery)".

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pondering
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Re: What backup service to use?

Post by pondering » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:31 am

I use Dropbox because it works with the most OSes and it provides some use of the active files
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brad.clarkston
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Re: What backup service to use?

Post by brad.clarkston » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:57 am

I use Carbonite as it's a true incremental backup for years without any issues.

@pondering -- Keep in mind that Dropbox is not a real backup service it's a file sharing system you have to use it manually.

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nisiprius
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Re: What backup service to use?

Post by nisiprius » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:37 am

I'm testing Backblaze with Mac OS X. I've only been using it for four weeks and don't have a definitive opinion yet.

I'm quite unhappy about what Code42 (Crashplan) did, and it's too long a story but the reason why I'm not just using up my remaining year with them is that I just upgraded to a new Mac and (for the second time) Crashplan didn't install correctly. Crashes on launch, won't even get to "unable to connect to backup engine." Last time it took several calls to support and a "try this, try that" and finally it started working... mysteriously... I didn't want to bother to go through that again for a service that is abandoning me.

I think it is bizarre and disappointing that Apple, which has offered (paid) iCloud backup for iOS for years, still doesn't offer it for Mac OS... as far as I know.
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pondering
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Re: What backup service to use?

Post by pondering » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:40 am

Good luck reading your files on your iPhone when you don’t have access to a PC with a backup service.

I periodically copy my files to an external hard drive as well.
--Robert Sterbal | 412-977-3526 call/text

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tuningfork
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Re: What backup service to use?

Post by tuningfork » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:47 am

tmhudg wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:16 am
I don't think iCloud is a good backup option. iCloud is really more about cloud storage - a folder structure that is replicated to the cloud. Backup is about version history, comprehensive selection of various files throughout your whole system that you want to protect. You *can* do this via a cloud drive such as iCloud or Google drive for example but it's not really the same thing as "backup (and recovery)".
This. If you use any cloud storage service, make sure you understand how it behaves if you need to retrieve a file you accidentally deleted two weeks ago. If you can't do that, it's not a backup. Cloud storage is great for sharing files among multiple computers, but might not work well for backup. Some of the cloud storage providers only sync files if they are in a certain folder. What if you have important files in other places on your computer that you can't easily move to that special folder?

I currently use Arq Backup. It can backup locally and to the cloud. Backblaze is also a pretty good cloud backup service but you'll also want to have a good local backup in place too. The experts recommend at least 3 copies of your data: the working copy and two backups on different media, preferably one off site.

Crashplan used to be the hands down best, but they dropped their Home version to promote their less functional but more expensive Small Business version.

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siamond
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Re: What backup service to use?

Post by siamond » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:06 pm

I used Mozy for a while, then got tired of their never-stopping price increases. In a world of many pictures and videos (which I like to archive), their pricing was getting out of whack.

I switched to Google Drive a few years ago, and find it great in terms of convenience and price. I also REALLY like the fact that if my house gets destroyed (and backup drives with it), I'll be able to recover my life (that is, if I make it out of the house in time!). But as other posters say, it's a snapshot, so if you delete a file or if somebody (maliciously or not) messed up with your hard disk, well, the snapshot will sync up, hence not provide the proper past image you'd like to see.

So I ended up buying a backup disk, and I use Time Machine to back it up every month, with an encryption key. And I kept Google Drive for immediate sync/snapshots. Such combo is very cheap, and makes me feel safe.

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FraggleRock
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Backup(s)

Post by FraggleRock » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:10 pm

SuperDuper to hard drive.
Backblaze for service.
Both have been working great for years.

Puakinekine
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Re: What backup service to use?

Post by Puakinekine » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:54 pm

OneDrive for everything but financial and health files. OneDrive also syncs flawlessly (so far--3 years now) to my phone and other laptops/pcs. I would not backup anything private to any cloud service, for those I go the old fashioned way of the external hard drive. I also do a complete backup of all devices about every two months or so to external hard drives.

davebo
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Re: What backup service to use?

Post by davebo » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:31 pm

I keep all my important documents within Evernote. Not really a backup service, but any editable document is edited within Evernote so it's always up to date.

Outside of documents, I only really care about photos/videos. I use the Google Photo app and it backs up automatically from my phone and you can pay for additional storage (i think it all ties into Google Drive)

Personally, I also really like Amazon Photos for Photo/Video backup. They have an app to automatically backup stuff on your phone and then you keep a folder in the desktop and anything in there is uploaded/updated.

kelvor
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Re: What backup service to use?

Post by kelvor » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:46 pm

I have a FreeNAS box running on my network and all my documents, photos, videos, movies, etc. are hosted on that and accessible to any machine on my local LAN. It is running a VM running SpikerOak One for zero-knowledge secure cloud backup. It's working out great so far.

You can just use SpiderOak One on any Windows, Mac, or Linux machine. No need to have the fancy FreeNAS server like me. I'm a bit of a techie. :D

JBTX
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Re: What backup service to use?

Post by JBTX » Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:23 pm

Carbonite

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Ged
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Re: What backup service to use?

Post by Ged » Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:34 pm

I use Arq to back up my laptop and desktop data to a homebrew Linux NAS and to Amazon Drive.

I particularly like the minimalist footprint, versioning, the large variety of services supported and the per user license rather than per machine.

euroswiss
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Re: What backup service to use?

Post by euroswiss » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:18 am

retire14 wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:01 am
I am currently backing up my Mac with an external HD, but would like to find another backup mechanism. What backup service do you use and why? Is iCloud a good backup?Thanks.
What don’t you like about using Timemachine to back up to an external hard drive? Are you concerned about having the original and the backup in the same location? I like this solution because it AVOIDS potential cloud/internet connectivity issues.

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bostondan
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Re: What backup service to use?

Post by bostondan » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:02 pm

On my Mac, for local backup, I use Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) to create a twice weekly and a monthly clone/backup. The weekly and monthly backups are on two different hard drives. The monthly backup is kept in a safe drawer, not connected to any computer, only taken out for the backup, so that it would likely be protected in the case of theft or minor disaster.

For off-site backup, I am using the remaining time of my CrashPlan subscription for 5 computers, which should last until 11/2018. I am considering finding an alternative before it runs out, but I also don't feel like wasting money when this is still working fine.

When CrashPlan expires, since I cannot renew it, I will need to find an alternative. I am interested in trying Duplicati (https://www.duplicati.com/), a free program which can connect to many different backends, including BackBlaze B2, Google Drive, Amazon S3, FTP, etc. It has similar features to CrashPlan. I have unlimited personal Google Drive space, so will probably try that with Duplicati to see if it works well.
“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” - Elie Wiesel

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samsoes
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Re: What backup service to use?

Post by samsoes » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:24 pm

I've been using Carbonite for over a decade, and it's saved the day numerous times. One time I had to call-in with a technical issue, and their Massachusetts-based phone support was top-notch.

With Carbonite I make use of the not-too-well-known option of managing my own encryption key. In the typical Carbonite configuration, Carbonite stores your encrypted backup and the encryption key on their servers (although they claim on separate servers). As an added layer of security, I manage the key myself so it isn't stored on their servers. The risk is in the event of a total system failure or hard-drive failure, you have to "point" the software on your new PC to the encryption key, or else they won't be able to decrypt your backed-up files. I keep a copy of the encryption key on a USB thumb-drive safely stored offsite in my safe deposit box at the bank.
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TravelforFun
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Re: What backup service to use?

Post by TravelforFun » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:31 pm

I have two copies of all my files including pictures and videos. One copy resides on my home computer hard drive and the other on an external drive in my briefcase. House on fire? Grab the briefcase and run. I back up my files every time I modify them or add new files. I don't trust the cloud with my financial and password documents.

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hudson
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Re: What backup service to use?

Post by hudson » Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:45 am

My backups are manual.

I use one of the iCloud like services to keep non-critical files that I might need on the go.

I have an unplugged thumb/usb drive that I plug in and save critical files and folders a few times a week. Then I unplug it.

Periodically, I'll plug in a 1TB external drive and manually copy over say documents, pictures, downloads, and desktop. The drive has enough room to handle several versions of the backup. At the same time, I'll plug in a separate 1TB drive and do the same for my wife's PC.
I need to buy two more 1TB drives and keep the latest "backups" in a safe deposit box or the equivalent. (The 1TB drives have arrived...very easy to use...just one USB cable...plug it in...find the drive letter....copy and paste.) https://goo.gl/bTVs37

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Eric
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Re: What backup service to use?

Post by Eric » Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:45 pm

tuningfork wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:47 am
Crashplan used to be the hands down best, but they dropped their Home version to promote their less functional but more expensive Small Business version.
In what ways is the Small Business version less functional?

billthecat
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Re: What backup service to use?

Post by billthecat » Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:25 pm

Used iCloud and -

- turn on iCloud Photo Library
- turn on iCloud Drive and enable "desktop and documents" folder syncing
- get enough iCloud storage to cover that (it's cheap)

and use Time Machine, backing up to a Time Capsule, other network drive, or an external drive. Better if the drive is always available (on the network or directly connected) than one that you have to periodically connect. Purchased music, movies and TV can be re-downloaded; other media, well, meh, it's all rather disposable.

iCloud is not really backup, because (i) everything in iCloud is also on your Mac and (ii) it only has the most recent version. Delete something on your Mac and it will be deleted from iCloud.

Time Machine though works great. There are various cloud backup services but I don't trust them.

Whatever you use, you should think through how you would recover from a total loss, like a fire. You should be able to think through how you would get new hardware and restore your data to it.

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Re: What backup service to use?

Post by jebmke » Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:29 pm

billthecat wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:25 pm
iCloud is not really backup, because (i) everything in iCloud is also on your Mac and (ii) it only has the most recent version. Delete something on your Mac and it will be deleted from iCloud.
Probably better than nothing but you are correct, it isn't a proper backup. The few times I have had to restore a file were because I had either deleted or otherwise hosed up the recent version of the data. I have never had to refer to my backup due to hardware failure - only user error. Without versioning, I would have been screwed.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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tuningfork
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Re: What backup service to use?

Post by tuningfork » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:00 pm

Eric wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:45 pm
tuningfork wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:47 am
Crashplan used to be the hands down best, but they dropped their Home version to promote their less functional but more expensive Small Business version.
In what ways is the Small Business version less functional?
The Small Business version of Crashplan does not support computer-to-computer backups. No more backing up your computer to a friend's computer and vice versa. No more backing up to another computer on your own network to provide a layer of insulation from malware that might attack your backup files.

Boogieknight
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Re: What backup service to use?

Post by Boogieknight » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:25 pm

I rely on Dropbox synching but like the others said, it's not a backup. So I back about 50Gb to a 64Gb flash drive about once a month. And I'm SUPER careful when I move and delete files. So far so good.

EDITED: Most stuff I have, I wouldn't miss. It's also replicated elsewhere, like in emails, others' folders, stuff like that.

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bostondan
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Re: What backup service to use?

Post by bostondan » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:53 pm

Just today I realized I had deleted an important receipt from 2011. It turns out I deleted it in 2013 accidentally, but didn't realize because I hadn't needed it at that time. Thanks to CrashPlan, I was able to recover it without any difficulty because it never deletes files. Had I been using BackBlaze, or any other similar service, that file would have been long gone because they purge deleted files after 30 days.

I am going to try Duplicati to see if I can replicate a CrashPlan type of experience. I will report back if successful.
“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” - Elie Wiesel

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pondering
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Re: What backup service to use?

Post by pondering » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:31 pm

I posted the list so far:

https://sterbalssundrystudies.miraheze. ... _to_use%3F


Amazon Drive
Amazon Photos
Amazon S3
Arq
Arq Backup
Backblaze
BackBlaze B2
Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC)
Carbonite
Code42
Crashplan
Dropbox
Duplicati (https://www.duplicati.com/)
Evernote
FreeNAS
Google Drive
Google Photo
homebrew Linux NAS
iCloud
Mozy
OneDrive
SpiderOak One
SuperDuper
Time Machine
--Robert Sterbal | 412-977-3526 call/text

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gasdoc
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Re: What backup service to use?

Post by gasdoc » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:44 pm

Carbonite has saved me a few times. No problems thus far. It works seamlessly in the background, as does my external hard drive. I do both.

gasdoc

Caduceus
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Re: What backup service to use?

Post by Caduceus » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:59 pm

Sooner or later, these cloud services are going to be hacked or compromised in some way. So for privacy reason, I save everything offline, using a combination of external hard drives, and MDiscs, which are archival. The pros are that it is cheaper than a regular online backup plan, safer, and you can't over-write an MDisc accidentally or have it corrupted with viruses. The cons are that real time backup is more of a hassle. The tradeoff is worth it for me.

Nearly A Moose
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Re: What backup service to use?

Post by Nearly A Moose » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:14 pm

One cool feature ofr CrashPlan was that it could also backup my network drive on my NAS. My photo collection is too large to keep on my laptop hard drive, so I simply keep the working files on my NAS in a mapped network drive. I simply set the network drive to automatically mount whenever I'm on the network, and I set that mapped drive as a drive to be backed up using CrashPlan. Presto, all relevant info on the NAS is backed up on the cloud (I also have a dual RAID backup but like the off site solution).

In trying to replace CrashPlan, I'm having trouble replacing this functionality. Any online systems that can handle a network drive too?
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

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