Coffeehouse Thread

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Does anyone use on-line backup solutions?

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  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    , Dan wrote

    @Dr Herbie: This may or may not work for you, but I use CrashPlan+ as it gives me unlimited (woohoo!) backup capacity, the only caveat is that it's only for one PC.

    To break it down

    1. All data is on one PC, all other PCs have access to that library using a GB Ethernet connection. When Windows 8 is out, we'll setup replicating disks on this.

    2. CrashPlan+ is used to replicate #1. The cost is $3 per month for one PC, $6 per month for a household for unlimited data.

    3. The most important data is also replicated to SkyDrive

    4. Home Server backs up all of the machines, but it may be dying so I'm looking to switch options here for PC backup...

     

     

    I started using CrashPlan+ 2 months ago, and it's awesome, but I think Dan got it wrong (or I got a different plan).  I'm backing up 4 different pcs to each other, and my main system is also backing up to crashplan's servers.  I've had to use it twice to restore, once when swapping out a hard drive for an ssd on my laptop, and last week my 1TB e drive died.  The restore was simple enough.

    I got tired of screwing around with manually figuring out where and how to get my stuff on the right backup.

    I still use mesh for sharing files between work and home, though, just because it's easy to use.

  • User profile image
    AlanBarber

    @Dr Herbie:

    They key is to never make one service the silver bullet.

    For me it's multiple stages of protection.

    1) DropBox syncs My Documents so every system I'm on has important files at easy reach and a copy stored "In the cloud" should any system die or get stolen.

    2) Manual xcopy batch files that I run once a month to copy the contents of all my computers to an external drive I keep offsite at my parents house. It's two 1.5GB usb drives that I swap with my parents each month when I visit them.

    3) CrashPlan+ on every computer in the house that backs up to two locations. 1) Pushed to the CrashPlan cloud 2) Pushed to a external USB drive plugged into my dedicated home server.

    As for bandwidth... I'm not pushing EVERYTHING out to the crashplan+ cloud only what I consider high priority data sets. between all my systems I have around 90GB pushed up to the crashplan+ cloud storage but almost 1.2 TB backed up locally. the biggest data set was ~60GB of digital pictures that took about 2 weeks to get uploaded on my 512kb line. 

    When I write this it sounds a bit paranoid and overkill but it's not that much work to maintain and should be more than good enought to keep me from ever loosing all my data. Smiley

  • User profile image
    cbae

    My biggest problem with SkyDrive is that it doesn't work with network shares.

    I'm running Hyper-V R2 on my server box and it's responsible for providing shares for my network of  server VMs and workstations. I can't install SkyDrive on any workstation or server VMs to do the synchronization with the cloud, because the SkyDrive client application can't handle UNC paths or even network shares mapped to a drive letter. So the only place I could install the SkyDrive client is on my Hyper-V server. The problem is that Hyper-V doesn't even have a real UI to run something like SkyDrive. Everything in Hyper-V server is managed through the command line.

    SharePoint Workspaces have the same limitation. It's almost as if Microsoft is dissuading people from saving anything at all to a local server. They want everything to be shared via the cloud. If I were inclined to put on the tinfoil hat, it wouldn't be difficult for me to believe that Microsoft is going to eventually kill Windows Server in favor of Windows Azure.

  • User profile image
    Duncanma

    So I just purchased my first NAS, a ReadyNAS Ultra ... because I was getting frustrated at the fact that I had tons of photos (that I consider fairly important) all stored on my laptop with lots of others sitting on various backup DVDs, portable hard drives and then a whole bunch more that are on my wife's computer... ugh.

    So far though, all I've done is put the photos there... I haven't figured out the offsite backup plan, so I'm better... but not good enough yet Sad

     

  • User profile image
    DaveWill2

    Aug 06, 2012 at 2:33 AM, blowdart wrote

    *snip*

    Skydrive doesn't talk about encryption in any way. I put my bank statements and tax information on it, but they're wrapped in a truecrypt volume.

    When using a truecrypt volume, is Skydrive smart enough to transmit the chunks of it that changed or does it re-upload the entire truecrypt volume again (i.e. what if the truecrypt volume was large)?

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    , DaveWill2 wrote

    *snip*

    When using a truecrypt volume, is Skydrive smart enough to transmit the chunks of it that changed or does it re-upload the entire truecrypt volume again (i.e. what if the truecrypt volume was large)?

    No, it reuploads every damned time.

     

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , blowdart wrote

    *snip*

    Skydrive doesn't talk about encryption in any way. I put my bank statements and tax information on it, but they're wrapped in a truecrypt volume.

    For the record, the SDL does talk about encryption of PII data (like documents). Consequently SkyDrive will almost certainly be strongly encrypting data when sending the data to and from SkyDrive, and all data will be stored in Microsoft's hardened data-centres (i.e. you're not going to find a SQL injection against the SkyDrive website).

    SkyDrive probably won't be meaningfully encrypting data once it's in the cloud (i.e. if they do encrypt it, Microsoft also has the key to decrypt it) because otherwise if all of your laptops failed you'd never be able to get at your SkyDrive data again.

    Also, if you're using Microsoft Office to store your bank statements and documents, you can apply a password to it. Doing so strongly encrypts the document, so that even though SkyDrive can see your document at rest, it's at-rest form is still encrypted using your password.

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    , evildictait​or wrote

    *snip*

    For the record, the SDL does talk about encryption of PII data (like documents). Consequently SkyDrive will almost certainly be strongly encrypting data when sending the data to and from SkyDrive, and all data will be stored in Microsoft's hardened data-centres (i.e. you're not going to find a SQL injection against the SkyDrive website).

    If you plumb the logs you can see it's using BITS to transfer to an HTTPS endpoint. (And muggins here is the one who has written the wrapper around the MS SSL CAs)

    Also, if you're using Microsoft Office to store your bank statements and documents, you can apply a password to it. Doing so strongly encrypts the document, so that even though SkyDrive can see your document at rest, it's at-rest form is still encrypted using your password.

    Office's encryption is only as strong as the password you apply. Although you can swap the algorithm out, which I didn't know.

     

  • User profile image
    DaveWill2

    @blowdart: Interesting.  I setup a 1 GB truecrypt AES file volume and skydrive synced it after dismounting.  It took a good while to complete as expected.  However, ever since the initial sync it only takes about 3 to 5 seconds once the dismount occurs.

    So I pulled down a copy of what was on skydrive and mounted it.  It is the original upload.  That explains the quick 3-5 second syncs.  Now to figure out why it isn't being synced ...

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    , DaveWill2 wrote

    @blowdart: Interesting.  I setup a 1 GB truecrypt AES file volume and skydrive synced it after dismounting.  It took a good while to complete as expected.  However, ever since the initial sync it only takes about 3 to 5 seconds once the dismount occurs.

    So I pulled down a copy of what was on skydrive and mounted it.  It is the original upload.  That explains the quick 3-5 second syncs.  Now to figure out why it isn't being synced ...

    Yea, I've been having trouble with truecrypt this week. It eventually fixed itself, but I now know who to bug when it happens again Smiley

     

  • User profile image
    davewill

    @blowdart: What is interesting is the date/time of the truecrypt file on the local skydrive directory is the same date/time as when the file was originally created, even though the contents within the file have been updated almost daily since the original creation.  This completely/partially may be why skydrive doesn't think it needs to be synced.

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    , davewill wrote

    @blowdart: What is interesting is the date/time of the truecrypt file on the local skydrive directory is the same date/time as when the file was originally created, even though the contents within the file have been updated almost daily since the original creation.  This completely/partially may be why skydrive doesn't think it needs to be synced.

    Ah yes! You need to tell trucrypt to update the last written attribute


    Settings > Preferences > Windows and uncheck "Preserve modification timestamp of file containers"

  • User profile image
    DaveWill2

    @blowdart:  An interesting default setting.  Many thanks.  Now I too will need to change the windows power options to keep the machine awake long enough to sync.  Smiley

  • User profile image
    Bas

    Sorry for resurrecting this ancient thread, but I was wondering if Dr. Herbie had since found something that suited him. I'm debating wether to go Carbonite, but it's $60 a year per PC, and that gets a bit steep. Of course I could simply sync all pc's to one main PC, but then I need so set up syncing and stuff and it seems like that'll break down for some reason.

  • User profile image
    Dr Herbie

    @Bas: I have given up with on-line backup given my connection's incredibly slow upload speeds and monthly caps of 40Gb.  I'm still using an external hard-drive (USB3) and have just ordered a Blu-ray writer for more permanent, off-site backups.

    If we ever get a decent connection speed, I plan to revisit the idea.

    Herbie

  • User profile image
    Bas

    I see. Are you automating the backups, and if so, how?

  • User profile image
    Bas

    Also: I've got time to kill in either Delhi or Chandigarh. Anyone have any tips?

  • User profile image
    Dr Herbie

    @Bas: I'm just using a scheduled daily Windows 7 backup to the external HDD.  Blu-Rays will be done manually, mainly for backup of photos and video.

    Herbie

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