Backing up PCs to “The Cloud”

Today, I was looking to revamp some work backup procedures and managed to come across BackBlaze.com which was offering an unlimited online backup service for something around $5/mo for a single PC. I decided to give it a whirl by using the free trial.  I have seen BackBlaze in the past and it made me curious causing me to dig deeper into how their server infrastructure works.  I decided at the time that, “Pffft! I’ll just use my own stuff at home for a backup server!” That was at least until three recent events occurred:

  • Misty’s car being broken into and someone stealing electronics, taking them 3 doors up the street only to smash them on the sidewalk.
  • A recent PC physically crashing into the coffee table, at which point I thought I lost every video from our recent pre-honeymoon trip to Maui, because of fluke in a backup strategy that involved Windows Live Mesh.
  • A computer at home recently turned on by itself, while both Misty and I were at work, causing me to think someone was in the house stealing shit again.

Now, I could have went to my dads house and installed a 2TB hard drive and some software to sync my PC to his PC and vice versa, however, that would incur:

  • $100 for hard drive
  • both computers be turned on, all the time
  • frustration of verifying backups
  • worrying about my dads computer being stolen, and my data compromised.

With using BackBlaze’s service, I will be spending something like $5 per month, to guarantee I will not lose data if my pc hard drive crashes, my pc is stolen, or my house burns down.  I also do not have to worry about setting up and monitoring anything, aside client side software on my PC. This is definitely worth it to me, because when I am home, I do not want to worry about it, as I deal with that shit enough at work.  I don’t have to worry about my external hard drive crashing or being stolen (or where I put it for that matter), or wondering if my encrypted data is being backed up.

Even If you are not considering a disaster recovery solution for home use, ask yourself “how much would you pay to have 10 years of all your digital photographs recovered after the lose of a hard drive?”  When presenting that question to myself, I was going to consider a couple hundred dollars for hard drive recovery service, just to see my future wife’s smiling face and her boobs bouncing around in the clear waters of Pacific.  For a measly $5 a month, I no longer have to worry about that.  Just download BackBlaze’s free trial, install it, sign up for the free trial to give it a whirl, test a restore, buy it, and go on with life knowing your digital life is backed up.  If you are worried about security, go ahead and set your own Private Encryption Key using a passphrase in the Settings –> Security Tab.  By default, BackBlaze selects all drives in your computer, and only excludes a select few folder locations, which are basically system and program files, and your recycle bin:

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Selecting all files and folders by default would have prevented my previous backup strategy from failing me.

It does however automatically back up all photos, videos, music, documents, from all non-system/program folders. You can find a report of how much it finds in the Settings –> Reports tab:

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I personally increased the throttle all the way up at least for the day, so I could get backed up faster since I have a lot of stuff, which is on the main Settings tab.

As of now, BackBlaze gets a solid two thumbs up from me!

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