Personal Web-Based Backup Interface
October 27, 2008 6:16 PM   Subscribe

What would be a good web interface for a personal backup site?

I recently read these articles which started making me a little paranoid about losing some files that I rely on frequently. I already have a backup, but I don't have an off-site backup, and I've decided the time has come for one.

My goals for the off-site backup are that they be easily accessible to me (and others I permit) from Linux/Win/Mac with no special software, and that they stay secure from the general public. (Reasonably secure -- we're not talking state secrets or personal information, just documents.) Although I already use and like Amazon S3 and JungleDisk for other purposes, I don't think they are the right tool for this job since I don't want to install JungleDisk everywhere I want to access my files. I also don't want to rely on commercial services like Mozy (et al.) for long-term reliability and privacy. (Call me paranoid.)

So I've pretty much decided that I want to serve these files from a page on my website (via commercial webhosting). The question is, what interface to use? I know I could dump the directory structure to the webserver, and protect it all with an .htaccess file, but in this day of Web 2.0, there's got to be a better interface for this kind of thing. I guess at this point, it would also be useful to know that I'm talking about ~1000 files at a total of ~150MB (yes, Mega). So it's a bunch of relatively small files. (Mostly ODF format from OpenOffice, as well as the occasional .doc or PDF file.)

Can you suggest a web-based CMS/blog/something that would serve as good interface? Bonus points for something that will do automagic backups or syncs from Linux.

(I already saw this similar question, but no one ever answered his question.)
posted by perrce to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Use S3, you will spend more time setting up the solution that you described above than using any of the tools below.

S3 plugin for firefox for your friends to access your files, or when you're feeling lazy

If you're dying for a web interface to your s3

Automated backup on linux is easily done using s3sync, or s3cmd or my favorite duplicity
posted by zentrification at 6:59 PM on October 27, 2008 [2 favorites]

One thing you may want to make sure is that your backup does not include copyrighted content that the webhosting would see as a violation and cancel you for. I know Dreamhost is pretty strict about killing any accounts that are used as a "backup" for mp3 collections and the like, regardless of how locked down it is.
posted by genial at 7:11 AM on October 28, 2008

I would be hesitant to expect a commercial webhost to assure long-term reliability or privacy any better than one of the online storage sites, unless your webhost has very specific guarantees about this. I've never seen a shared webhost whose TOS promises complete privacy or guarantees against data loss in any meaningful way; in fact, they usually disclaim liability very explicitly. (If you have a dedicated host you may fare better, at least in terms of privacy).

Sorry, I know this doesn't answer the question (I'm not aware of software of the type you seek, but you might try searching SourceForge). But I would suggest that you reconsider the online backup services. Mozy allows you to encrypt files you upload with your own key, which means even Mozy engineers can't see your data. Your 150MB requirement is well under the 2GB limit for a free Mozy or Dropbox account.

The Lifehacker article you linked is about file sharing services, not backup services. This one might be more helpful.
posted by [user was fined for this post] at 10:26 AM on October 28, 2008

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