An online backup plan is a brilliant idea. You can store your precious photos and files in far-away data centers, so when your computer is compromised, you can download your digital life to a new computer. Like a safe-deposit box, an online backup service protects your stuff even if your house and everything in it is wrecked. These services automatically encrypt, then back up your data.
But why not try going to the next level effectivly backing up your whole computer? Think of it like your digital music collection, lose your MP3 player and because your music is online you replace the MP3 player and restore the music. Well believe it you can now do the same with your whole computer.
If you have a relativly new computer 2yrs old with either Intel x86-64 equipped with Virtualization Technology (VT-x or VT-d) extensions or AMD equipped with AMD Virtualization (AMD-V) extensions why not contact Webster Consulting below and give it a try. If your computer is not that new then read on.
But some things you should know:
- An online backup service can change its costs and terms on you, just as the very popular Mozy did earlier this year, igniting a backlash. They can shut down: AOL stopped XDrive in 2008; HP Upline went dark in 2009.
- The first time you back up your computer will take hours (let the process run overnight, while you sleep), and once your stuff is stored, it’s tedious to switch to a new service.
- Services that advertise unlimited storage usually come with restrictions, slowing your transfer rate when you’re over a certain threshold.
Despite all that, you know you need an online backup plan but you don’t know where to begin.
Start by figuring out how much stuff you have to store.
- In Windows 7 and Vista: Click the “Start” button, then click “Computer.”
- In Windows XP: Click the “Start” button, then click “My Computer.” Right-click on the drive you want information about, then click “Properties.”
- On a Mac: Open Finder, select your hard disk and tap the space bar.
Figure out how many computers you want to back up. Online backup services charge more for multiple computers, which you might have if you’re backing up your laptop and the family desktop, for instance.
Calculate how much it would cost you to save your data for a year. Remember to factor in multiple computers, if necessary.
Check out the free trials with these services. For ease of comparison, here are some prices based on backing up 50 gigabytes of data on one computer:
Carbonite (carbonite.com): Been around since 2006; $59 a year for one computer.
CrashPlan (crashplan.com):Back up files and folders on attached drives too; $49.99 a year.
IDrive (idrive.com): Easy-to-understand interface; $49.50 a year for up to 150 gb.
Jungle Disk (jungledisk.com): No limit to the size or number of files you can store; $90 a year.
MozyHome (mozy.com): Support via online chat; $65.89 a year (with one month free).
Nomadesk (nomadesk.com): Relative newcomer to the U.S.; $50 a year.
Norton Online Backup (us.norton.com): Search for backed-up files via keywords; $99.98 a year.
SOS Online Backup (sosonlinebackup.com): Share backed-up files with others; $79.95 a year.
As you can tell by the features, not all online backup services are created equal. CrashPlan comes out ahead in a price per feature analysis, but it hasn’t been around as long as SOS Online Backup. Use the free trials and 2 gigabytes of your data to get a feel for what you can expect.
Whatever you do, just do it.