Best online backup solution for the Mac.

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by jamin100, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. jamin100 macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2008
    Hi guys,

    I'm currently looking into online backup solutons for my macbook. I intend to keep backups of all my photo's and home movies.

    I've looked into and trialed the following

    Mozy - The upload to the web feature worked fine, but when i tried to restore a few files it took ages. It took nearly 4 hours to download a 700mb file which had uploaded in less than 10 minutes. My broadband is cable and is 10mb so i am able to achieve a download speed of around 1mb's

    JungleDisk - I really really wanted to try this as the pricing was great and the service looked fantastic. However, seeing as i'm in the UK and don't have a credit card i am unable to persue this any further. FOr some reason Amazon S3 don't accept visa debit cards.

    Dropbox - I love this service, however I fully understand that this is a syncing service and not a backup service. If i was able to only upload documents and not have them automatically download to my other machine's or work machine then that would be great.

    So, what do you all use?

    I have searched the forums but the posts seem to be a little outdated now..

  2. mpshay macrumors 6502

    May 19, 2008
    I used carbonite's service on windows for a while so I recently gave their Mac beta a try. Not perfect, but worth looking at.
  3. philosopherdog macrumors 6502a


    Dec 29, 2008

    Mozy. I started with the PC version and it has been running flawlessly in the background on my Macbook. Highly recommended.
  4. sl1200mk2 macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2006
    Personally, I use a combination of 1TB external drives and Mozy. I want my backups in at least two different places and preferably three at all times. All my really important data is internally on the mac, two different externals and then Mozy.

    Paranoid? You bet, but I've also lost really important stuff in the past and will never allow that to happen again. Going all digital requires some responsibility, thankfully it's pretty easy to do. 1TB external drives are under $200 and Mozy is less than $60 a year for unlimited backup. You just can't beat that combination.

    Think about it. Everything that's critically important to you is completely (redundantly) backed up for a couple hundred bucks at most.

    Once I run out of room on the externals I plan to buy a Drobo. :)
  5. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    RAID is the ultimate backup solution. Only thing you need to worry about is if ALL the hard drives in the RAID fail.
  6. sl1200mk2 macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2006
    No, not at ALL! RAID is NOT a backup solution. It's a layer of redundancy for disks. There's a huge difference between the two.

    I manage infrastructure for hundreds of servers. I see hardware and software RAID of all levels fail. Raid cards go bad and write faulty data to the drives. Software RAID gets corrupted because of power failures, kernal panics and improper shutdowns. What happens when a RAID card, motherboard chip or software error in the RAID occurs? All of your data dies with it. It happens all the time.

    If you use RAID as your only backup strategy at some point in time you will lose all your data. Have another plan in place and keep data in different physical media sets.

    Sorry, not trying to jump all over you, but that's bad advice.


  7. ksmith80209 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 15, 2007
    Although use DropBox in addition to Time Machine, you might want to consider BackBlaze. My business partner uses it - it's simple and effective.
  8. mpshay macrumors 6502

    May 19, 2008
    Our your house burns down, floods, etc. Off site storage is a crucial part of protecting data!
  9. millerj123 macrumors 65816

    Mar 6, 2008
    Plus, RAID never protects you from the biggest risk: "I didn't mean to delete *that* one..."

    RAID is for availability or speed.

    As far as online backup, I view that the same way as stuff like Google Office, or most other SAAS. Someone else has your data, and only their good graces and your money ensure your access to them. These are definitely not for me.

    I'm probably going to go with 3 identical backup drives, always taking the newest one to work, and bringing the oldest home once a week. I don't have anything critical enough to justify daily incremental backups beyond Time Machine's.
  10. Yanwoo macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2006
    This thread seems to have attracted us paranoid types :D

    I have Time Machine locally, a ReadyNas Duo RAID for media, SugarSync for docs and Mozy for online backup. I have my photos on and flickr. I have my documents on a USB stick I store at work.

    On the issue of someone else owning data/their good grace etc. that view is a bit too paranoid even for me...I take comfort that Mozy is owned by EMC; gives me as much confidence as I can in a 3rd party entity.

    There is risk in everything - however the likelihood of me losing all my local data and EMC falling into bankruptcy at the same time is slim enough for me to carry that risk. Probably about the same as you losing all your local data and your backups at your work location :D
  11. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    With an online backup, you are at the mercy of the provider. If they suddenly go out of business, your data is gone. Online is NOT a good sole backup solution; always have multiple backup strategies. Don't forget the people who subscribed to music services and then found out the service disappeared.
  12. Gray-Wolf macrumors 68030


    Apr 19, 2008
    Pandora, Home Tree
    I prefer the .Mac or now the .Me for back up. When you purchase a .me account, you can back up many things, and for me, my settings, contacts and so forth are the most important. I can also upload some archived files as well. It's been well worth it.
  13. millerj123 macrumors 65816

    Mar 6, 2008
    Well, historically there have been problems with the SAAS deals. Circuit City backed the original DivX scheme where your DVD player had to phone home to see if you had rented or bought - Tanked. Microsoft's "Plays for Sure" - tanked. If my ISP goes down, I still want access to my backups.

    Plus, with the prices of hard drives, you get a one time expense, and some time involvement vs. ongoing expense. I'll admit, though, even if the price were better, I wouldn't use a service. It's not just paranoia, it's control. It's mine. Mine, Mine, Mine! :D
  14. rainydays macrumors 6502a

    Nov 6, 2006
    I think that has happen to me once in 20 years, and I instantly recovered the file when that happen. But I am pretty careful about which files I delete.
    Disk failure, fire or theft is more likely to happen to me.
  15. millerj123 macrumors 65816

    Mar 6, 2008
    I envy you. I've never had disk failure, but I've reformatted once without a proper backup, and had a house fire once in the past 15 years. I'm hoping to go a bit before the next issue where I even need the backups.
  16. jamin100 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2008
    Thanks for the suggestions guys.
    I wasnt looking at an online solution as my only backup solution. As a Network Manager for a decent sized network I understand the pitfalls of having "all my eggs in one basket"

    I have a white macbook and 2 external USB hard drives.

    The data partiition on my macbook is copied to each USB drive in rotation every few weeks, or if i put something on the data partition that i really dont want to lose i will do it sooner.

    One of the external HD's is always at home in the drawer next to my bed. The other is locked away in my parents safe a few miles away.

    I also take DVD backups every six months or so..

    I was just looking at a online backup solution just incase!!

    lol.. you can never have too many copies of your data in my opinion!
  17. rainydays macrumors 6502a

    Nov 6, 2006
    I use Mozy by the way. Mostly because I haven't had the time to look at the alternatives.
    It has been working well for me, but I miss some features, like being able to run a script before the backup or to alter the backup schedule.
  18. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    RAID is not a backup solution at all.

    Think about it. If you have a corrupted file it is still corrupted even if you are using RAID 1 as the RAID array just mirrors the corrupted file. RAID 0 is even worse, if one drive fails all the data on the other drives is lost as well.
  19. hodgeheg macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2008
    YMMV and it appears to be much better in the states, and particularly in California, but my experience with MobileMe, which I bought among other things to use the iDisk space as an additional layer of backup, is that it's too slow to be useful. If I can get 16KB/s I'm surprised. The fastest I've ever got is 50KB/s.

    And don't tell me it's my internet connection - I've tried on quite a few different ones with identical results, and from more than one computer. There are various forums with people complaining about iDisk speed for years. My own connection here is 10Mbit up and down (university network) notionally and usually bandwidth tests to about 8/6, so that is not the problem.

    If you have a computer you don't mind leaving on, and leaving backups running for hours and days, then large amounts of data to iDisk is feasible, but frequent backups probably isn't. Of course if you're somewhere where iDisk is quick, then great :)

    That said, I still love MobileMe, even if it's not perfect
  20. dalvin200 macrumors 68040

    Mar 24, 2006
    Nottingham, UK
    i use mobile me to sync my devices.. but never used it for backup as the upload speed is reeeaaaalllllyyyyy slloooowwwwww (as a previous posted mentioned)..

    apparently adrive give 50gb free storage - never used them so not sure how good they are

    something i want to keep backed up outside of my hard drive and time capsule is my photos and videos.. these are the most important thing to me.
    if they are lost, the years and years of digital memories are gone...

    so there lies the problem of online backup - the file sizes of home movies (not so much photo's) is pretty large... and would take ages to upload...

    what to do in this instance? just use another physical drive? or is it really feasible to upload?
  21. jamin100 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2008
    This is exaclty my situation too. I dont need office documents backed up but its the GB's of home movies and photo's of the kids growing up that I dont want to lose
  22. dalvin200 macrumors 68040

    Mar 24, 2006
    Nottingham, UK
    well.. i've been reading up about mozy and am now a member :)

    i'm uploading (initial and excludes movies iTunes folder) 55GB of data...
    wonder how long that will take.. probably a few weeks i would have thought? although i am throttling it at the moment as virgin media will throttle me if i exceed their limits.. so out of their throttling hours (during the day) the uploads should be a lot faster.

    will see how it goes. but from what i read about it, it definitely seems worthwhile for the peace of mind...
  23. jamin100 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2008
    I tried mozy but i found that retrieveing the files from the backup was painfully slow and unreliable
  24. dalvin200 macrumors 68040

    Mar 24, 2006
    Nottingham, UK
    why would it be unreliable? did you contact their tech support?
  25. jamin100 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2008
    It wouldnt complete any of the downloads.
    I tried to download a 700MB home movie that i had backed up and I couldnt get it back.

    It was downloading at about 8kbs for a few hours then just returned an error.
    Did this a few times.

    I'm on Virgin Media's 10MB package

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