Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Importance of Off Site and Automatic Backups

The importance of having an off site backup was realized during this past week when my oldest son, John,  came home from VT and his Lenovo went dead.   John had his backup drive back at VT, but he has been using Carbonite for some time now and that saved him.  He could easily pull down any files that needed.   My middle son uses Carbonite and I do as well.  This is not an advertisement for Carbonite because there are a number of quality remote backup services out there.  I have had to use their support line once and I was impressed.    For Mac's, Time Machine works great.  But Time Machine only works great if you have the backup drive with you all the time.   This is why I tell my sons to ALWAYS have AT LEAST  two backups:

  1. Local backup
  2. Remote backup
Francis Ford Coppola lost 15 years of work when his computer AND backup drives were stolen by armed thieves.

I have Carbonite on my MacBook Pro and our our local iMac and we love it.  My middle son, Michael, has Carbonite on his MacBook Pro.

Update on Monday October 1st, 2012.  My youngest son Tim went to college this year and wanted a PC instead of a Mac.  I set him up with Carbonite.  I looked around for a Time Machine like backup for his PC.  Time Machine is great because you never have to actively tell it to backup - it does it automatically in the background much like Carbonite.  What we ended up going with was rebit and Tim is very happy with it.  I checked out a bunch of reviews and it is simple to use and just works.

A big question regarding Carbonite is around security.  Here is from Carbonite's website:

Safe and Secure

Rest easy knowing your files are encrypted and stored at one of our highly secure data centers.

Bank-Level Security

While still on your computer, your files are encrypted with 128-bit Blowfish encryption. Then, we transmit them to one of our state-of-the-art data centers using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology. That’s the same technology used in online banking and ecommerce transactions. So, the only one who sees your files, is you.
Here is a link to Carbonite's security white paper that provides further answers on there network and data storage security.

Update on 12/26/2012:  I noticed that Carbonite has a mobile app for the iPhone, Android and Blackberry.  With the computing and display power of smartphones these days, having the ability to pull down the presentation I forgot to pull off my notebook before I left for the meeting might be a nice capability to have.

As I like to remind my sons, computers are cheap and data is expensive.