Whoa, Backup!
March 3, 2012 10:44 PM   Subscribe

In the year 2012, what is the best solution to back up 3 Macs, two running Lion, one an iBook running Leopard? Maybe 500gb, if that... tho one of the Lion boxes has an external drive.

Is there anything to recommend Carbonite over Crashplan over Backblaze for a home-user? Other, newer options? Security and privacy would be paramount, cost secondary, and convenience a close third.
posted by Slap*Happy to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If security and privacy are paramount, then surely a local backup solution like a Time Capsule would be preferable to an online backup service?
posted by Joh at 10:54 PM on March 3, 2012

Response by poster: Time Capsules aren't fireproof, alack.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:55 PM on March 3, 2012

Best answer: Carbonite throttles you over 200GB uploaded. It's "unlimited", but the upload speed is awful. It happened to me on two different instances I tried Carbonite. No good.

Backblaze has yet to throttle my speed, with several hundred GB uploaded. I've been with them for a year or two now, and no issues so far. Never tried Crashplan.
posted by santaliqueur at 11:09 PM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Drobo + Personal Cloud powered by PogoPlug.
Drobo will be good enough for regular backup - the really important stuff you can add to the Personal Cloud.
posted by helloworlditsme at 11:34 PM on March 3, 2012

If you're willing to make a relatively big convenience sacrifice: Consistent Time Machine backups, with two full sets of backup drives, one of which is kept in a safe-deposit box, swapped as often as you can manage.
posted by Tomorrowful at 11:37 PM on March 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I use a similar solution to "helloworlditsme", a local drive for full backups and then a TruCrypt volume on Dropbox with a 10MB of key documents. Reason being that if you want your backup to be as secure as possible, you have to send the files encrypted to the provider. Using the Dropbox solution, each time the TruCrypt volume is changed, it reuploads the entire 10MB file.

Thus, if the service you are looking at 1) allows for file-level changes, and 2) your are not encrypting those individual files, security is going to be at the behest of your provider. All of them claim to be HIPPA compliant and this and that, but you're putting your data on someone else's machine, so that is an inherent risk in any online backup service.

Someone mentioned DollyDrive, which uses Amazon's back-end. I haven't used it as of yet but am curious. Basically, if privacy is your number one concern, the encryption has to happen on your machine.
posted by nickrussell at 7:20 AM on March 4, 2012

I use two backup solutions running continuously:

1) Time Machine, for the ease and convenience of recovery.

2) CrashPlan, in case of fire or other disaster.

In general, the Time Machine backups are more up to date and don't require downloading (or receiving a hard drive full) all your data to recover. I used Backblaze in the past, but found CrashPlan to have more configurability and to be slightly faster. It will take you quite a while to get your initial upload done; one nice feature of CrashPlan (I didn't use this) is that you can send them a hard drive pre-loaded with your files to seed the initial backup.
posted by Amplify at 9:13 PM on March 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Backblaze has local encryption, including a private key (actually a passphrase for a private key, to quibble with the company's marketingese), and is cheaper than the others, even when backing up two systems. (I'll use some backup software on Ol' Reliable, the iBook, to back it up to the iMac whenever it's on the LAN.)

Thanks, all!
posted by Slap*Happy at 3:21 PM on March 5, 2012

I use Crashplan and have uploaded multiple multiple terabytes with no problems. Also note that, while I haven't used this feature, if you have another computer offsite (AS IN NOT IN THE SAME BUILDING*) you can use the crashplan software to backup to that one for free.

That said, you should have multiple layers. Like Amplify says, the combination of buying an external and using Time Machine locally, plus uploading to Crashplan (or similar), is a smart one.

*I mean, it could be in the same building, but for backup purposes, that'd be dumb
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 7:56 AM on March 6, 2012

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