Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Could Be The Most Important Post This Year - Online Backup Services

Hey guys, this post may be one of the most important posts you read all year.    

Nope it's not a writing tip, it's a career saving tip. So read on and meet Syndee Rogers-Nuckles, not a writer per se, but a creator of wonderful images that I found though a fascinating site called Scrap Girls. Please welcome Syndee.

Syndee's

Blog


LA: Syndee, before we begin, tell us a bit about you. 

SN:  I'm a freelance graphic artist and the mother of four.  I love reading, painting, drawing, going to antique stores looking for treasures and pretty much anything with a creative spin!  My working experience includes working in management, designing artistic rubber stamps, teaching classes, self-publishing craft books and the list goes on.  And I've been very fortunate to work with a great bunch of artists at Scrap Girls  www.scrapgirls.com/ for the past 5 ½ years.


LA:  So why did you become interested in online backup services?

SN:  LA, have you ever had your heart sink?  Feel the sting of tears streaming down your face as you realized all your files had disappeared?

I have.

LA:  Me too!! It's a horrible, HORRIBLE FEELING!

SN:  Yup, the worst.  In a total panic I searched my computer looking for any sign of hope, I shook my head trying to awaken out of what had to be a nightmare.
 
So, does  any of this sound familiar to anyone reading this, other than LA and me?  Or were you one of the few lucky ones that had backups of all your files on another EHD (external hard drive) or DVD's?  

Or perhaps it's just been another thing on your ‘to do’ list? 

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to backup your files, but it can be so time consuming and overwhelming. Like so many of you I am stretched to the limits of available time so after trying at least a dozen different strategies for backing up I finally hit upon something that really works for me.
 
Now, I use the ‘triple threat’, not just having a single backup copy but two so that you have three copies of all your important files. 

For instance I have the following:

1- Original files: all my business files like documents are kept on my computers built-in hard drive.  My original design files are kept on my main External Hard Drive.

2- Backup 1: I try to make copies of all my important files as I create them to a second EHD that I keep hooked up to my computer.  I try to back this up at least once a week.

3- Backup 2: This is where the online backup service comes in.  I LOVE this!  I use Backblaze which just runs in the background whenever my computer is on saving all my files for me!  My files are backed up to a secure offsite server so if something were to happen to my computer I can still get to my files from another computer!


Online Backup Services:
Backblaze

Features:
  • Unlimited Storage
  • Backs up your External Hard Drives
  • Free Web Restore
  • Military-Grade Encryption
  • Free Customer Support
  • Continuous Backup - Backblaze by default, backs up all the time so you don’t have to remember to but you can schedule backups if you wish.
  • I will automatically find all your photos, music, documents, and other irreplaceable files and then compresses, encrypts and backs them up.
  • Supports Intel-based Mac OSX 10.4 and newer, Windows XP, Windows Vista 32 and 64 bit, Windows 7 32 and 64 bit.
  • Access your files from any web browser anywhere
  • $5.00 a month or purchase a full year for $50
  • They offer a Free Trial
 
This service was easy to install and was backing up my files in minutes!  One of the best things about this company is that it features unlimited storage.  I was using Mozy before and they changed their pricing structure so much that it priced them right out of my budget. I have been so happy with this service, I totally forget it’s running on my computer!

Carbonite
http://www.carbonite.com/

 
Features:
  • Unlimited Storage
  • Encrypted Files
  • Access to your files anywhere
  • Easily Restore Files
  • Backs up photos, documents, music and most user-generated content, compresses and encrypts them
  • Free Customer Support
  • Supports Windows 7, XP, Vista, Intel based Macs with OS X 10.5 or 10.6
  • $59 a year for the Home/Home Office plan
  • They offer a Free Trial
  
I have heard good things about Carbonite.  The biggest drawback is that they do not offer backups of your EHD’s, which is something I can’t live without.  But if you are not using any EHD’s they are worth looking in to.


 Mozy

 
Features:
  • Backs up EHD’s
  • Backup any files you like
  • Military-Grade Encryption
  • Restore just a few files or all (MozyHome users are limited to one restore in the queue at a time)
  • Backs up automatically in the background while you work
  • Supports Windows 7, 2000, XP (32 and 64 bit), and Vista (32 and 64 bit), as well as Mac OS X 10.6, 10.5, and 10.4
  • Submit tickets or chat live with Mozy Support
  • (Pricing and information is for the MozyHome Plan)
  • $5.99 a month for 50 GB
  • $9.99 a month for 125 GB
  • add an additional 20 GB for $2 a month
I had trouble installing Mozy on my Mac when I switched over from a PC, and when I contacted customer support and followed the instructions they gave me it still did not work.  It was around the same time they changed the pricing structure so I cancelled my account and signed up with Backblaze. 
   

Keep in mind that these online backup services are not meant to be an addition storage system, if you delete the files off your computer these companies will delete those same files after 30 days.
  
A good plan of action might be to try out the Free Trials from these companies and get a feel for each one before deciding which one to go with.  I just love the piece of mind having an online backup service gives me, I can sleep a lot easier knowing my important files are safe!

Be safe and backup!

LA: Syndee, this is great information.  And after reading this article (after all, I got first lookee :) ) I decided to try Backblaze just before vacation. Little did I realize it was going to take more than 20 days to back up all my info. Did you run into this as well?

SN: Yes, the initial backup can take quite some time depending on how many files you have. It actually took 2 months for all of my files to be backed up but to be honest I completely forgot about it since it just runs in the background.

LA:  And I decided to do continuous backups, which does slow down a bit my DSL. So would you agree with me, to leave the computer on at night and let it back up everything then, then turn it off during high volume time for internet usage? Or is this simply a DSL issue. I have a pretty high speed connection?

SN:  You know I didn't have any slow down issues at all, it really could be a myriad of different reasons that it caused your computer to slow down. I would actually check with your service provider, they might have a few tips. I didn't leave my computer on all night, it makes me nervous because there has been some theories that leaving a computer on all the time causes it to become hot and therefore can result in hard-drive failure. I just left my computer running during the day and let it take a nap at night. LOL

Thank you Syndee for your research!! 

Syndee promised to check in to answer questions you all might have. 



AND thank you Ro, CEO of Scrapgirls, for offering a $20 gift certificate to one of our comment posters in a random drawing.

Back up your career, and have a wonderful and hopefully now, a worry free Holiday Season.

Ciao
~LA


12 comments:

Carrie Butler said...

What a great idea for a blog post! I mean, really, what's more important than this?

...Man, now I'm getting the paranoid heebie-jeebies again. If anyone needs me, I'll be looking for my old EHD. ;)

Syndee said...

LOL!

Leslie Ann said...

Carrie,
Yes, go dig it out and back it up too!

Happy Holidays,
LA

Donnell said...

Not much is more important than this. Thanks so much, Syndee. Crucial reminder!!! I'll tweet this. Thanks, L.A!

Vivi Anna said...

Yup, I have had this happen to me.

I lost my entire book I was working on, one of my Nocturnes that had a tight deadline. I was 12 chapters in and zap...my computer crashed and I lost everything.

I had to rewrite from scratch.

Ironic thing was that book ended up winning an RT reviewer's choice award, so maybe it was a blessing in disguise.

Now I backup with my EHD and I use Carbonite.

Leslie Ann said...

Vivi Anna,
How do you like Carbonite? Does it do all you want? Cons??

ciao
`LA

Leslie Ann said...

D, Thanks for tweeting this. It is crucial.

I was SO distraught when I lost my book. Like Vivi, I rewrote and maybe it was better, but the stress from that, and the fear of not knowing if I could recreate the story still scares me, thus the post.

ciao and hugs
~LA

Cynthia D'Alba said...

Yes, it has happened to me. Been a while but OMG...what a hole-in-the-stomach feeling.

I've been using dropbox because it's free and I don't need a lot.

I hear good things about Carbonite

Helen Hardt said...

Very important post. I have two backup systems, thanks to my dh!

Ron at CM said...

Great article, you can never have too many backups. I'm currently using a combination of DropBox, iCloud, and a couple of EHDs on the network.

But the most important backup tool I have is a simple synchronization program called syncback.

Every time I'm ending a work session, no matter which box I'm using I just click one little button and everything that I just did is immediately synchronized with all my PCs. (I'm more productive in my office, but I must use the laptop regularly to keep my dog happy.) Then I've got other stuff when I'm out and about.

I also alternate the EHDs to a safe deposit box and that one is the only one that isn't regularly fully synchronized.

On thing that a lot of people don't think of when they get a new computer is that the old one, if still functional, can be cleaned off and used as a permanently network attached backup device as well.

If you're on a site where you're paying for storage, be sure NOT to back up your programs, operating system, etc because they take a lot of space and can't be restored from a backup anyway.

Leslie Ann said...

Hi Ron,
Interesting info on the sync program. Do you have a website for it?

Will it sync to EHD's?

And if it does remember all you guys, that has to be backed up as well.

AND remember it's not only HD crashes, it's other failures OR even buying a new computer and making sure ALL the data is transfered.

I've had 4 computer in as many years and I know I've lost some files. Hopefully this will not happen ever again.

Oh, and I know BackBlaze will NOT back up programs/applications, just data and you can exclude files if you want. Thanks Ron for reminding me to mention that.

Ciao
~LA

Louise Behiel said...

At Tawmy's recommendation I tried Carbonite. the first backup took forever...24 hours. but now it happens and I don't even know it's going on. I will be purchasing it tonight because I've been on the free trial.