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Author Topic: Carbonite Online Backup  (Read 12707 times)
allen
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« on: April 19, 2008, 02:25:56 PM »

I've to date walked the frayed tight rope of PC using without any form of backup (save for a handful of things on USB pen drives).  It's bit me on the ass a few times--twice I've lost literally everything.  So I'm finally looking at taking the plunge and backing things up.  Despite it being an obvious necessity that would have saved me a lot of heartache, I've never really been compelled to bother with it.  I hate the idea of a local backup--whether an external drive or another form of media, it's yet another "thing" I have to worry about--and another thing that can fail. Or be stepped on. Or eaten by the dog.

After a voluntary (unpaid) raving over it by Gregg Stebben on the radio, I've decided to install a trial of Carbonite.  It's fifty bucks a year, paid annually, for unlimited use.  What I'm wondering is if anyone here has any personal experience with Carbonite--any catastrophic issues or great experiences.

So far, I've no complaints... it appears to be backing things up. Presumably somewhere in the Internet cloud where I can retrieve it if necessary. . . but until it becomes necessary to restore from backup, what do I know? smiley
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sri
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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2008, 09:38:23 PM »

Syncplicity is free, at least as of now.

Also, take a look at Mozy.
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allen
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2008, 10:30:54 PM »

Syncplicity is free, at least as of now.

Also, take a look at Mozy.

I was wondering if anyone here had any personal experience with Carbonite specifically, though personal experiences with other comparable services would also be valuable.  Have you used any of these services, or are you just aware of them? I mean, I can do a google search for online backup--I did prior to deciding I was leaning toward Carbonite.

Mozy: among other things, I prefer Carbonites pricing scheme. 
Syncplicity: I want to backup my data and forget it; I don't want to (a) use a new beta for that (b) get locked in with a product before I know its pricing scheme.  More worry some, I've read a few recent stories that cited the CEO expecting the pricing to be in the 20$/mo range. Finally,  am very turned off by its emphasis on data sharing and integrating with facebook, etc.  Judging by the price and services, it's targeting data sharing and syncronizing more than straight up backing up.  I'm far more comfortable with a backup service that just sticks with backing up. Less is more when it comes to set and forget.
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cmpm
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« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2008, 11:45:13 PM »

I just started using Syncplicity and it works fine.
It monitors the folders and files I tell it too and syncs as they change.

Though I believe a local backup is better and certainly faster.
I have a scheduled sync job every 4 hours to my slave drive.
And I'm considering syncing two computer's slave drives together either through My Network or Syncplicity or both.

Having more then one backup is really needed.

I store everything I need in My Documents. So all I have to back up or sync is that folder. Keeps it simple, but the folder is getting rather large.

Besides documents with license codes, I store all my downloads in there also. Any word processor backup or pictures are in it too.

We have an 80gb external drive to backup to.
External drives, or someone's server or a slave drive could all go down. So using more then one option is optimal.
I use google's bookmark synchronizer, so I don't need those backed up. And online email so that doesn't need backed up either.

Used to I never needed to backup much till I found DC.
Now I have a ton of programs that would take quite a while to download.
Plus it's nice to have older programs that went to paid versions or don't exist that I liked.
I still have some old programs from '94 and up that I like to keep.

Here's a Blog Alert I received the other day.

http://www.newwebmag.com/...here%E2%80%99s-my-gdrive/
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iphigenie
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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2008, 09:58:44 AM »

I'm interested if anyone has experience with any of the new ones which use amazon s3 as their storage.
I tried an open source one, s3drive i think it was called, which just installed a virtual drive on your pc so you could use other software to backup/sync to it, but it caused problems on my machine (i think access to my network drive still is slower since i installed it, and i have uninstalled it. could be in my head). It was beta of course so these things are to be expected.

Anyone use jungledisk or any of the other similar tools?

To clarify I like the idea of an S3 based one because then it is my S3 account, and therefore the data still belongs to me and is under my direct control.
I am a bit wary of the free ones since I think if it is free then i have no right to demand quality or security - I like to pay, have a proper agreement in place which gives me some guarantees and sla (same reason why i would pay for image storage, mail services etc.)
« Last Edit: April 20, 2008, 10:05:33 AM by iphigenie » Logged
mnemonic
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« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2008, 10:51:00 AM »

Yes, I started using Jungledisk about a year ago after being a Mozy user for sometime.  I've got around six GB backed-up from two machines, with the backup service running once an hour.

Pros (over Mozy):
  • Cheaper (for the above, I pay <ÂŁ1 / month)
  • Jungledisk has a web interface and maps S3 to a network drive
  • Backups are available from anywhere
  • Unlimited number of restores per month (I seem to remember Moxy only allowing 3/month)
  • Very active forum and responsive developer
  • Allows you to define your own symmetric key for security (can't remember if Mozy does?)

Cons:
  • No "free" strorage
  • Mozy's interface is much more intuitive, although the developer of Jungledisk is improving this for Jungledisk 2
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J-Mac
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« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2008, 09:13:29 PM »

I use Mozy - have been for one year.  Paid account is truly unlimited, I guess unless you get way crazy with it.  I currently have a backup of just over 60 GB!  Cost me $54.45 for the first year, paid in advance. I just resubscribed for two years @ $103.95.

No problems at all so far, and support has been very responsive to my questions.

First backup took a little over three days running 24 hrs a day at "Normal" priority when idle, and "Low" priority when I was using the computer.  Now it updates the files once daily and takes about 15 minutes.

Jim
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icekin
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2008, 01:36:55 AM »

I suggest getting a hosting account from Dreamhost, which comes with over a 100GB of storage space that grows weekly. Then, use a program like Super Flexible File Synchronizer to regularly update your remote date with the local one. The real problem is that depending on your upload speed and size of data, the initial synchronization can take a while. I have over 20 GB of personal data alone.
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Perry Mowbray
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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2008, 03:37:52 AM »

I suggest getting a hosting account from Dreamhost, which comes with over a 100GB of storage space that grows weekly. Then, use a program like Super Flexible File Synchronizer to regularly update your remote date with the local one. The real problem is that depending on your upload speed and size of data, the initial synchronization can take a while. I have over 20 GB of personal data alone.

This is not entirely within their Terms of Service which states at point 6:


I only became aware of this recently with my host Lunar Pages and a few problems I've got with Backup4All, they kindly pointed out that they had a similar policy.

I'm not sure what this policy is meant to do though, as I thought that data storage at $x/month would be worth the same to them as a html storage at the same $x/month? Where do they lose out with just data storage, or is it just data storage is worth more than a website?
« Last Edit: April 21, 2008, 03:39:52 AM by Perry Mowbray » Logged

Dormouse
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« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2008, 04:24:42 AM »

Dreamhost are pretty accommodating though. It's unlikely that they'd see it as a problem with most users, and if they did with you, the'd discuss it before doing anything.
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Dormouse
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« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2008, 04:27:34 AM »

I'm not sure what this policy is meant to do though, as I thought that data storage at $x/month would be worth the same to them as a html storage at the same $x/month? Where do they lose out with just data storage, or is it just data storage is worth more than a website?

It basically increases their costs by increasing the average amount stored on each account. the amounts of space and bandwidth they quote cannot be economically provided at the price they charge. They rely on many customers not using much - and it is the average usage that decides their actual cost base.
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Perry Mowbray
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« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2008, 05:25:05 AM »

I'm not sure what this policy is meant to do though, as I thought that data storage at $x/month would be worth the same to them as a html storage at the same $x/month? Where do they lose out with just data storage, or is it just data storage is worth more than a website?

It basically increases their costs by increasing the average amount stored on each account. the amounts of space and bandwidth they quote cannot be economically provided at the price they charge. They rely on many customers not using much - and it is the average usage that decides their actual cost base.

Thanks, but I meant I don't understand the difference between hosting a website and putting your private backup files on the space?
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Dormouse
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« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2008, 09:13:11 AM »

Thanks, but I meant I don't understand the difference between hosting a website and putting your private backup files on the space?

That's what I was trying to address.
If everyone only has their websites there, then the space needed is websiteGB.
If they have their backup files there too, then the space needed is websiteGB + backupBG.

If some people only have backups, then it is not necessarily more expensive to host them - but most websites are very small in terms of space, and even smaller in terms of transfer so the average backup usage is likely to be higher.
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icekin
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« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2008, 10:35:11 PM »

I remember specifically asking Dreamhost about this before I signed up 2 years ago and their staff at that time told me that as long as I did not exceed the alloted storage space, they did not care what I stored on it, as long as it was legal (no warez). Of course, the fine print did say that they reserve the right to change the policies at any time.

I also do not see how they can differentiate between data backup files and web hosting files. All I'd have to do is set up an online File/FTP manager on a domain (like net2ftp) and then access my files through that to claim that I am after all using the files as part of a website.
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Dormouse
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« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2008, 12:35:04 AM »

I think that is Dreamhost's approach. The T&C are there to protect them if necessary. There are other hosts out there though who will aggressively implement the same terms on accounts that are using more resources than they would like. How can they tell the difference? Well, its their decision with no appeal and no right to a refund if you break the T&C. As I say, I don't believe you will get this sort of problem with Dreamhost.
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GHammer
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« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2008, 05:57:31 PM »

I use Mozy and recommend it at work.
Why?
It works transparently, does block level transfers (only changed data), is priced well.
Most important to me, it is owned/backed by EMC. Who know more about storing data than EMC?

As for the Dreamhost idea, they have a service called Files Forever.
It would seem that is a more appropriate service than signing up for hosting then using it as storage.
Files Forever is 1 cent per 4 Mb one time fee.

I've not used it, but it looks interesting.
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iphigenie
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« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2008, 01:29:39 AM »

I'm waiting for the day where it is possible to backup large amounts online.

My backup drives are 500Gb NAS (about 300Gb used) and a 160GB pocket drive (full) - that includes mp3s, photos, email backup, documents, image of the c: partition for all PCs, app configs from all pcs, install files and code for all my registered software, images of my games DVDs, all my code from past and present websites - including 5 cmses going back to 2002 - and other coding attempts and a small collection of purchased or free stock photography, graphics and fonts.

Now apart maybe from the pc and game images most of that I would like to backup - but I dont think it is practical just yet Sad. The cheapest solution might be a cheap dedicated server indeed.

PS: Incidentally I suspect I am quite typical, and with 1Tb costing $100 nowadays it will get worse. Which makes file management an industry where there will be a lot of opportunity for a clever product (to me the clever product is the one that makes it quick and easy to review/sift/sort then move/rename via patterns, as automagically as possible - things image and music managers are better at than file managers, but i would prefer on tool that can cope with all kinds)
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« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2008, 02:13:02 AM »

The cost of b/w and the shortage of really high speed internet access (and backup accounts) mean that an online solution is unsuitable for really large collections, unless you will never need it all back in a hurry. And it would still take time to get there.

As you say, HDDs are cheap. You can slip them in and out of a caddy just like we used to do with floppies. For smaller quantities, the same can be done with USB sticks. These are the only realonably high speed, cheap solutions for really large amounts of data. And easily portable and convenient enough to be taken off-site for extra protection.

I think online soutions are best for a smaller amount of data you may want quickly (eg for system backup) or large amounts of stuff (eg photos) that will just stay on the online server in case you lose them locally but will never be needed at any sort of speed.
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J-Mac
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« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2008, 02:19:41 AM »

Mozy is doing fine with mine.  I have over 60 GB going there and it is refreshed daily.

I have also been looking hard for a good file/folder management application.  Had a couple threads here requesting advice, but there is apparently NOTHING out there that really does document management well.  Paperport is about it and that has a big drawback:  It's developed by Nuance!!  And that means it is big, slow, drags resources down, and has absolutely NO support.  Unless you pay by the minute or call - and all that does is give you an even bigger reason to complain about their support -- when you pay and STILL get no help!

Jim
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« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2008, 08:45:47 PM »

I read a post that said that Carbonite will filter "not backup" your .exe and maybe .iso files, a dealbreaker for me.  I have Mozy and it is flawless.  I also used SugarSync which is great and I love my Windows Home Server.
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kfitting
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« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2008, 09:11:13 AM »

I've been using Carbonite for a couple months.  No major problems.  Two things I dislike though they are not deal breakers for me:

1. Can't see backup status in any other file manager other than windows explorer
2. No way to set options on files backed up.  Make sure to go through your backed up directories and make sure every file you want is backed up!  Movie files are one type that are not backed up by default. 

But, I am using carbonite mostly for my pictures, not all of my data. Also Carbonite has claimed that there will be an update to their program "soon."  Don't know when soon is however.  I gave them my suggestions, we'll see what happens.

You can find this elsewhere on the internet but here is a list of file extensions not backed up.

 The following folders are excluded from Carbonite backups:

    "%WINDIR%\*",
        "%TEMP%\*",
        "%TMP%\*",
    "\Recycler\*",
    "\Recycle Bin\*",
    "\System Volume Information\*",
    "\MSOCache\*",
        "\I386\*",
        "\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\*", // skipped because most of this is system configuration stuff
        "\Documents and Settings\*\Cookies\*",
    "\Documents and Settings\*\Local Settings\History\*",
    "\Documents and Settings\*\Local Settings\Temp*",
    "\Documents and Settings\*\NetHood\*",
    "\Documents and Settings\*\PrintHood\*",
    "\Documents and Settings\*\History\*",
    "\Documents and Settings\*\NTUSER.DAT",
        "\Documents and Settings\*\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\*\Cache\*",
        "\Documents and Settings\*\Application Data\Opera\Opera\profile\cache*",
        "\Documents and Settings\*\Application Data\Microsoft\CryptnetUrlCache\*",
        "\Documents and Settings\*\Application Data\Yahoo! Desktop Search\*",
        "\Documents and Settings\*\Application Data\Google\Google Desktop\*",
        "\Documents and Settings\*\Application Data\Microsoft Help\*",
        "\Documents and Settings\*\Application Data\Carbonite\*",
        "\Program Files\Carbonite\Carbonite Backup\*",
    "\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Clipart\*",

The following file types are excluded from Carbonite backups:

    .113; .$$$; .$DB; .ABF; .ABK; .AFM; .ANI; .ANN; .BAC; .BAK; .BCK; .BCM;
.BDB; .BDF; .BKF; .BKP; .BMK; .BSC; .CAB; .CF1; .CHM; .CHQ; .CHW; .CNT;
.COM; .CPL; .CPL; .CUR; .DEV; .DFONT; .DLL; .DMP; .DRV; .DRV; .DVD; .EOT;
.EVT; .EXE; .FFA; .FFL; .FFO; .FFX; .FNT; .FON; .FTG; .FTS; .FXP; .GID; .GRP;
.HLP; .HXI; .HXQ; .HXR; .HXS; .ICO; .IDB; .IDX; .ILK; .IMG; .INF; .INI; .INS; .IPF;
.ISO; .ISP; .ITS; .JAR; .JSE; .KBD; .KEXT; .KEY; .LEX; .LIB; .LNK; .LOG; .LWFN;
.MSC; .MSI; .MSM; .MSP; .MST; .NCB; .NT; .OBJ; .OBS; .OCX; .OLD; .OST; .OTF;
.OTF; .PCH; .PF; .PFA; .PFB; .PFM; .PLIST; .PNF; .POL; .PREF; .PRF; .PRG; .PRN;
.PWL; .RDB; .REG; .REG; .RLL; .ROX; .SBR; .SCF; .SCR; .SDB; .SHB; .SUIT; .SWF;
.SWP; .SYS; .SYS; .THEME; .TMP; .TMS; .TTC; .TTF; .TTF; .V2I; .VBE; .VGA; .VGD;
.VHD; .VMC; .VMDK; .VMSD; .VMSN; .VMX; .VXD; .VXD; .WIN; .WPK;


    system/;dtSearch*;Intermediate *;VMWare*;Virtual PC*;Virtual Machine*

Additionally, music and video files are excluded during free trial subscriptions of Carbonite, and files larger than 4GB must be selected manually. (Right-click the file and select Back this up from the Carbonite context menu to select it for backup.)
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J-Mac
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« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2008, 12:20:12 PM »

Mozy is doing fine with mine.  I have over 60 GB going there and it is refreshed daily....

Jim

I need to update this post.  I had just renewed my Mozy subscription - two year renewal - right around the time of my first post (quoted here), but have since canceled my Mozy subscription and gotten a refund for the unused portion.

They sent down a forced upgrade of their client software and, unfortunately, mine never again managed to stay connected to their servers for more than a few minutes. I spent almost four full weeks corresponding with a truly clueless support tech there trying to get it working again, but it never happened. And to make things worse - and clinch the cancellation - he had me uninstall Mozy and download/install the previous version. I questioned whether or not the uninstall process would cause my 60+ GB of backed up files to be deleted and he insisted that it would not - that he would make sure they were properly backed up. Well you can guess the rest - not only were all my backup files lost, but since the Mozy client automatically downloads and installs the latest version, I never did get a chance to use the previous version after all - it upgrades itself before it will perform a new backup.  And of course that would immediately cause it not to connect!  It was a real experience try to work with the support guy!

I used a network monitor to see exactly what Mozy was doing wrong when trying to connect to their server, and it was pretty obvious to me.  Mozy's instructions tell you what port to filter ijn order to allow Mozy to connect through a home network.  But the port that they used to use was no longer being used - that same port number was what the Mozy client was trying to connect to on THEIR server, instead of my network. Bad code, I guess. Either way, I dropped Mozy.

I now use JungleDisk and Amazon S3 - much nicer, easier to use, easier to restore files - all or individual.   smiley

Jim
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« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2009, 08:22:44 AM »

Interesting topic! Being one of the first at DC to mention online backups (if my memory serves me right), I still didn't sign up for any service - yet! Again thinking about it now, being more and more fed up with juggling HDs...

Stumbled upon a security check done by well-known heise.de last year, and Carbonite and Mozy (both praised in this thread) were the ONLY 2 providers being tested who were offering protection against Man in the Middle (MITM) attacks. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/w.../Man-in-the-middle_attack for more info)

I'm interested in an update: how are your experiences so far? What do you like, what annoys you?

Providers who failed the test at the time (all promised to fix it): Online Backup 24, Steady-Backup (NTT Europe), iDrive, and BullGuard.

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« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2009, 12:04:32 PM »

I think online backups are just not viable at this point.

I thought Carbonite and Mozy were good enough too until I searched Google for Carbonite Sucks and Mozy Sucks.

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« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2009, 01:25:03 PM »

I thought Mozy was all that - until they updated my client software automatically and I couldn’t connect anymore. Plus, in testing how to get it connected again they lost my 55 GB of backups. Refund!!

BTW, I'm now using Jungle Disk and Amazon S3 - very good IMO.

Jim
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