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Tony Politano Level 1 Level 1
Any opinion on these? I just lost my second external usb drive that was using time machine, so I have made up my mind on going to the cloud. Mobileme is too small, as I need over 75G to be backed up and updated as I change (lots of movies and such).
My concerns are stability, speed, impact on performance of OSX.

Macbook Unibody 2009 /G4 1.8/ 1G / 200G : Sawtooth Media Server / iPhone 3G, Mac OS X (10.6.4), iPod Mini :TiVo S2 240G : Tivo HD: Retired Apple II/e: 2 Blueberry G3's
  • Király Level 6 Level 6
    I am not a fan of these services. It can take a month to upload everything, and nobody should be without a backup for that long. When you need to get the backup data back, it could take a week to download it all, and then you'll have to deal with whatever download limits your ISP may place on you. Then there's the monthly fee on top of it all.

    Despite these limitations, I tried Mozy and dumped it after a week. Its backup program does not work well with multiple user accounts. This alone was enough for me to dump it; the reasons I outlined above were icing on the cake.

    I really recommend that you take another look at Time Machine, or any other program that can back up to local disks. For offsite backups you can buy a pair of hard drives, and swap them between different locations (e.g. work and home) once a week. I'm sorry to hear about your hard drives breaking but hey, it happens.
  • Allan Eckert Level 9 Level 9
    Hi Tony Politano;

    I concur with everything Király has to say.

    I was totally turned off by these sites that claimed to be able provide backup to the cloud that I haven't even bothered to try any of them yet.

    They might be good as a method for backing up a small amount of critical data as a secondary backup in case all else fails. Personally I don't se them as a reliable method to backup everything yet.

    Maybe I am old school but there is something about having a backup close at hand that just gives me warm fuzzy feelings.


  • BobHarris Level 6 Level 6
    I think as a secondary off-site backup, in case of theft or disaster (fire, earthquake, mudslide, tornado, ...), they are fine. But I would still have a local backup.

    I would just try it, as long as you have another backup. Cost wise, most of these are not that expensive per month, so if one does not satisfy you, then cancel and try the other.

    Another think. Start with critical files (excluding your iPhoto, iMovie, iTunes libraries until later). As you either get more comfortable or finally get the first round uploaded, add more stuff to the list of things to backup.

    And you should add CrashPlan to your list. CrashPlan has a free option where you use your own off-site computer (like a friend, or relative).
  • Tony Politano Level 1 Level 1
    I did like having the warm and fuzzy of my usb drives, but the reliability has soured me on them, thus why I am going to a cloud service. My outage of my latest usb has left me running without a net anyway, so taking a hit upload the original files isn't going to kill me.
  • Király Level 6 Level 6
    Do as you like, but I would still never rely on a cloud service as my only backup. I'd consider it only as a complement to a backup on a local disk.

    I know it's a pain when a hard drive dies. Hard drives die. Even the ones that cloud services use.

    Take a look at Time Capsule, it backs up your Mac wirelessly. No USB connection needed.
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8
    It's unusual to have two drives die. Were they covered by warranty?

    Were they the --cheapest-- least expensive drives you could find? Even those should last for a couple of years, minimum, but you might do better getting "server quality" drives from someplace like

    Were these self-powered drives? If so, what were they plugged-in to -- a "naked" wall socket, or a good surge protector? (A U.P.S. system, aka battery backup, is even better.) Voltage fluctuations can damage drives, as can miswired sockets.
  • Tony Politano Level 1 Level 1
    I lost the first one 3 years ago and just lost this one. Both were external powered usb drives that were in a good surge protector. First was Seagate, second was Maxtor brands, both new state of the art when purchased and not refurbs. I know three years is a pretty good life for these, but I obviously did not learn my lesson on the first one to replace it after a few years even it is appears to be working fine.
  • Tony Politano Level 1 Level 1
    BTW, I do keep my most important static stuff in a safe on DVD drives, and my primary drive never failed, so it is not like I lost anything (this time!).
  • perlfather Level 1 Level 1
    I humbly disagree with the negative outlook. I recently backed up a computer with 40+G in less than a day. (you can quickly calculate the time it takes to back up your drive by checking the upload speed.) After the initial back-up it back-ups files instantaneously and completely automatically. What could be easier? It is also very convenient to have access to all the files from any place if you travel and forget something. I have used Carbonite on 4 computers for several years and have had no problems.NONE.
  • Saxman Level 2 Level 2
    I'm not a big fan of Carbonite, at least so far. I've experienced it be a huge memory hog, even when it's supposedly not doing anything, I usually have it "paused", except for when I'm not going to be doing anything on the computer. Also, I don't get why, on a hard drive with over 200 gigs of data, I've seen the Carbonite status go from a high of 120 gigs, down to 90-something. I need to call them to find out what the heck is going on, as this makes no sense to me...

    I too, only use it as a secondary back-up, as I have two external drives, one nearby, the other stashed somewhere else. I wish I could count on something like Carbonite, but not at this time....
  • BastiChina Level 1 Level 1
    I used Mozy for sometime but dumped it after a while. Maybe it's because I'm living in China, but the upload was just pathetic. I took ages to upload one GB. I then switched to Carbonite in February 2010. It has been good to me, but after the initial backup they decreased my bandwidth. Now, I'm stuck with 15GB outstanding backup. What's really annoying is that most of the time it isn't backing up at all. I left the computer on for the whole weekend and didn't work on it. Still, only 800MB upload.

    Besides, I have the uncanny feeling that Carbonite is the culprit which makes Time Machine doing full backups every few weeks. I'm thinking about moving back to the old way of saving data with TimeMachine now.
  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7
    Apple Watch
    Note that DVDs and CDs aren't a better option. Eventually the dyes will degrade and your data will be gone. Keeping them in a dark place - like a safe - is a good idea. Of course, if there's a fire, your safe that is "fireproof" will probably do you no good. Fireproof safes are rated for paper documents, which can tolerate fairly high heat. Your DVDs will probably be destroyed as surely as they would be if you put them in the oven. Not that a hard drive is likely to survive much better... maybe some.

    For this reason, I always keep one backup off-site. In my case, I keep one of a set of clones made with Carbon Copy Cloner in the safe deposit box at the bank, and swap them as frequently as possible so the one at the bank always has up-to-date data.

    I did recently try using my MobileMe account and Apple's Backup software to back up to "the cloud," but it was a frustrating experience. I don't have nearly enough storage on my iDisk for everything. I have more photos alone than would fit. So, I selected a portion of my data - not necessarily even what I would consider my most important data (which would be my photos) - and then watched it back up for hours. It finally finished, and subsequent backups were quicker, but then for some strange reason a couple weeks later wanted to do a full backup all over again. IMHO, the time and storage needed to back up a significant amount of data, even over a high-speed connection, makes online backup impractical. Unless the only stuff you need to back up takes up a couple GB or so.
  • lkrupp Level 5 Level 5
    Tony Politano wrote:
    Any opinion on these?

    The problem with the "cloud" right now is the upload speed of the typical internet connection. Most upload connections are 768kbps or less. As others have pointed out uploading the contents of a hard drive on such a slow connection is glacial, impractical, almost useless in my opinion. If you need 75GB, as you state in your post, you are in for a big surprise. Until typical broadband upload speeds get significantly faster the "cloud" won't be replacing local storage any time soon. The broadband suppliers, telephone and cable companies, aren't showing any signs of changing their spots.
  • podcastreporter Level 1 Level 1
    Warning: Carbonite does not support versioning for macs (i.e. it doesn not keep different versions of your data by the hour).

    I use Backblaze, which has Versioning, and it saved my butt one weekend when I ruined a large PS file I'd worked on for 3 days. I chose time of day right before I ruined the file and got the older version. I believe Mozy does offer versioning.

    Backblaze stores versions by the hour a week backwards. So if you don't realize you screwed up until days later, you can still go back and get the version from that specific time...and I believe after it week is saves versions by the day backwards for a month. They are all about the same price $5 a month.
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