Remote offsite backup

I am slightly paranoid about backups. I have all my digital files backed up on another disk in my home office. But what if my office burns down? Then I also have a version of critical files copied onto a set of DVDs in my home. But what if both my whole house burns or flattens in an earthquake? So I keep a copy of my contacts, calendar and email on the cloud, in Google. But what about the rest of my stuff? I have 60 gigs of photos, 45 gigs of music ripped from CDs (all legal), 700 gigs of video, and Word docs, InDesign files from books I am working on, PDFs, etc. So I have these on another terabyte hard disk to be kept in a relative’s home. But its not very updateable. I needed an easy way to incrementally back up my whole computer to the cloud. Some cheap offsite place to archive my regularly scheduled backups.

I began using Amazon’s cloud storage using a utility called Jungle Disk. It worked okay but the deal was more expensive and heavy-duty than I needed.

I am now using Mozy and it seems perfect. For $5 per month (or $55/year) I get unlimited (!!) offsite storage, with invisible regular updating. The interface is sensible. Works on Mac and Windows.

While the daily backup updates can happen at night or in the background, the first time you back up 50 gigs it will take a week. I am not kidding. This is not the fault of the host. Most cable or DSL connects have pitiful upload rates, and working 24/7 it takes a long time to upload your hard disk. Mozy estimates transfers happening at 2-4 gig per day in background work mode, and 9 gigs per day undisturbed. Just be patient.

I am now backed up on the cloud. Whew!

-- KK 05/29/09

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