Online Backups

Now I am not as great at backups as I should be. My iTunes music is on an external drive and on my iPod, that’s it. There are no other backups. I know, I know…I just don’t find the time to manually do backups and be forced to buy all these extra drives.

In my Media Center PC I currently have 5 hard drives (2 x 80 gigs, 120 gigs, 160 gigs, 300 gigs). My Mac Mini has an external 250 gig hard drive, and I have a 100 gig external self powered 100 gig hard drive. THAT IS A LOT OF SPACE, and a lot of that space is used up.

Enter two new-ish online products that I think I am going to test out.

The first is called Avvenu. It allows you to access all of the files on your computer from anywhere, including a mobile phone. It recently was placed 14th on the Top 100 Best Products of the Year by PCWorld. You can stream music files to a Windows Mobile 5 phone….best part it is free.

There is one catch to the free account, if your computer or internet connection has to constantly be connected. If you fear that you can’t maintain a constant connection, you can pay $3.99 a month and they will backup all of the files for when your computer is offline.
Now the $3.99 option is technically a backup, but they don’t list it as that and I am not sure how easy it would be to recover all your files if you lost a hard drive. I think I’ll use the free service.

The second service is called Carbonite (insert Star Wars reference). They specifically are a backup service. It is only $5 per month for an unlimited amount of space for backup.

There are a few things that concern me:

1) Backs up approximately 2GB per day. With having over a terabyte of space to be backed up, this would take 500 days to backup everything I have?????

2) Restores using Windows “My Computer” Restores at 10-15GB per day over DSL or Cable. So restoring a backup would take 66 days?

That is unacceptable. No wonder they offer unlimited space…Now there is a free 15 days of trial. I will try that and see how much is able to be uploaded in 15 days.

Finally, both of these services are PC only. Carbonite says it is in works to develop a mac version by the end of this year.

Feel free to post your results and try these two services.


4 thoughts on “Online Backups

  1. I tried Carbonite and so far I really like it. I bought a subscription and for the past month it’s been working smoothly. I don’t see why anyone with a terabyte of data would expect to be able to back up over a DSL or Cable, though (what the heck are you storing, 1000 hours of old TV shows?). All you have to do is look at the specs for your DSL service and you’ll see that the upload speed is only 350-400 kbps. Divide by 8, and that’s about 44 Kbytes per second. If you did nothing with your Internet connection other than backup you could get maybe 3 to 3.5 GB per day. But Carbonite says it stops working when you’re using your PC for other things so that it doesn’t slow down your PC, so if you do a normal amount of work on your PC during the day, you might get 2GB a day, which is about what I got — it took about two weeks to do my initial backup of 35GB. I sent them an email about this 100GB thing that you reported and they said that they now have enough capacity so they don’t have to impose any restrictions at all. They did say that the 2GB/day average capacity of DSL and Cable makes it not very practical to backups over 100GB, however, and they may still send out automated emails to people like you who show up with 500GB or more thinking they should be able to back this up over their DSL in any reasonable amount of time. Anway, how can you complain? Take a look at what 100GB would cost you from other online backup providers, if in fact you can find one that will sell you that much space.


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