Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Backing Up To The Cloud -- Update -- or IDrive Remotely

S#!* Happens!

Backing up your computer free -- especially at no charge -- to the internet, or the cloud, is such a good idea, and has the potential to save you from so much misery, that I want to go over it again and mention a new provider who offers more storage and has a nice interface program to go with it.

Why should you care about backing up remotely?

Well, first of all, if your computer is destroyed -- and it can happen you know -- or even just if it's just disabled by something that has broken your local backup as well (you do have local backup, right?), you can just restore to a new machine pronto, and you can be anywhere when you do it. Your house burned down? No problem! Well maybe it is a big problem -- but not for restoring your computer, at least to basic functioning. Take your brand new or repaired computer, connect to your internet backup provider and restore -- all of your passwords, logins, settings, sensitive files, priceless photos -- you get the idea.

I've been using IDrive recently, which offers up to 5 GB of backup storage freely, and has a very easy to use and reliable user interface. There are others out there that I have used, including Mozy, which I also like, but Mozy and others I have looked at only offer 2 GB of backup storage, and, well, all other things being equal, 5 GB is better than 2 GB.

Once installed it backs up the computer in the background, and it can be set to notify you of successful completion or not, your choice. There is is little icon on the taskbar system tray which you can consult to tell you about the status of your backups, should you be so inclined.

The screen capture below shows a manual backup in progress, and normally you would not see this window -- in this case, I have manually set the backup to take most of the upload bandwidth and not to auto-pause on user input, which IDrive would normally do.

Backup In Progress
5 GB may not be enough for everyone, but it is enough for most people. and it will save your hide should you have a disaster, well, at least the back-up-your-computer hide.

We see the worst case situation often enough to be able to say it could happen to you

If you have more to back up there are other plans that start at about 5 bucks a month, for 150 GB -- more than enough for most personal users. 

Don't like IDrive? Pick another provider -- check out out Mozy, SOS, and Carbonite. I have used Mozy but not the others, although I have heard some good things about them. SOS offers a low flat fee program for up to 5 computers, and Carbonite offers unlimited backup per computer for a low flat fee. Still IDrive is free for 5 GB. Free is good.

This is INSURANCE. You DO have insurance, right? It's for accidents that you will NOT be able to recover from otherwise. This is a situation that qualifies.

So. 5 GB is free. It's easy. It's a no-brainer. Do it.


PS You are doing a complete backup of your PC, right? Good! I am so glad ...

PPS No? OK, immediately go to the blog post on how to clone your PC. Bring In The Clones!

PPPS You do want to be up and running again in minutes, right? See PPS above.
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