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Options for Backing Up Your Files

April 26th, 2007 (8:30am) Anne Zelenka 21 Comments

Are you backing up your desktop data regularly? It’s one of those important but not urgent tasks that many web workers postpone. Fortunately, a variety of solutions ranging from remote to local to hybrid make it easier than ever to backup your files.

Mozy logoBackup provider Mozy now offers a Mac client for remote desktop backup. You get 2 GB online storage for free and unlimited storage for about $5 a month. Previously, Mozy was only available for Windows machines and competes with Carbonite and Titanize in that space.

Mozy, Carbonite, and Titanize aren’t your only options for backing up your files, of course. Amazon’s S3 (Simple Storage Service) can serve as a backup solution; there are a variety of tools built on top of it to help. On its own, or even with these utilities, it’s not as easy to use as something like Carbonite or Mozy.

MediaMax provides 25 GB of free online backup space, with a Windows-only beta backup client. Other virtual hard drives include DivShare,, Xdrive, Localhostr, MediaFire, and Dropboks. You can even make Gmail’s storage available as a virtual filesystem on your Windows machine. Unless these services offer a backup client like MediaMax, you’ll have to manage backups manually. That can be okay if you are mainly concerned with making sure you don’t lose irreplaceable files like photos and important working documents rather than making full and incremental backups of your entire hard drive.

Maybe you want local backup to your own hard disk. SuperDuper! creates a fully bootable backup disk for Macs. That requires an extra hard drive but if your drive crashes, you just plug in the new disk and go. Chronosync offers another local backup solution to Mac users. Windows users can choose from many local backup solutions, including Acronis, SyncBack, and Norton Ghost.

CrashPlan logoIf you want to do local and remote backups over a network of PCs and Macs, look into CrashPlan. This is like a friends-and-family plan for backups. My dad and I could backup our files to each other’s PCs, doing the first full backups locally by getting our laptops together on the same LAN, then running incremental backups over the Internet. What’s the benefit? You’re not handing off your data to some unknown data center you don’t trust, the full backups can run over a fast LAN connection, but you still get the additional security of remote backups. It also supports backup to CrashPlan Central, their data center.

What’s your backup plan? Share it in the comments.

21 Comments Post your own comment

GigaOM » For Mac users some backup options says: April 26th, 2007 9:34am

[…] the MAC as much. However, today Mozy launched the mac version of its product which according to Web Worker Daily is pretty good, and can compete nicely with existing options such as Carbonite and Titanize. Anne has put together […]

Praveen Rajan says: April 26th, 2007 10:55am

“For $60 a year, you get 2 GB online storage for free and unlimited storage for $5 a month.”

I believe there’s a minor typo in para 2.

2GB package is free, while unlimited storage is $5 per month ($4.95 to be exact)

Mozy Overview:

ian andrew bell says: April 26th, 2007 11:49am

I’m in Backup Bliss…

Recently I lost a bunch of data from a MacBook Pro that spun off of the corner of my sofa onto my hardwood floor. Ouch. My last backup had been about a month earlier so I lost some pretty important stuff I was working on at the time and had to spend …

Ty says: April 26th, 2007 12:49pm

I’ve been using Mozy for a while and I think it’s pretty slick. As long as I don’t go crazy with the amount of stuff I am trying to back up, it’s pretty smooth. I haven’t needed to restore anything from mozy yet, but when my laptop HD decides to act funny again, I can get my data back quicker and lose less information.

paul says: April 26th, 2007 1:31pm

A couple of things…

In paragraph 2, you say… “For $60 a year, you get 2 GB online storage for free”.

The deal breaker for me is the Mac Mozy client can only see your startup drive. I keep most of my important files on an external. :(

Em says: April 26th, 2007 1:48pm

Another option, that I’ve been using and enjoying, is ElephantDrive. Easy to download, easy to set up, and, it just…works. The backup was fast, the pricing is reasonable (truly unlimited storage), and the security is stellar.

Anne Zelenka says: April 26th, 2007 2:24pm

Paul and Praveen, thanks for the correction, you’re right.

peter says: April 26th, 2007 8:36pm

Shell script that takes my data every night and mirrors it on S3 via JungleDisk. Weekends, it’s tarred and same procedure …

randramble says: April 26th, 2007 9:11pm

I have a big external hard drive and the very basic software that came up with it is good for me. I have setup automatic weekly backups and I’m happy that my data is safe.

I’m quite paranoid about uploading all kind of personal data onto some Web-based service.

Ani says: April 27th, 2007 12:58am

Titanize has a brilliant Missing Files tab - shows up files if they go missing.
But what sets them apart is a “1-click Restore” button. One click and your computer is restored.

Robert Accettura says: April 27th, 2007 6:00am

I’m a big fan of Acronis. Works great.

I’m planning to use Mozy soon. My goal is to get it working with a script that will use GPG to encrypt a few things and back them up on interval. While I’d loose incremental backups, I’d gain the comfort of the extra security (I don’t know how good theirs is). Other alternatives are to use TrueCrypt to protect your data.

I’ve also done backups of smaller mySQL databases by using a script on a cron to email them to a gmail account (also GPG protected attachments). Makes for great automated offsite backups.

Web Worker Daily » Blog Archive Do You Trust the Cloud? « says: April 27th, 2007 9:00am

[…] you work on your local PC, you get to take responsibility for backing up your own data. If you’re using applications on the corporate network, then it’s the job of the IT […]

Chris Markle says: April 30th, 2007 10:06am

I have been using Mozy on Windows for a few months now and am very happy with it. I set it run at midnight each night and it backs up my changed files while I’m snoozing. I’ve found it most useful when I’ve accidentally changed a file that I didn’t intend to - no problem just ask Mozy for it back. If you expect instantaneous restore, this isn’t the tool for you. The way restores work is you use a UI to request the file(s) to be restored, submit the request and then you’ll get an email later (not too much later) saying where you can go to get a zip file of your files. If this sounds like I’m complaining, I’m not. I’m a very happy customer. Chris

Not All Storage Services Are Created Equal « GigaOM says: September 11th, 2007 1:57pm

[…] Options for backing up your files. [WebWorkerDaily] […]

Erich says: September 12th, 2007 12:18pm

Another option to try is Fubario ( which is cross-platform, easy, and backs up to your friends not to a mothership server :-)

Erich says: September 12th, 2007 12:19pm

Doh, didn’t auto-linkify

Extras Come with Three Free Online Storage Solutions « Web Worker Daily says: November 21st, 2007 4:01pm

[…] with Three Free Online Storage Solutions Web Worker Daily has done quite a bit of coverage of online sites you can use to back up and share files. I’m always looking for new and different solutions, though. Lately, I’m impressed with […]

» Extras Come with Three Free Online Storage Solutions - Your Gadget Pro says: November 23rd, 2007 6:42am

[…] Worker Daily has done quite a bit of coverage of online sites you can use to back up and share files. I’m always looking for new and different solutions, though. Lately, I’m impressed with […] » Blog Archive » Google Growing into Online Storage? says: January 2nd, 2008 11:29am

[…] Daily posted a very comprehensive list some time ago on this very subject, which you can read here. Things have changed since then, however, and now the rumor mill is churning that Google is eyeing […]

Susan76 says: January 15th, 2008 9:16am

I would like to signal MEMOPAL (, a new italian start up on line back up softwere.
It is still in Beta Version, but you can storage 250GB, full system recovery, automatic back up, access from anywhere and from mobile. To try.

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