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Discussion Starter #1
Q: Do any of you folks use a cloud backup service?

A customer recently got me to thinking about a cloud backup service when he turned me onto Crashplan's unlimited service for one PC for only $60/yr. The idea here is that you run an app on your 'server' PC and upload regular snapshots of your system to this service. Should you ever need your data back, you would just download the app again and restore your data. While I ultimately did not choose Crashplan, it got me to researching the various options (Crashplan, MSFT One Drive, Google Drive, Carbonite, Amazon Drive, and Amazon Glacier).

Key Features I was looking for
- Tons of cloud Storage: I have 250GB of data to protect and generate maybe 1-2GB/mo.
- Client side encryption (i dont' mind trusting a real service but I don't want anyone who "hacks" my account to randomly access my data).
- Don't mind not having immediate access to my data (if I want to show a friend a ton of pics of my kid, I have a curated section already on a photoblog. I also have data on Google Drive and my own webserver for more immediate access).
- Don't mind a client app as long as it's been proven for several years now. I did want the ability to setup scheduled syncs.
- Low recurring cost. Don't mind an additional fee to get my data because this is a secondary/tertiary backup setu for me.

My Choice: Using the FastGlacier Client to backup my data to Amazon Glacier
deadspin-quote-carrot-aligned-w-bgr-2
- My current primary backup is a set of mirrored drives in my server. That's served me well for the last 10+ years.
- I also maintain offline backups with family but these can get 2-3 months out of date.

Pros:
- While not the easiest to setup (you have to go through a whole process to setup an Amazon Web Services acct, access keys, and whatnot), I'm pretty sure there are enough tech savvy folks here to set things up.
- For my 250GB of data, I'm spending approx 3c/day to maintain the data on Amazon Glacier. Including the cost to initially send my data to Amazon, I'm looking to spend $13/yr compared to ~$60 for most 100GB-unlimited Cloud storage plans. If I ever need to download that data, it will cost more but honestly, if something that bad happened that I needed to do a full restore from amazon, I wouldn't hesitate to spend $50-100 or more to retrieve my data.

Cons:
- At the cheapest rate, it takes a few hours to retrieve a data listing off the cloud and request your files to download.
- You do have to spend a few cents to upload your data but I think my entire 250GB transfer cost <$3 to upload.
- You could spend hundreds of USD downloading your data but if you are willing to wait a little while and/or download the data steadily instead of one big long dump, you can get the cost down to a much more reasonable fee.
 

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I keep my stuff backed up locally onto external drives.

Save your money and back up locally.

For an individual local backup is fine. For a business I would look at regular offsite backups of critical data.
 

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The way I see it, there are two issues with cloud backup. Time to restore (you're limited to their upload speed and your download speed, and even with 100mb fiber, 250GB can take a LONG time to restore), and availability. Yes, the internet is for the most part reliable, and one would hope bigger names are also reliable, but I still prefer local backups to inexpensive USB drives. You can buy a 2TB compact USB for less than $100, so what I do is I buy two per server, and I take one home with me every night in case the building burns down.

I am of the opinion that you can't have too many backups, so having an online one as well as a local is a good strategy, but I would trust a good local backup more so than online.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I keep my stuff backed up locally onto external drives.

Save your money and back up locally.

For an individual local backup is fine. For a business I would look at regular offsite backups of critical data.
I do that already but you don't iive in a place where there could be earthquakes or more regional natural disasters. Even if I went with regular backups from home/work, both places could be damaged.

$13/yr gives me piece of mind. IN talking to my other friends in CA, cloud backing up services are becoming more popular as they are cheap enough and more reliable than doing offsite backups w/ family.

One more option to bring-up:
If you want to be even more cheap and have a trusted friend/family member in other state, you can setup Crashplan's app to backup from one PC to another for FREE (no Fees)
https://support.code42.com/CrashPlan/4/Backup/Backing_Up_To_Another_Computer_You_Own

-g
 

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As with all backups, make sure you can restore, and check your logs!
 

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Cloud = other companies you may or may not trust have total access to your data even if they claim it's encrypted. The best cloud is the one you build in your office or server closet. I use RAID mirror for everyday redundancy and move files off onto two different external drives if I absolutely need a second layer of confidence since I know RAID and backups are not the same thing.
 

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Cloud = other companies you may or may not trust have total access to your data even if they claim it's encrypted. The best cloud is the one you build in your office or server closet. I use RAID mirror for everyday redundancy and move files off onto two different external drives if I absolutely need a second layer of confidence since I know RAID and backups are not the same thing.
I agree about the data being on someone else's server, and encrypted or not they can fairly easily access the data.

If you live somewhere that earthquakes/floods are a likely possibility, it may be worth the risk. Short of full scale nuclear war, I'm not overly worried that both my house and my office will be destroyed on the same day.
 

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Short of full scale nuclear war, I'm not overly worried that both my house and my office will be destroyed on the same day.
And, really, if that happens, are you REALLY concerned about if your cat pictures were all backed up? >:)>:)

RwP
 

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Discussion Starter #11
And, really, if that happens, are you REALLY concerned about if your cat pictures were all backed up? >:)>:)

RwP
Here's my calculation:
* I have one kid. My wife and I probably generate 1-2GB of photos/video clips of this little guy while he's still cute.
* $13 bucks vs. the amount of grief I'd get from my wife if we lost a chunk of pics (i.e.: only had the data since the last offsite backup) seems like a no brainer.

I also have two mothers (mom and mother in law) who aren't super tech savvy.
* They don't really back anything up for **** (each has a USB key but each probably does it rarely if ever).
* I make backups when they visit to my server but that's only every few months.
* It wouldn't cost much at all to add their data to my Amazon Glacier setup and I could also automate it.
* Piece of mind knowing that my parents have their data backed up regularly vs. the shitstorm I would have to deal with if they ever have a HDD crash or accidentally delete their data -- also a no brainer.

As far as encryption is concerned, I don't have any dick pics or something that I would be terribly embarrassed if they were released nor am I famous enough to worry about someone specifically targeting me (I'm no celeb). It would probably be far easier to physically break into my house and/or hack my "server" PC to grab the data than it would be to try and break a legit cloud service like Amazon and grab the data from there.

--
One more thing: In going down this rabbit hole, I found all sorts of craziness online. Apparently some data packrats setup seedboxes (virtual servers in datacenters setup specifically for torrents) and have things automated to grab "everything" and shunt it to their unlimited cloud storage in encrypted form (which i'm sure violates all sorts of TOS agreements not to mention actual laws). They then use their KODI boxes/whatever to stream data back from these cloud services. Net Result => Their very own "netflix" setup.
IMO, that's a bit too flagrant and ballsy for my taste.

-g
 

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I use Google Drive with their desktop application. Works like Dropbox.
I use the same thing, lol. Not like my pictures of subwoofers and welding pictures are all that critical. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #13
One more thing I learned:
In other to handle backups from my parents and MIL in the most automated way possible, Crashplan's SW lets you (for free) backup from one PC connected to another PC on the internet. It handles all the synchronization, scheduling, and revision control. All you need to do is put the client on the source PCs and the client on the target PCs, log them all in to the crashplan SW, and let er rip.

For those of you who maintain offsite backups (from home to work for example), this is a super easy and FREE way to automate the process.
-g

Only two complaints:
- I learned that not all VPN services allow incoming connections. I kept trying to figure out why Crashplan on my parents laptop wouldn't connect to my 'server' when connected to a neighbors WIFI (simulating external network) until I realized that it wasn't an issue with my server, my router or my firewall -- it was the VPN service I was using.
- File restoration from the server is a snap (easy to do with a nice menu interface). The files themselves are cut copied and pasted into the backup-host system (they are encryped, packaged, and compressed into multi-GB archives). For me, this means I can easily push this data from my "server" to Glacier as desired.
 

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One more thing I learned:
In other to handle backups from my parents and MIL in the most automated way possible, Crashplan's SW lets you (for free) backup from one PC connected to another PC on the internet. It handles all the synchronization, scheduling, and revision control. All you need to do is put the client on the source PCs and the client on the target PCs, log them all in to the crashplan SW, and let er rip.

For those of you who maintain offsite backups (from home to work for example), this is a super easy and FREE way to automate the process.
-g

Only two complaints:
- I learned that not all VPN services allow incoming connections. I kept trying to figure out why Crashplan on my parents laptop wouldn't connect to my 'server' when connected to a neighbors WIFI (simulating external network) until I realized that it wasn't an issue with my server, my router or my firewall -- it was the VPN service I was using.
- File restoration from the server is a snap (easy to do with a nice menu interface). The files themselves are cut copied and pasted into the backup-host system (they are encryped, packaged, and compressed into multi-GB archives). For me, this means I can easily push this data from my "server" to Glacier as desired.
To take advantage of the 'free' PC to PC backup I'm guessing you'd have to be a subscriber to their backup service?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
To take advantage of the 'free' PC to PC backup I'm guessing you'd have to be a subscriber to their backup service?
Nope. Free for anybody. Hence why it's worth mentioning.
- Technically you'd have to trust their SW but they seem like a legit enough company (it's a question of your paranoia level).
- You have to create an acct with them to keep track of "your" PCs.
- You can also back up to other ppl's PCs (they give you a unique code) so if you have a friend across the country, you can give them your backup code and they can give you their backup code and you can send each other backups (encrypted so they cannot open them up and see your data inside).
- Client side encryption is an option.
- You can also disable local backups (say if your laptop is only going to be sending data OUT for backup vs. hosting some other PCs data).

-g
 
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