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Backing up your computer through a cloud service?
Old 12-12-2014, 01:48 PM   #1
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Backing up your computer through a cloud service?

Just got a new PC with Win 8.1 and wonder how best to back up my computer? Still trying to get used to the 8.1 interface.

Win 8.1 comes with One Drive (don't remember the capacity), does anybody use One Drive to back up their computer? How about other cloud services and costs?

My wife uses iCloud to back up her iphone and ipad and it is costing her $1/month.

Thanks,

Mp
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Old 12-12-2014, 03:52 PM   #2
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I backup photo's to One drive and ICloud but use USB devices to backup personal files. Don't want Kim jong un to see my new screen plays.
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Old 12-12-2014, 07:48 PM   #3
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I use Acronis | Backup, Data Protection & Recovery Software to backup my (6) computers. They have a "cloud" feature that I haven't tried because the cost for that many computers would be... not worth it.
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Old 12-12-2014, 07:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disappointed View Post
Just got a new PC with Win 8.1 and wonder how best to back up my computer? Still trying to get used to the 8.1 interface.

Win 8.1 comes with One Drive (don't remember the capacity), does anybody use One Drive to back up their computer? How about other cloud services and costs?
No and no. My PC also has Win 8.1 but I do not use any cloud for backup purposes. That might have appealed to me 10-15 years ago when hard drives were way more pricey, but at present day prices I'd rather back up to my own external hard drive.
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Old 12-12-2014, 08:01 PM   #5
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Window 8.1 has a built-in equivalent of apple's time machine called File History. You can go to costco and buy an external hard disk and use that to back up your computer.

Cloud backup can work well but I never used it because I simply have too much data. If you don't have much data, one can also buy a couple thumb drives (preferably encrypted) and manually copy your data onto them.

In general I recommend to always have at least two backups of your data with at least 1 offsite. (I actually have up to 5 copies of my important files in 3 locations.)

There are quite a few prior threads on this so it maybe helpful to do a search.
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Old 12-12-2014, 08:29 PM   #6
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I use Carbonite for $60/yr unlimited data. After a hard drive failed I was able to restore my files to my new computer without any issues. I have over 100 GB stored with all my photos.


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Old 12-12-2014, 08:33 PM   #7
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I use Crashplan to backup to a local hard drive and to the cloud. The local drive is for faster backups and restores, the cloud is to recover from a fire or other disaster that destroys my computer and backup drive.

I have over 700GB of data backed up, mostly photos. It took several months for that amount of data to get uploaded to the cloud, but now that it's all there I can sleep at night.

Backups with Crashplan are automatic. Never do I have to decide to manually copy files or swap drives or carry a copy to an offsite location. I never even have to think about backups now.
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Old 12-12-2014, 08:54 PM   #8
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I have over 700GB of data backed up, mostly photos. It took several months for that amount of data to get uploaded to the cloud, but now that it's all there I can sleep at night...
Yikes! That sounds about right.

At home, I have two stand-alone NAS servers, and have converted two older dual-core PCs into network servers, running MS server software. Just recently, I added up all the storage capacity under the roof, and came up with 12TB!

Do I really need all that much? It can't be. So, how much do I really need? After a couple of weeks of running file comparison to find and delete duplicates, just yesterday I obtained the answer: my total files add up to a bit more than 600GB. Double or even triple that for redundancy, and it is still a small percentage of the hard drive capacity I have accumulated. Amazing how wasteful one can be when hard drives are this cheap.

To return to the back up discussion, I think cloud storage might be safer than having all my 0 and 1 bits at home where they can be destroyed by a fire, but the speed of access is a big drawback right now. After I have sorted out and consolidate all my bits, it is easier to put a copy in a palm-sized USB hard drive, then put it in my firesafe or my motorhome.
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Old 12-12-2014, 09:08 PM   #9
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To return to the back up discussion, I think cloud storage might be safer than having all my 0 and 1 bits at home where they can be destroyed by a fire, but the speed of access is a big drawback right now. After I have sorted out and consolidate all my bits, it is easier to put a copy in a palm-sized USB hard drive, then put it in my firesafe or my motorhome.
That's why I have multiple backups. Local backups for fast access, and cloud backup in case of fire. I like not having to remember to make a backup and take it elsewhere, it just happens.

I could probably reduce my 700GB to something like 300GB, but that takes time and effort. Easier to just go ahead and let it all be backed up. I'm lazy.
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Old 12-12-2014, 09:14 PM   #10
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That's why I have multiple backups. Local backups for fast access, and cloud backup in case of fire. I like not having to remember to make a backup and take it elsewhere, it just happens.

I could probably reduce my 700GB to something like 300GB, but that takes time and effort. Easier to just go ahead and let it all be backed up. I'm lazy.
With a cost of less than $110 for a 3 tb usb drive it makes sense to make the main backups at home. Then leave them at relatives homes in a different city, or put in a safe deposit box. I use a Microsoft tool called synctoy because I found file history would every get a bit sick. Synctoy does sync's from one directory tree to another either uni or bi directional. Note that if you have a travel machine you could also get the professional version of the OS and then maintain an offline cache on the travel laptop.
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Old 12-12-2014, 09:33 PM   #11
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I have over 700GB of data backed up, mostly photos. It took several months for that amount of data to get uploaded to the cloud, but now that it's all there I can sleep at night.
If you needed to restore your 700GB, would crashplan mail you a hard disk? or would you be forced to download it all?
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Old 12-12-2014, 09:34 PM   #12
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I could probably reduce my 700GB to something like 300GB, but that takes time and effort. Easier to just go ahead and let it all be backed up. I'm lazy.
Laziness is how I got my files spread out across multiple networked machines, with many of those big hard drives partially filled. Besides the 2 NAS and the 2 Window servers, I have 4 desktops, 1 laptop, not including smaller devices like netbooks and the recently added smartphones and a tablet.

I worried about losing files due to hardware failure, so just dragged entire directories from one machine to another to have duplicates. And then, I forgot which went where. In my recent effort to clean up, I found that I had my photos on 3 different machines, including 1 server that's a RAID, and the other server automatically maintains duplicates on different HDs. So, that's 5 copies! And then I forget to sync them, so do not know which is which.

Bits and bytes hoarding does not cost much anymore, but if I cannot tell which is where, it's not good.

And then, I often think I spend too much time safeguarding these bits that I may not really need. And then, when I die, nobody will care about them anyway.
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Old 12-12-2014, 10:18 PM   #13
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No cloud backup for us! We maintain several drives, some of which get swapped out to bank safety deposit box.
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Old 12-12-2014, 10:25 PM   #14
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I use a 1TB internal drive to backup my data. So far, that is plenty of room for me.

Every so often (for example, if I make updates to password entries) I do a sync of the primary and backup drives. I prefer to backup manually as if data gets messed up, automatic backups could replace good backed up data.

Oh, on that 8.1 interface, if you don't like it there is always that "Classic Shell" freeware to fall back on and make the interface look more familiar.
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Old 12-12-2014, 10:45 PM   #15
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I've had a 1T NAS drive for 3 years on my network that I backup my and my spouse's PC to. I use an old software called Second Copy that maintains a mirror image of selected directories. I wouldn't buy it again as there are better and cheaper alternatives out there now but I've got it set up, it works, and its too much trouble to to switch to something else.

I'm 3 days into a 30 day trial use of Crashplan to back up to the cloud all my pictures and other critical files. So far its backed up 30 Gbytes of 300 and is forecasting 15 days to complete. I intend for this to be the aw sh*** backup in case my house burns down or all of the electronics in the house get fried by a lightning bolt. Both of these scenarios have happened to coworkers. (we also get tornadoes here).

In theory, I could swap out the drive and store it in a fire safe for less money than the cloud service is going to cost. However, I'm just not that disciplined. In addition, the cloud service gives me a backup option for when I'm visiting the grandkids and I've moved those 200 pictures off my camera to my laptop.
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Old 12-12-2014, 10:54 PM   #16
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I've had a 1T NAS drive for 3 years on my network that I backup my and my spouse's PC to.
+1

I've got a couple of Western Digital NAS units configured as RAID 5. One is a local 12TB unit, the other a "cloud" 16TB unit. I don't know if I'll ever need that much and certainly don't use that much now, but should a drive ever fail I can just pull it out and replace it with a new one and it is automatically absorbed into the array.

I don't trust clouds, starting with a US court decision that anything uploaded into a "cloud" was considered public.
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Old 12-12-2014, 11:28 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by cranberryjoe View Post
I use Crashplan to backup to a local hard drive and to the cloud. The local drive is for faster backups and restores, the cloud is to recover from a fire or other disaster that destroys my computer and backup drive.

I have over 700GB of data backed up, mostly photos. It took several months for that amount of data to get uploaded to the cloud, but now that it's all there I can sleep at night.

Backups with Crashplan are automatic. Never do I have to decide to manually copy files or swap drives or carry a copy to an offsite location. I never even have to think about backups now.
Just curious, but are you in some kind of photography business? That's a heck of a lot of photo files. Can you access the offsite files easily and download certain files on demand?
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Old 12-13-2014, 12:47 AM   #18
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Earlier this evening my laptop just stopped. Pow! Went black, nothing happening. Tried rebooting, nothing. I've never had that happen before. The HD was completely frozen.

So there I was, sitting there looking at my (paper) to do list which had "Back up the laptop" as item number three, and holding a fairly expensive potential paper weight. I hadn't backed up anything for about two months, and between my business and dealing with my Mom's estate I had some pretty important stuff hanging out there.

Luckily I was able to remove the HD from the laptop. I used my hard won tech geek knowledge, rapped the HD against the coffee table a couple of times, and put it back in. Voila! I'm in business again. So I backed everything up to my external HD immediately, crossed out item number three on the list, and am back in my favorite website. Whew!
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Old 12-13-2014, 01:23 AM   #19
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My entire system gets backed up to a primary 2TB external drive permanently tethered to my computer. Once a month, I back up the entire system to a secondary 2TB external drive, which I carry with me everywhere.
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Old 12-13-2014, 02:43 AM   #20
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We switched to Carbonite after realizing that a hard drive based backup plan is no backup plan unless it includes redundant backup devices swapped out to an offsite location at least once a week or two. Perhaps when I'm retired and have nothing better to do I may find it worth expending my leisure time that way, but not now.
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