How safe are on-line backup systems?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by gathart, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. gathart macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    #1
    I am looking for a back-up system and I am convinced by their arguments. Whats the point of having a backup disc next to your Mac when your house burns down (not that I don't have a secondary back-up disc)?

    They all say it's encrypted but does that mean their own employers or outsiders can't have a peek into your date? And also none of the sides mention how many data-farms they have?

    What would you guys do?
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    Its as safe as they say it is, until something happens.

    I mean there's no way to quantify your statement, and you need to take their comments at face value since there's no way to validate it
     
  3. gathart thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 10, 2009
    #3
    Is there any overseeing organisation?
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    No, no organization regulates or validates claims made by online backup services. The only thing you can do is search the forums for feedback from users.
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #5
    Nope and to be honest, I'm not going to hand over the responsibility of making sure my data is safe to anyone.

    Its by far faster and easier for me to run time machine or Carbon Copy Cloner on an external drive.

    Another thing to consider, whats the turn around time to do a full restore. For me its either 2 hours for CCC to restore my system or the following day. The following day because I also have a portable drive offsite with my data. Either way I'm up and running a heck of a lot faster then using one of those services.
     
  6. gathart thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    #6
    You are making a very valid point there... Need to think about it..
     
  7. McMack, Feb 10, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011

    McMack macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Location:
    England
    #7
    Your alternative is of course to encrypt your data yourself before uploading it to any online backup service.

    That way you only have to worry about the efficiency of your own encryption method.

    OS X's built-in service via Disk Utility is good enough in my view (use 256-bit encryption just to make sure). Truecrypt is a well-known alternative. I'm sure there are more.

    This would never work for backing up your entire HDD, Time Machine-style, but you could at least copy your most critical data into an encrypted .dmg file, upload it and keep it updated without too much hassle. Store several copies of the file with a few online services to cover yourself. As long as you've encrypted it properly at home, with a strong password, they could go crazy and open their servers to all-comers, but it wouldn't matter at all.
     
  8. bmcgonag macrumors 65816

    bmcgonag

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #8
    For me, I use DropBox to backup certain non-data sensitive documents, a few photos now and then, and other things...the 2 GB is plenty for that kind of stuff for me.

    I use external drives for Clones, keep one off site, and one on-site.

    I use other systems on my network for backing up media and other things that I'm not concerned with losing in a fire as it can be replaced, but that I'd rather not have to re-rip just because a drive failed.

    There are solutions like iBackup and CrashPlan that allow you to backup to other computers, and even a Friend or Family members system in another location if you trust them more than the online services.

    Lot's to take in, but it really comes down to you, your needs, and your trust level.
     

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