Home network back up

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by tomwvr, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. tomwvr macrumors regular

    tomwvr

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    Location:
    Frederick Maryland
    #1
    What do you all recomend for a home network back up system ?

    My home currently has 1 MBP 15 inch a MBP 13 inch and a MB 13 inch as well as IPAD2.

    I have read many comments on the Time Machine dying after 18 months or so, so I am concerned about the life span.

    Thanks in advance for the responses

    Tom
     
  2. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #2
    The easiest is to sign up for CrashPlan. Cloud backup of all your systems, $150/year. I use that as well as TimeMachine (good for quick restores of deleted or messed up files) and full disk clones (good for quick restores when the drive fails) using SuperDuper!.

    You can't have too much redundancy.
     
  3. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    #3
    Another vote for CrashPlan.

    Also, it's the Time Capsules that don't have the greatest life span. Time Machine is the software code that executes the backups.

    If you're just looking for some quick redundancy, then a couple of 1-2TB external USB drives would do the trick. Total cost: around $200. Coupled with CrashPlan Family Unlimited backups and you'd have a better backup plan than most people. CrashPlan is great because it's an off-site backup. If your house flooded, burned, or was hit by another natural disaster, in theory, your off-site backup would help you recover your data.
     
  4. ColdCase, Apr 12, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2013

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #4
    Stay away from crashplan unless you have very little data, and a good connection. It is a disaster of a package otherwise. The net is full of complains about agonizing slow backups and recoveries. They seem to have oversold their services. The free versions of crashplan disables a few features you may find important, but many folks use it. Many more use Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner. Crashplan family is kinda expensive.

    I have maybe a dozen 10-14 GB home movie files, each of which brings crashplan to its knees. It flies along nicely until it reaches about 6 GB at which time it begins to crawl at ~ 0.1 MBps It takes several hours just to transfer one file, and if there are any interruption it starts the file over. Crashplan support says that is typical operation and that it is a low performance service that provides casual users with a cheap way to perform off site backups. It has a tough time supporting large numbers of files or large files. So it may have unlimited storage, but it's performance throttles down to be unusable. Anything more than ~200 GB collection of smaller files is a problem.

    If you have a lot of data, there still is no substitute for a backup to a local removable disk (encrypted) and then storing the disk off site. I found Carbon Copy Cloner to be a much better product than crashplan for local backups. I use both time machine and CCC. Time machine can now be set up to alternate backups between two drives providing some redundancy. CCC can make a bootable drive, so when you computer drive just dies, you are back up running in a few minutes. You still have to replace the computer drive. In my years of home computer use, the number one potential cause of data loss is a hard drive failure. Whatever backup you decide to use, think about how long it will take to get your computer running again.

    If you are concerned about the life time of time capsule hardware, you can use an Airport Extreme Base station with an external hard drive to perform the same function. The AEBS has been near indestructible. Drives are drives.

    My Time Capsule ran near three years 24/7 backing up three machines before it started saying the internal drive was wearing out. Swapped drives and its been going another year without issue.
     
  5. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #5
    I'd suggest trying it out first then. It's worked all right for me, about 1TB on Crash Plan. I don't have any files larger than about 500MB that it backs up. Additional or modified files are probably in the order of 2-3 GB/week spread over 4 systems I've got using it. It particularly has worked well for my MacBook Pro which will back up all my travel pictures while I'm traveling. They have had a major price increase this year, probably addressing people larger backup needs than they had expected.
     
  6. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #6
    I agree. I have 8 machines backed up to Crashplan Central... and the largest of them has 1.5TB of backup data.

    Once your original backup is complete... it just runs quietly in the background and you will never notice it is there.

    I paid $6/month for the family plan... and I still have 3+ years left on my subscription. The price has increased a bit recently... but it is still one of the best bargains out there.

    I do agree that CCC is a great program to for making clones... but I do not consider clones to be "backup" per se. The issue is anemic versioning. You need backup (with deep versioning) to protect your data. By contrast... a clone allows you to keep running if a device fails.

    There are many ways to lose data even if no device fails. That is why versioning is critical.

    /Jim
     
  7. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #7
    None of these backup software programs we are discussing does true versioning. They all take snap shots where you can recover at the points in time a snapshot (scan) was made, but any other version is lost. At the moment versioning needs to be built into the tool, be it a word processor, photo editing, or video. If thats what you mean by anemic versioning then crashplan is not helping you. You could have gone through 10 versions by the time crashplan gets around to scanning the file :). CCC does snapshot versioning nicely in that it never throws anything away until you near the size limit of your drive, giving you time to clean up. Although it may take a bit more effort to find the version. Time machine is even more integrated, nicely taking snapshots hourly.

    If none of your files are more than 6GB and you don't mind waiting weeks for the first backup to complete, crashplan may be good enough for you. But tomorrow, when crashplan goes belly up, what good is all that versioning? Its very risky to depend on it as your sole backup method, you must have an alternative. As Crashplan product support is quick to tell you, it is not suitable for more than the casual user, designed more to be affordable rather than provide extensive capability. There are several alternative providers for this type of service.

    For the OP, timemachine built into the OS is the simplest backup to set up.
    Time Machine does hourly snap shot versioning nicely and now that it can alternate backups between two or more drives, it is much more robust. You should stick with apple approved devices, a Time Capsule or AEBS with a separate drive for example. Many depend on time machine and have no issues, but most experts recommend having a backup of your backup for your most critical and unrecoverable data. As far as the iPad and iPhones, they can backup to a computer (or iCloud). The computer is then backed up.

    Personally I've given up on crashplan and other ~real time on line solutions for now, they may be fine for others. In spite of the recent fiascos, there still are a lot of crashplan fanboys that are well satisfied. I use both timemachine to a networked Time Capsule alternating with a USB drive attached to the computer, and CCC to a standard NAS (synology) that is RAID0 mirrored for fault tolerance. But I am a belt and suspenders type of guy. Monthly I make a CC clone of everything really important to a couple hard drives and I stick them in my sister's basement. So I'm not completely out of the water should our house get destroyed. For those critical files that never change, I FTP them (encrypted) to my web server for safe keeping.
     
  8. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #8
    I like multiple backups using different programs. Day to day is Time Machine to a network share. Critical files go to server and to DropBox. I also make bootable clones of the hard drives and store them in fireproof storage.
     
  9. kapalua12 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    United States
    #9
    Can you recommend some of those "several alternative providers for this type of service" please?

    Thank you.
     
  10. flynz4, Apr 13, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013

    flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #10
    You are mistaken. With Crashplan+... you can set the frequency when a new version is made. I personally use 15 minutes... so I get a new version of incrementally backed up data every 15 minutes. Because it is incremental... it generally completes well under that time... typically less than a minute.

    As you go back in time... Crashplan is very similar to Time Machine... in that it can prune the older backups because you generally need less resolution.

    The settings that I use are:

    • Backup Frequency: every 15 minutes
    • Version History:
    • - Last week : every 15 minutes
    • - Last 90 Days: every day
    • - Last year: every week
    • - Previous Years: every month
    • Remove deleted files: never

    If you so wanted... you could set it to:

    • Backup Frequency: every 1 minute
    • Version History:
    • - Last week : every 1 minute
    • - Last 90 Days: every 1 minute
    • - Last year: every 1 minute
    • - Previous Years: every 1 minute
    • Remove deleted files: never

    I can't imagine why a consumer would need 1 minute resolution to a 5 year old backup... but it is there if you want.

    I do not believe there is a 6GB restriction. More importantly... one of the things that differentiates CP is their seed service. I just backed up 1.5 TB of data on my new iMac and duration... start to finish was 1 week... and that included my local backup time plus shipping time to return the drive to CP. It is an incredible deal.



    Any backup can go belly up... your local HDD can fail, your NAS can self destruct, your house can burn, etc... and yes any cloud backup provider can fail. As you say, that is why we have multiple backups. I'll add that they should be using multiple independent backup programs... each with zero human interaction.

    Regarding robustness... Many significant corporate customers are now using Crashplan Pro. We use it in my corporation for Macs. It is the same basic program... with significant licensing changes. This would not be happening if it was not robust.

    You claim to be a belt and suspenders kind of guy... but the human interaction in your approach is your weakness. Your pants have a huge gaping hole in the crotch. Humans are flawed. It is too easy to make a mistake. We all do.

    Personally... I think that anyone who does not use automated cloud based backup in 2013 as part of their total backup strategy is nuts. It is secure, automated, offsite, deeply versioned, etc... and it is "nearly free". Adding automated cloud based backup would take your flawed "belt and suspenders" approach to a robust "belt, suspenders, jockstrap & condom" implementation.

    /Jim
     
  11. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #11
    Assuming that you want a consumer service (rather than a commercial service that probably costs 10X or more)... here are the leading ones to evaluate.

    Crashplan+
    Mozy
    Carbonite
    Backblaze

    and many others.

    /Jim
     
  12. kapalua12 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    United States
    #12
    Thanks for the information and detail. I'll check it out.
     
  13. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #13
    I used to use Mozy. I liked them because they were a wholly owned subsidiary of EMC... the leader in enterprise storage. I dropped them because of two things:

    1) If you deleted a file... they removed it from their servers after 30 days. This is unacceptable. Inadvertent deletion is a major error made by users.
    2) They took away the "unlimited data" plan.

    Recently, I studied Carbonite helping someone like yourself who was evaluating the various options. Their plan for Windows seemed pretty solid... but there was an issue with their Mac version. I cannot remember for sure what it was, but that would have disqualified it for me. Search for posts by me with the word Carbonite and you will find the post.

    I have no detailed knowledge of Backblaze... so I cannot comment.

    I have been delighted by Crashplan+. Rock solid... by far the most secure backup that I have (including those encrypted and in my own house)... fully automatic. Just set it and forget it. I have performed multiple test restores... sometime when I was on the other side of the world and needed a file that was only on my iMac... needing to restore it to my MacBook Air. They are going very strong in the enterprise market. Probably the biggest risk is that they get acquired by someone who screws it up. If so... then no big deal. Just switch to whoever the leader at the time.

    Finally... do not rely on any single backup program. Of course... any backup is infinitely better than none... but to be totally safe... use two. One local, one Cloud. If you need to keep running continuously... then also make clones. Do not consider clones to be backup... they are a mechanism to just keep running in the event of device failure.

    Regarding clones... if you rely on one machine... then do a full system clone. If you have multiple machines all configured for what you do... then you only have to clone your data libraries.

    /Jim
     
  14. fortysomegeek macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    #14
    Crashplan has coupons/deals all the time.

    I got a family plan (10pcs) 1 year subscription for $2.00. Yes. $2 whole dollars for the entire year when browsing slickdeals one day.

    So far, I haven't been impressed. I won't be renewing after my $2 promo ends.

    I use a combination of multiple backups. 12TB FreeNAS (Nas), Some Raid boxes 16TB and 9TB , multiple externals that I offload offsite, and low-powered PogoPlugs (hacked to run ArchLinux) with Netatalk and for time machine. I also have a few off-site servers I use but that is beyond the scope for most users. I do reverse time machine. I have a hacked pogoplug that scans my network and whenever any mac is online or in range, it backs it.

    Best word of advice, there is no end-all solution. Try the different one and see what works. I believe in triplicate backups with at least one offsite. In addition to hard archives (e.g. carbon cloned ghosted images). Offsite is important in case your house burns down.
     
  15. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    #15
    The largest data files I have are only a few GB's each, though I have about 40 of them. Mainly rips of DVDs. The files themselves are replaceable with minimum effort, but overall they represent a few month's worth of computer time.

    Crashplan isn't perfect, but I don't think any of the commercial services are. The important thing, though, is having an offsite backup in case of a catastrophic failure. I'm not really going to worry that it's going to take 14 days to restore my irreplaceable family photos when the house burns down.

    The other thing I like about Crashplan is that its a single app that does the work of 2 apps. Not only can it do offsite backups but it also does local backups. As a result, I don't run time machine anymore.

    Finally, I like the P2P backups from crashplan. Just share a 6-digit code and easily allow friends and family to backup to your computer (and your data is encrypted so your friends can't snoop through files). I did this for my mom when I realized that she's got important stuff that she'd hate to lose. I can spare 20GB on my 2TB drive, and from 3,000 miles away, I know that her computer is backing up.
     

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