I’m a big fan of set it and forget it technology. Things like anti-virus apps (see Microsoft Security Essentials), disk defragmenting (now built-in to Windows 7), and backup software (I use SyncBackSE for local backup) fall into this category.
When it comes to data backup, though, you can never be too cautious. In addition to my local backup strategy (nightly full drive backup and synchronization of My Docs with other machines on my network), I also use Backblaze for secure online backup.
Though it’s unlikely that all of my computers will crash at once, online backup is great for those rare catastrophes that no one really wants to think about: Fire, theft, flood, or earthquake.
Online backup gives you the following benefits:
- Automatic, continuous backup
- Off-site data backup
- Single-file or batch restore
I first started using another online backup product, Mozy, back in 2005. I used it for a number of years, but grew frustrated with ongoing technical issues and the poor technical support. The main issue with Mozy was that every day that I opened Outlook, Outlook would load my local PST archive files, which caused a modification to the file, which caused Mozy to see these giant (GB+) files as changed, so it was constantly trying to upload the PSTs.
So nearly a year ago (04/24/2009, according to my Gmail records) I switched to Backblaze and haven’t looked back. I did have a few hiccups and technical issues at first, but have found the technical support at Backblaze to be far superior and more attentive than that from Mozy. In fact, most of the support I’ve received has been directly from Backblaze CTO Brian Wilson, who’s been very responsive to my issues and open with explaining some of the inner-workings of Backblaze. Backblaze also been open to my ideas about improving the product, including my suggestions about file paths to exclude from default backup settings.
I currently have nearly 200 GB backed up with Backblaze and am confident that any new or changed files on my computer get securely uploaded to Backblaze. I can easily check the status of my backup at any time via the Backblaze Control Panel:
Backblaze works with both PCs and Macs. The restore process is easy — you can restore a single file from any recent backup data via the web interface, or in the case of total failure, you can order DVDs or an external storage drive with all of your data:
Whether you have 1 gig or 500 gigs, $5 per month is a small price to pay for the peace of mind that comes with secure off-site data backup.
For those interested in the technical details of the Backblaze hardware infrastructure, there’s a cool blog post on how the company created its own affordable, scalable server that offers 67 petabytes of drive space per custom Backblaze Storage Pod: Petabytes on a budget: How to build cheap cloud storage.email or RSS feed. ]