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Ask Slashdot: Network Backup Solution Out of the Box?

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the no-fuss dept.

Networking 251

First time accepted submitter file terminator writes "I want to buy a network drive for home usage, and am looking for something that would allow for secure and encrypted remote backups over the Internet to a second network drive, preferably advanced enough that all drive content does not have to be transmitted every time. The solution may come as a pair of network drives, and two-way synching would actually be a plus. The drives would be behind respective NATs and setup must allow connecting to any target port. The solution should be readily available (no obscure/local brands/solutions) and not unreasonably expensive. Does anyone have any recommendations for a full out of the box solution?"

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I use SpiderOak (4, Informative)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378388)

I tried to roll my own for like forever, and eventually just gave up and went for SpiderOak: []

It can be configured to do sync, backup, or something in between. Probably not exactly what you are looking for but perhaps worth a look none the less.

Re:I use SpiderOak (1)

forgottenusername (1495209) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378660)

+1 to spideroak. It's the best in breed, with actual clueful engineers who care about what they're doing & keep up with industry practices / laws that would impact them.

Re:I use SpiderOak (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37378812)

I really don't get why people still "Ask Slashdot". Does anyone think they're going to get a useful answer? This response meets literally none of the OPs requirements and isn't even the same thing conceptually, yet it sits at +4 Informative and is the closest thing to an answer yet posted.

Re:I use SpiderOak (4, Insightful)

subreality (157447) | more than 3 years ago | (#37379162)

How does this fail anything? You set up a SpiderOak sync between the local machine and the remote one. Files are synced, old versions are backed up in the cloud. It works through any firewall, it does deltas, proper crypto, it's reasonably priced, and it works out of the box. It's exactly what was asked for.

Re:I use SpiderOak (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 3 years ago | (#37379118)

+1 spideroak. I'm also happy with JungleDisk. Both have multi-OS support, bidirectional sync, offsite backups, solid encryption, and minimal hassles.

The downside is that you're paying per GB. Another good choice is CrashPlan which allows unlimited backups for a very reasonable price. Again, multi-OS, good crypto if you use their high security (non-password-recoverable) modes, minimal hassles. However, it doesn't have a sync feature.

For a very easy roll-your own, I have two suggestions: BackupPC (does what it says, works great); or just a simple cron job:

Create a BTRFS volume for backups. Have a cron job that rsyncs whatever you want into the volume, then creates a snapshot when it's done. If you want it to automatically delete old snapshots it takes a few more lines of shell, but if you google for btrfs snapshot rotators, there are a bunch of very simple ones out there. In the simplest case you just 'btrfs subv del /backups/snap.7', then rename the newer ones 6>7, 5>6, 4>5, etc, just like rotating logs.

Re:I use SpiderOak (1)

heypete (60671) | more than 3 years ago | (#37379138)

I second CrashPlan. I've used it for years, and it's worked quite well. No problems restoring all the data from backup after my laptop got stolen.

DropBox (1, Insightful)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378392)

DropBox with local caching and multiple PCs. You do have multiple PCs, don't you? If you don't, GTFO. []

Re:DropBox (1)

bragr (1612015) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378540)

Yeah, because I want someone to be able to steal my key file and have access to my files forever.

Obligatory XKCD reference (1)

eparker05 (1738842) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378686) []

The alt-text is the important part of this comic; "Actual actual reality: nobody would care about his secrets"

Re:DropBox (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378730)

Do I really have to say this ... encrypt before you upload?

Or maybe

Don't back up files you wouldn't want to see in public? Seriously, its not tinfoil hat, what do you think happens during a lawsuit discovery process fishing expedition if its all documented via bills and credit card receipts? On the other hand, a USB thumb drive paid for by cash at best buy is pretty hard to legally compel discovery of, and frankly is probably more reliable than some fly by night site or boxed software.

An interesting middle ground is a simple safe deposit box at a bank a couple miles away. If the law wants it, they gets it, but everyone else is pretty much hands off, and its cheap, and requires little if any troubleshooting or support. Also its a great place for "paper backups" of important documents, etc.

Re:DropBox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37378880)

Don't back up files you wouldn't want to see in public?

I hope you're not being serious...

Re:DropBox (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378968)

Yeah, because I want someone to be able to steal my key file and have access to my files forever.

Well then, encrypt your stuff before you save it off. e.g. an encrypted zip file. I strongly believe DropBox should do more to support encryption (e.g. allowing users to designate an encrypted folder and encryption key which never leaves the client PC) but the reality is you can encrypt to it already.

Re:DropBox (1)

Sounder40 (243087) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378590)

Yeah, Dropbox. Great product for the money, and it supports Linux, Mac, Windows, and Unix. It requires no thought on your part as files are automatically uploaded and synced to your other computer whenever they are created or updated. You can retrieve old copies of files too, which is handy when you clobber one accidentally. It supports syncing of TrueCrypt volumes. And it's free up to 2 GB. You can get additional free space (up to 8GB IIRC) if you send invites to your friends and colleagues.

Security is an issue, however. They encrypt the files on their servers, but the key is not stored particularly securely on your local servers, workstations, and laptops. I don't worry because I encrypt sensitive files myself. I use TrueCrypt for the most part, but you can use encrypted zip files.

Re:DropBox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37378786)

I don't like DropBox because Jay from bf2s cannot use it

Sneaker net solution (1)

fortapocalypse (1231686) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378398)

Buy two USB externals. Backup to both, encrypting it if you wish. Take one offsite and store it in a locked file cabinet. This is more secure than over-the-wire sync'ing.

Re:Sneaker net solution (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378958)

This is how I do it for my irreplacable and frequently changing files (except substitute USB for drive tray) and it works great. I keep one plugged into my machine, and one elsewhere, and periodically swap them (every few months or so). Drives are encrypted (using dm-crypt) and I use rsnapshot for the actual backups (such that I have several previous versions of the files on each drive).

My backup system is actually pretty damn solid.

I use an internal file server, with my desktop and a few other boxes doing full sync backups to the file server daily... so everything is all centrally located and easy to backup. I additionally have a second file server used purely as a complete backup (it's made from scavanged hardware and those cheap green drives so was significantly cheaper than my main file server) that syncs with my main one every 2 weeks. Both systems are raid6. So I basically have a chain of failure something along the lines of:

- if I lose a drive (or even 2) I can pretty much keep working and recover at my leisure, no files lost
- if the array fails, or recovery fails, or file system gets corrupted (that is, all the reasons people will scream RAID IS NOT A BACKUP), I have a complete mirror of everything that is at most 2 weeks old, plus a backup of my irreplacable and rapidly changing files (that is, most of the stuff from my home dir) that is at most a day old.
- if that fails, I hopefully have the daily irreplacable backup, but have lost all my replacable stuff (mainly rips of my huge DVD collection.. months of work)
- if that fails, I have a backup of my irreplacable stuff that is probably a few months old...
- and if all that fails, something really bad has probably happened and this is the least of my concerns ;p

Make sure your transport is secure (1)

bigtrike (904535) | more than 3 years ago | (#37379054)

Be careful about where you leave the disk when transporting it offsite. Leaving it in the passenger seat of your car while you stop for food is less secure than over the wire.

Synology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37378402)

Synology NAS's have all the features you're looking for. We use them for our scheduled automated backups (

Re:Synology (1)

God'sDuck (837829) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378892)

Synology seconded; I've never had a hiccup and their pro-grade units are fast. For Macs we use ChronoSync to handle the incremental backups.

Difficult requirements (1, Insightful)

captaindomon (870655) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378408)

"preferably advanced enough..." "readily available (no obscure/local brands/solutions)..." "not unreasonably expensive" It's going to be hard to match all three of those requirements. Remember the triangle - Scope, Quality, Cost - choose two.

Re:Difficult requirements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37378554)

Remember the triangle - Scope, Quality, [low] Cost - choose two.

Linux & BSD are counter-examples of this, since they have all 3.

Re:Difficult requirements (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37378588)

Remember the triangle - Scope, Quality, [low] Cost - choose two.

Linux & BSD are counter-examples of this, since they have all 3.

Quality is questionable. Yup, I said it.

Re:Difficult requirements (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 3 years ago | (#37379012)

I think Linux gets all three mostly because of its protracted development time (most of the time I hear the triangle as Speed, Quality, and Cost anyway).

Re:Difficult requirements (0)

logjon (1411219) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378568)

I rolled my own. Scope is exactly what I need, quality is fine, and the cost, well, I guess it was kinda high if you factor in the time.

rsync? (3, Informative)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378412)

Over ssh, did this with a couple linksys routers years ago.

Re:rsync? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37378484)

You may find something like this useful -

Re:rsync? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378510)

Correct answer on 6th post, 2 minutes after first post. Pretty good, keep it up guys.

Re:rsync? (3, Informative)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378772)

If you're going to use rsync then I'd recommend using rsnapshot, which is essentially a perl script that makes rsync even more powerful. It's basically a poor-mans version of Apple's Time Machine software. It'll keep hourly/daily/weekly/monthly snapshots in such a way that disk usage is optimized, and the number & timing of snapshots can be fully configured.

Re:rsync? (2)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378808)

And every other product is just a rehash of this.


This lets you back up your data to a drive on the other side of the planet. Because offsite copies at your house aren't enough, you must plan for a comet strike.


Re:rsync? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37378992)

Or a fire, flood, burglar or maybe a stupid rm * -R from the so called smart missus.

Re:rsync? (1)

Kookus (653170) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378904)

If I was going to do it, I'd try it out with my Asus WL-330GE. (~$30)
Here's a start for some custom firmware if needed: []
Nothing get's more simple than the previously stated ssh + rsync + cron!

Choices (0)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378416)

1) Simple to use
2) Robust features
3) Inexpensive

Pick any two.

If you aren't afraid of Linux.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37378442)

Then I would recommend Bacula.....

Bacula is a set of Open Source, enterprise ready, computer programs that permit you (or the system administrator) to manage backup, recovery, and verification of computer data across a network of computers of different kinds.

Re:If you aren't afraid of Linux.... (1)

bragr (1612015) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378592)

>>enterprise ready Which really means that you will need the skill of an enterprise linux admin to be ready to set it up. You'll spend all weekend trying to set it up, maybe get it up and running and do a first backup. Then as you are still banging your head against the wall trying to get all the features to work, you'll realize its just easier to use ssh, rsync, and a cron job.

Re:If you aren't afraid of Linux.... (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378742)

Not my experience, Bacula is simple. I set it up after one hour of reading and couple hours of work the first time. then did exercises of various types of backups and restores. Then later in the week installed it at client with eight servers who has been using it successfully ever since, including some important restores after some massive employee mistakes wiped out large chunks of data.

backblaze (2)

cjeze (596987) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378446)

Re:backblaze (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378546)

Backblaze is OK, but Crashplan is a better solution. Crashplan allows you to back up locally for free, which is what the OP is asking about, or for a low monthly price back up online as well.

Re:backblaze (1)

InlawBiker (1124825) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378836)

Agree with the Crashplan advice. I spent a lot of time using manual scripts and ssh, but the time I've saved with Crashplan has been well worth it.

- It supports local backups as well as remote network backup, in one interface
- Runs unobtrusively
- Linux, mac and windows
- The UI is easy to understand and schedule.
- If you really need to, encrypt your important stuff to a truecrypt volume and back it up like you would any normal file.
- Inexpensive

Time Machine (1)

Petronius (515525) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378458)

"it just works".

Re:Time Machine (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378502)

Except for when it does not. Then it is impossible to troubleshoot because it was expected to just work.

Re:Time Machine (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378656)

Except for when it does not. Then it is impossible to troubleshoot because it was expected to just work.

"Troubleshooting Time Machine" (Google)

About 5,720,000 Results (0.25 seconds)

Knock yourself out ...

Re:Time Machine (2)

Neil_Brown (1568845) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378698)

Plenty of results out there - but when I came to restore from my Time Machine backup recently, it failed. I could not find a solution - not for lack of trying - and so resorted to a fresh installation, and restoring documents from the document backup (regular Unison backup). Faster than Time Machine over Wi-Fi, even with the additional time for re-downloading programs, reconfiguring settings etc.

Re:Time Machine (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378736)

And isn't Time Machine OSX-only?

We're using big boy computers here, everyone. That means whatever backup solution you specify has to make backups in a format that is fully usable by a range of free (and ideally open-source) tools.

For Linux PCs I use rsync (with ssh, I do all network backups because in Linux, it's even easier and more convenient than external drives). For Windows I use vshadow and robocopy [] (pretty much the closest Windows equivalent to rsync - makes plain file backups with NTFS permissions preserved, and those tools are on the Windows CD so restoration is easy - as long as the hard drive can be accessed without network drivers and isn't encrypted, hence no network backups, I just use a plain eSATA drive).

Re:Time Machine (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378784)

Is there an option to set up encryption or does the drive(s) have to be encrypted themselves? Of course this solution is limited to Macs which may not be applicable to the poster.

CrashPlan (2)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378486)

I've switched from Jungledisk and bought a 4 year subscription of CrashPlan and it works pretty well. It is very unobtrusive working in the background on Linux. The application updates itself automatically and is pretty well-designed.

Of course, if you have truly sensitive data such as trade secrets or patient records you should never rely on any claims such companies make about their proprietary encryption / security.

Re:CrashPlan (1)

morcego (260031) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378940)

[blockquote]application updates itself automatically[/blockquote]

Yeah, that is not scary at all .....

Ditto, CrashPlan (2)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 3 years ago | (#37379088)

I really like, runs in Java, compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux (I run it just fine in Ubuntu). It backs up from any computer to any computer or to cloud, or to a friend using CrashPlan (using a code). Best of all, it's free to use the program without a plan with CrashPlan. And, the plans themselves are pretty attractive.

It's the quickest way to create an entire web of backups, and has many advanced archival features, heavy duty encryption, compression, sync by changes to files just like rsync, deduplication, and keep dated copies of files by minute, hour, day, week, month and year, and a timed remove deleted files.

The interface is extremely simple, and every client acts as a master control. It's the best I've tried in its class, and I went with it even after getting approval to spend $4000 on backup software. Not that other packages can't do it, but the complexity went to 0 with this package, and does exactly what I needed. It also works great with NAS mounted drives as backup destinations.

Re:CrashPlan (1)

gellenburg (61212) | more than 3 years ago | (#37379172)

+1 +1 +1 +1 +1 for CrashPlan.

I use it on all my machines. Mac, Linux, and Windoze.

I store all my backups locally on one of my Drobos. Backup my parents PC over the net to the same Drobo and also backup remotely to CrashPlan's servers.

Crashplan (1)

cowwoc2001 (976892) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378488)

Crashplan is free for home users who back up to "friends". All you need to do is register the computers as friends and have them back up onto each-other. []

I'm not affilitated with Crashplan. I'm just a happy end-user.

Re:Crashplan (1)

Krishnoid (984597) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378594)

One of my friends is running the no-cost Crashplan friends-and-family option and has already started backing up his (distributed) family's stuff. Crashplan is multiplatform (Java) as well.

Re:Crashplan (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#37379002)

Hmm interesting service. It would be handy for people with only a small amount of data (most "average joes" who just surf & email only have a few gigs of data they want to back up - mostly pictures, and they have lots of free disk space).

Barracuda Networks (1)

Scutter (18425) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378490)

Barracuda has a Disk-to-Disk-to-Cloud backup server. They recently introduced a new feature that allows you to use a second Barracuda at a remote site instead of their cloud services. The network backup sends deltas instead of the entire backup set. It's not free (or cheap), but it will do exactly what you want.

Synology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37378494)

Checkout the Synology NAS products -- has exactly what you want and many more features.

For free... (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378496)

Syncback is great, you need to network your stuff together separately, but it will copy the minimum amount of files for you to speed up your backups. []

We use it, works great, we use intranet not internet though, but that's just a networking setup deal I shouldn't have to explain.

Norton Ghost is another one, it goes on sale on newegg sometimes for dirt cheap and isn't that expensive to begin with, might be worth looking into, it's getting better, but I'm not a fan of their interface.

Re:For free... (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378926)

I used Ghost before it was Norton. I loved the interface then, I could build a system, plug in power, Ethernet and a keyboard only, put in my Novel boot floppy, navigate to the Ghost directory (not batch files here!) load an image on the system all without bothering to plug in a monitor.

Then Norton bought it and gave it a mouse driven GUI (actually I can't remember if that pre/post Norton, I know it was close). I haven't used it in about a decade, my old copies got kind of useless since they only dealt with images up to 4GB or so. Now I usually use dd, I've increased my Linux knowledge significantly since then.

ReadyNAS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37378516)

I use a Netgear ReadyNAS with RSYNC. It has it's own backup system between two NAS devices, but given that I only own one I haven't tried that.

Re:ReadyNAS (1)

talmage (223926) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378746)

I use rsync between a pair of ReadyNAS NVXes. I make backups to the local one and let rsync take care of the rest. Not all of the ReadyNAS line supports rsync over SSH but this model does.

rsync (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37378526)

I use rsync to do a website archive. I do a database archive (which does a nifty time-and-date-stamped archive of the database, but then there are the webserver configuration files, build scripts, etc. rsync does a super job. It can run across networks too. You have to actually bother learning how it works, but the documentation is pretty good, and you can tweak it to you exact needs. I wrote a (well documented) script to run it (and the script gets archived too). Then its a 'set it and forget it'(tm) kind of thing.

First mistake... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378538)

Never use the phrase "full out-of-box solution" and "not unreasonably expensive" in close proximity to one another.

Even just saying "out-of-box solution" is to salesweasels what homogenized fish guts are to sharks...

Re:First mistake... (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378668)

Why not? You just did.

Non Out of the Box (1)

imemyself (757318) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378550)

If you're willing to forgo something out of the box, look at Unison ( It's like rsync but does bi-directional synchronization.

If you want to do block level replication (which would inherently only transfer the data that's changed), you could look at GlusterFS or DRBD. They both support asynchronous replication - though you can't do bidirectional synchronization with that.

Re:Non Out of the Box (1)

Neil_Brown (1568845) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378720)

Another supporting post for Unison here - an excellent tool, which I've used for years.

Re:Non Out of the Box (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37378802)

unison breaks easily with non ascii filenames.
try a couple of filenames with swedish characters on them in ext3 on debian. unison will break.

Crashplan (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378556)

Easy to use client, you can backup to a local drive and any internet connected machine where you can install the client and have it trust your key, and you can pay the professionals a fairly small annual fee if you wish to have them manage a remote copy for you. I haven't used it myself as my Mozy subscription renewed for two years just before the new pricing went into effect but I plan to install it on both my brothers computers and have two offsite copies of my data in another year or so.

Easy! (2)

ALimoges (870872) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378566)

~$ rsync -az --progress --size-only from_where_/* to_your_network_server:/your_backup_folder/

Synology works for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37378574)

I would recommend giving these guys a shot I use the DS211j model. I don't believe the data is stored in an encrypted manner on the drives, but all the communications can be configured so they are secured via SSL. It's a linux system with a nice simple to use UI, so you may configure your users, groups and so on for access from pretty much anywhere. They do also offer backup and synchronization to a few providers as well as other synology boxes offsite.

I have been using for over 3 months so far so good, make sure you read their hdd compatibility list (and possible firmware updates you may need on the drives) before purchasing any of the hardware. Newegg carries these folks (i believe ds211j model is discountinued so you may have to look for something similar or whatever replaced that model).

Apple offers... (1)

alienzed (732782) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378596)

Time Machine and Time Capsule

Rsync-backup (1)

cjcela (1539859) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378598)

I use rsync-backup to do exactly that. Setting everything up to backup my Linux box, starting from scratch, took me about 3 hours, and that included reading the documentation. The thing works remarkably well, and its capabilities are outstanding. Once you have it setup correctly, you can forget about backing up until you need to recover files.

Re:Rsync-backup (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378682)

I use rsync also and have so for years, but the only feature I miss in my rather obese script is it only keeps one version. More than once I've discovered something went missing or got munged a week ago and the backup has long since mirrored the damage.

I may go to time machine eventually but it doesn't go over the internet and two of my machines must go over the net.

Re:Rsync-backup (1)

emt377 (610337) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378776)

rsync, then logrotate with a custom config.

Re:Rsync-backup (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378934)

If you're using lvm on your server, you could create a daily read-only snapshot.

Time machine has a secret plist setting to enable non-time capsule network drives. You need to create the initial sparse volume on your mac and copy it to the network drive, though.

Synology (2)

laing (303349) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378620)

Synology makes (IMHO) the best SOHO NAS products. Their latest management console (3.2) supports off-site encrypted backup. They are on the expensive side but their products and support are top notch.

Crashplan (1)

radicale (1632175) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378622)

Try [] You can either pay to backup to their servers, otherwise you can backup between different computers running the client. Supports Windows / Mac / Linux / Solaris. If you are paranoid, you can setup a Solaris box with ZFS and run it on that. Also look at [] for a nice Solaris platform to make a NAS. rad

rsync ftw (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37378624)

rsync.. winning!!

Re:rsync ftw (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#37379078)

rsync is BI-WINNING and powered by tiger's blood. It could bang seven gram rocks every day.

over the Internet ... (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378644)

Vital preliminary questions:

  1. What's the initial dataset size?
  2. How will you populate the initial mirror?
  3. How frequently does the dataset change?
  4. What's the bandwidth between the two sites?

Re:over the Internet ... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378792)

If he's already made up his mind it'll have to be over the internet for buzzword compliance, then all of that simply doesn't matter.

If he had considered that, he probably would have decided on some kind of physical system anyway.

Either way those questions won't matter.

Drobo or Cavalry will do (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378650)

How about Drobo [] or Cavalry [] , why not that with cron + rsync?

Depends what you want (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37378672)

For something simple that you maintain, you can just setup rsync and a couple remote boxes and go from there.

I use Backblaze for personal offsite backup. It fit my current needs by allowing backup of usb drives and being native (and not sucking up resources).

  • dependency on third-party for storage
  • small monthly fee
  • restoring large amounts of data suck
  • initial seed of data can suck


  • no server side maintenance for me
  • keeps old versions around
  • support has been good the few times I've used it

I would like to set up a PogoPlug at my parent's house. []

The other products I've tried (Wuala, SpiderOak, Carbonite, Crashplan, Jungle Disk) just didn't fit my needs or taste, but try them yourself.

Wikipedia also has a page []

Several thoughts on hardware and software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37378676)

I have recently gone through a failure of a NAS, and have been doing a similar investigation. Some general thoughts are as follows:
The NAS that failed was RAID 0, and while that provided more remote space, we realized that this is a single-point falure. While what failed was the motherboard (for the record, this was a 6TB LaCie Ethernet Disk XP Embedded), and no data was lost, this failure realized the importance of data robustness. I will give props to LaCie because their customer servie is amazing and fast.
In the future, we are pursuing a RAID 5 with a mirror, therefore there are two levels of back-up. Although they are co-located, being more sensitive to natural disasters, remote backups are unfortunately not possible for our purposes.
I have heard very good information about synology ( for hardware, and especially network transfer speeds
I have also very interested in Drobo NAS ( as their "beyondRAID" seems to have interesting potential.
I would consider this to be an important feature. There are sure to be many software solutions to consider, but here are some thoughts:
If you expect one approach over multiple platforms, the simpler solution, the better. An rsync/mirroring script that is performed either on log-on/off (e.g. roaming profiles), or periodic (hourly, daily) backups is preferable, because of prolific nature of rsync
I (personally) prefer non-condenced backups (i.e. raw files) which seem to have a greater longevity as they don't rely on varying compression techniques. Moreover, these can be then recovered from other platforms, and are not as critical. This is opposed to OS embeded techniques (such as Time Machine, which works well for one platform, but is not a universal solution)
If it suites you, very remove (i.e. "cloud" sources) may be ideal, although it depends on the sensitivity of your data.

Why complicate things? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37378694)

USB3 mass-storage router; external USB3-HDD dock; profit.

Bacula (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378724)

Bacula is a good network backup solution. Check it out at []

Sonicwall CDP appliances (1)

zerofoo (262795) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378744)

Depending on what your idea of "cheap" is, these aren't unreasonably priced.

The smaller models might work for home use. Unfortunately, features on the low-end models are ala-carte - so CDP to CDP syncing/off-site backup needs to be purchased separately.

They support Windows/Mac OS/Linux.


7zip + SFTP/SSH/Whatever + Thinking For 5 Seconds (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378748)

You want backups. 7zip does this.
You want encrypted backups. 7zip does this.
You want sequential/differential/whatever backup files instead of full backups each time. 7zip does this.

You want to store the backup on a network drive. SFTP/SSH/Whatever does this.
You want to sync the drive contents to another drive on the internet. SFTP/SSH/Whatever does this.
You want the transfer to be secure. SFTP/SSH/Whatever does this.

You want to schedule the jobs to run automatically. Thinking For 5 Seconds reveals how.
You want to transfer only the changes. Thinking For 5 Seconds reveals how.
You want a network drive that is NAT accessible and port-designatable. Thinking For 5 Seconds finds you one.

A simple 7z line will handle all your backup needs.
A simple xcopy/rsync/robocopy/whatever line will handle all the file moving.
A simple sftp/ssh/whatever line will handle the transfer to the remote drive.
A simple batch/cron job will schedule it to run automagically.

LogMeIn Backup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37378768)

I believe it has everything you want except the two-way syncing.

Online backups (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37378780)

I like Carbonite...only $50 per year or so and it works real-time...I just image my computer to a local USB drive then backup the drive...voila...I have an image backed up using Windows 7 backup tool which is more than enough...I used to use Acronis but this app for home use seem flaky....I retain my own key but if you think you need to restore files from a different computer you need to upload the encryption key within your account....would be nice if they allowed you to simply browse for the key so that you didn't have to upload it but it's a non-issue for me.

A Simple Method for a Home LAN (1)

DERoss (1919496) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378816)

My LAN consists of two PCs, mine and my wife's. We are networked through a Netgear router that also connects us to a cable modem for broadband Internet. We have no network drive as such, merely having access to selected parts of each other's hard drives.

I do the backups for both of us, using the Windows XP backup tool. The backups reside on our own hard drives for use in restoring files we might have deleted or incorrectly updated.

I transfer copies of my wife's backups to my own hard drive. I use a freeware version of PGP to encrypt and digitally sign the backup files, both mine and my wife's. I then use Eraser to destroy the unencrypted copies of my wife's backups on my hard drive since such copies remain on her PC. Finally, I move the encrypted backups to a portable hard drive that I normally keep remote from the PCs.

In case a disaster happens to our PCs, copies of my PGP public and private keys and their passphrases are stored in a safe deposit box at a bank.

QNAP (1)

b0bby (201198) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378818)

I have used a pair of QNAP TS-109s (older model) to do this - they can use whatever ports you want & they can be set to rsync on whatever schedule you like. According to this: [] the TS-112s will do everything you want, & newegg has them for $160, otherwise the TS-119P+ (can take 2.5" or 3.5" drives) is $250 or so. You need to add the drives. Their web interface is pretty nice, and mine are still going strong after 3+ years.

Re:QNAP (1)

ironjaw33 (1645357) | more than 3 years ago | (#37379244)

I have used a pair of QNAP TS-109s (older model) to do this - they can use whatever ports you want & they can be set to rsync on whatever schedule you like. According to this: [] the TS-112s will do everything you want, & newegg has them for $160, otherwise the TS-119P+ (can take 2.5" or 3.5" drives) is $250 or so. You need to add the drives. Their web interface is pretty nice, and mine are still going strong after 3+ years.

I've got one of these too, and it's been great. I've hacked it to run Debian Squeeze so I can mount it remotely using SSHFS -- older versions of the QNAP firmware only allowed you to SSH as root.

My suggestion is to use ... (1)

johnlcallaway (165670) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378826)

... Google. Or Yahoo. Or some other search engine. Because all you are going to get here are a bunch of disconnected and contradicting suggestions and will still have to look stuff up yourself to figure out what you want to do.

Stop being so damn lazy and expecting other people to do your work for you.

Synology DS1511+ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37378900)

Might be overkill but you have full RAID 5, encrypted back up to another DS1511+ unit or to Amazon S3. I have been using one for my business docs, mp3's, photos etc. It's a brilliant bit of kit.

All Way Sync (1)

Traciatim (1856872) | more than 3 years ago | (#37378918)

I use All-Way sync. Every machine I build has 2 hard drives in it, not in a RAID. The second drive is only used for backup. The sync app moves data from my important directories every night to the second drive, and every once in a while when I feel like it's needed they also sync across to another machines backup drive in the house. I also keep a drive at a friends house for my really important data and every once in a while copy to that too. It's fairly simple, it works well, and I haven't lost important data in years.

Free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37378962)

iFolder is pretty easy to set up if you have an extra linux server

Freenas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37378974)

Requires you to assemble your NAS, but is super and allows you to sync over SSH.

rsbackup+freenas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37379038)

Try this -- small computer box (or other device that can run freenas), install freenas, and use this setup

you could run it more than once a day, transfers only the differences over ssh/rsync and can store everything in a live filesystem with snapshots and compressed and encrypted if you want. I currently remotely backup about 100+ servers and a few desktops as well. Fast, easy, free, what more do you want

Solaris on old PCs, zfs send/receive w/dedup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37379040)

I put solaris 11 on a couple old PCs, and have one at my house, the other at my parent's house.

It does nightly ZFS send/receives. Dedup is turned on, so if Dad renames the top level dir, it won't resync 100GB. I have compression turned on for the remote FS's.

The only port you need to open through the router is SSH. ZFS will do RAID for you also.

Synctus (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 3 years ago | (#37379046)

Depends on what you define as "unreasonably expensive", but this outfit : Synctus [] will ship you a pair (or cloud) of pre-configured self-syncing, NAT traversing NAS boxes.

I met the guy who sells them at a geek social and he knows his stuff ; if you know enough, sure, you can produce an equally functional setup for lower hardware costs, but if your time is valuable the price is probably within the bounds of "reasonable" given that it includes the hardware, software, and service.

An open source effort (1)

afranke (1400099) | more than 3 years ago | (#37379072)

... by a company named Singly [] might be of interest to you. It's called the locker project [] .

Backup solution I use: Syncrify + Drobo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37379136)

Works great....Cheep.

Riverbed Whitewater will fit the bill nicely! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37379174)

Might be a bit pricey, though :)

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