Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


promise me my stuff won't be deleted at the next dot-com bust?
February 5, 2008 3:19 AM   Subscribe

I'm Looking for an Online File Backup Site that is insured by Insurance Company not to shut down unexpectedly someday and have you lose all your backed-up information?

I've found many hosting companies, such as XDrive, that offer online file backup.

What I want is a guarantee, by, say, a major insurance company, that insures that if a company goes out of business or files for bankruptcy, the files would not get lost.

this should be offered, but it seems none of the major file storage sites bother either offering such a guarantee, or fail to mention it in the FAQ or promotional material...

Shouldn't this be standard? price isn't everything ... Personally, I'd pay a company advertising insurance a premium to use their service over their competetion...!
posted by Izzmeister to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
In my opinion, I think 'back-up' is the key here, not archiving. You should have your own local copies. You lose one, you've still got the other.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 3:59 AM on February 5, 2008


I'm not looking to backup ALL my files.. just say, important items that I would want in 20 years from now.. like important documents, photos....

and some of the sites have disclaimers that make me nervous that I have no protection if they get bought out, say by another company that decides to "discontinue" the service at random..

or a company bankruptcy, f'instance....
posted by Izzmeister at 4:04 AM on February 5, 2008


Backup services are so cheap nowadays that you could simply sign up with more than one; have one set to automatically back up in the background, and run others periodically. Combined with keeping your own copies (e.g. on an external hard drive), you should be safe unless multiple catastrophes coincide.
posted by malevolent at 5:13 AM on February 5, 2008


I don't know of anything like this, but to speak to your larger problem I'm a person who has backups going back to the very early 90s and I never have had to touch them. I recommend tape and/or CDROM.

Speaking as someone who has designed and implemented business disaster and continuity procedures, there's always going to be a weak link in the chain. The best bet is to have multiple copies at varying degrees of currency and convenience. It may be that your long-term archive takes a couple of days to be delivered to you, but the stuff you are backing up daily/weekly/etc. will be more at-hand.
posted by rhizome at 5:51 AM on February 5, 2008


"...shut down unexpectedly someday and have you lose all your backed-up information?"

See, the entire reason that backups work is because they're a second copy of your data, and specifically not the only copy. So if the company goes out of business, no big deal. You still have all your data at home, and just need to find a new backup company. If you back up your data and then delete it at home, well... don't. Seriously. Nobody who's serious about the integrity of their data would ever do that, for precisely the reasons you're concerned about.

If you want long-term archiving of your data -- and that's what you're asking for, not backup, but archiving -- you're probably best off doing it yourself with a safe deposit box and CD or DVD media designed with data archiving in mind. Anything else will probably be absurdly expensive, because they need enough money to keep their secure, probably climate-controlled facility running for the next 20+ years.
posted by CrayDrygu at 5:52 AM on February 5, 2008


Expecting any company to be around 20 years from now, especially one based on the current Internet, is wishful thinking.

Get an external hard drive for your data; stow it in a bank safe deposit box. Update/replace it every 2-3 years as needed. Cheap, effective, nearly unlimited space, and as much trustworthiness as you can get as a non-wealthy consumer.
posted by Tomorrowful at 5:53 AM on February 5, 2008


For geographic dispersion, you may also want to consider mailing encrypted CDs/DVDs to friends across the country. Just in case the bank catches fire or floods or is hit by a tornado. Depends on your paranoia level. As noted earlier, the more copies, the better.
posted by chengjih at 6:26 AM on February 5, 2008


I recommend Jungle Disk. The actual data gets stored on Amazon's servers. I'm pretty confident that even if Amazon tanks, they'll do it in sufficiently slow motion that you'd be able to get your data back first.
posted by dmd at 6:29 AM on February 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


if this is for a business, Iron Mountain is fairly reputable and quite expensive.
posted by jenkinsEar at 7:30 AM on February 5, 2008


Also keep in mind that being "insured" doesn't really solve your problem. It means that if your data is lost, destroyed, or sold to a 3rd party shortly before the service is discontinued, you get a cash settlement.

Is that really what you want? No amount of money can replace nekkid photos of your first girlfriend, ya know?
posted by toomuchpete at 8:01 AM on February 5, 2008


Agreed on all points here. The One True Backup Solution(TM) is only good until it dies. If you've got really important data that needs saving, you need at least three backup copies as well as the original. That means a local external/network drive backup, an off-site Internet backup, and likely a physical medium backup in a safe deposit box somewhere. This is what large companies do and if your data is worth that much to you, you'll go through the trouble to do the same.
posted by joshrholloway at 8:20 AM on February 5, 2008


I'd try carbonite.com they're pretty awesome, and the price is not too bad either. As for their longevity, who knows. How long do internet companies usually exist? As long as people keep paying them money I guess :)
posted by br4k3r at 9:52 AM on February 5, 2008


No amount of money can replace nekkid photos of your first girlfriend, ya know?

Well, I wouldn't say that. I'd take 50k or so.
posted by dmd at 10:10 AM on February 5, 2008


cd roms are hardly archival. Its quite common for a CD Rom to be unreadable after just a few years, due to differring CD ROM drives or whatever other reasons. Same goes for archival tape backups, thought o a lesser degree thats a function of time.
Behold and embrace the ephemeral nature of stuff we gather in a lifetime.
posted by Fupped Duck at 12:22 PM on February 6, 2008


adrive.com seems like a good free option- alas, no guarantee against going belly up, though...
posted by Izzmeister at 2:39 PM on February 25, 2008


« Older Meditation - what is the point...   |  How can I remotely track my ho... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.