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Looking for Backup Solutions


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6 replies to this topic

#1 GameMaster

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 07:41 PM

Hello,

I am considering getting a backup solution for my parents and me. I would prefer doing local backups instead of cloud backups because our internet is not very quick as we are on DSL. Both our PCs run Windows (my parents have Windows 7 Home Premium that was installed on their HP some years back and I have Windows 8.1 on a PC built about last year). My parents have a single 1TB hard drive and I have a 120GB SSD (OS and some programs) and a 1TB HDD.

 

Here are some options I am considering:

 

Hard Drives:

1. Get 2 external hard drives, 1 for my parents and 1 for me.

2. Get 1 cloud external hard drive (my router supports up to 100mbps over ethernet).

3. Get 1 external hard drive and place it at my PC and have backup software on my parents PC backup there through the network as well as having my PC backup there locally (not sure if this would work as my PC is not on all day).

 

Software:

1. Use Windows's built in backup (I have heard issues about this though).

2. Use a free third-party alternative.

3. Get 2 licenses of commercial software, 1 for my parents and 1 for me.

 

Other:

1. Get 2 hard drives with backup software bundled.

 

What do you think? Also, any hard drive recommendations and software recommendations are appreciated.

 

EDIT: Grammar fix.


Edited by GameMaster, 01 April 2015 - 07:43 PM.


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#2 Robert House

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Posted 01 April 2015 - 08:44 PM

Here is what I'd do.  I'd get a 2-3 TB Seagate central or the 2 TB Western digital local network storage device.  If separation of files and privacy are important to you you can password protect the area or amount of space each of you want.   That is one local backup solution but you really need two if your data is especially important to you.  Here, I'd select one of the copiously available cloud drive storage solutions.  Your data stream is fast enough for at least one computer to stream video to watch and a slower internet really is no issue as long as you have the time to upload and then download in a reasonable amount of time the things that you need.

 

I'm not big on cloud storage.  I've been bitten twice.  Bait and change and I lost a huge amount of data with Bitcasa.  Now, I use one of the mostly non streaming cloud backup such as Amazon (they all seem to rent from Amazon anyway), or Open drive or One drive or Google drive.  Those names seem to want to do it right for the consumer.  The other ones, I'm just not sure anymore. Oh Drop box is good too.  For my needs.  Look at your exact needs and there is no reason to pay for more storage than you'll need.  That being said, with some of the newer SSD drives having a 10 year warranty that's good future proofing.  Good luck.  I'm sure other's have completly different ideas and that's the good thing for us these days.

 


Edited by Robert House, 01 April 2015 - 08:50 PM.


#3 Citizen_WD

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 09:21 AM

Hello GameMaster,
First of all, congratulations on your wise decision to set up a dedicated backup storage. I'll try to give you a short and clear answer, although there are many different possible solutions and there isn't a right or wrong one. 
 
Your first option ( "Get 2 external hard drives, 1 for my parents and 1 for me.") is better if you have personal stuff and would like to keep it that way. No need to make things excessively complicated with passwords, but you could if you wanted to.  WD My Passport Ultra would be a great choice and comes with WD SmartWare Pro. This offers options for how, when and where you back up your files, as well as password protection. 
 
The second option ( "Get 1 cloud external hard drive" ) has it's pros and cons. You will be able to access it anywhere, and if you choose a dual drive cloud you could run a RAID array as well, and double the protection of your data. I'd say this solution is better if your data is not that personal, but really important. WD My Cloud Mirror is a device that would suit perfectly if you want to go with the personal cloud option, and it offers many other great features (such as connection with Dropbox, USB 3.0 extention ports, WD SmartWare Pro and more).  You can take a look at these devices here http://www.wdc.com/en/ 
 
Let me know if you have other questions, I'll try my best to answer them, Citizen_WD


#4 Scoop8

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 10:11 AM

GameMaster

 

Good info from Robert House and  Citizen_WD .

 

I have 2 Win 7x64 PC's.

 

Here's what I do for my backups:

 

- Clone my Desktop PC every 2 weeks for a full HDD backup copy.  I Image occasionally for redundancy using a Target external USB HDD where I store several full-HDD Images from my 2 PC's and a family member's XP PC.

 

- Backup my "must-have" items, such as an Outlook PST data file and a few Excel files, etc, things that are frequently edited/updated.

 

To backup those things, I use a twice-daily unattended backup job to a target USB external HDD using "Acronis" 2011 version software.

 

I also run a manual "copy" script file to a couple of Flash Drives for redundancy with those items.

 

 

Hardware:

 

I have 2 spare internal HDD's for each of my PC's.  Since they are "spinner" HDD's, the return on investment is worth it for me to have bootable spare HDD's ready on the shelf to recover from a variety of undesirable scenarios. I use one spare to occasionally test-restore the PC from a stored full-HDD Image file.

 

Those 2 HDD's are connected to the PC's only during Cloning processes to help prevent "encryption/ransomware" malware issues.

 

I use a continuously-connected USB HDD for my automated Acronis backups.

 

I use 2 Flash Drives for the same backups that are connected only during the file-copy process.

 

Backup Software:

 

Here's a couple of links at this forum with information that may help. 

 

Backup Software Recommendations

 

 

Check out quietman7's post #3 in this link for links to various backup software options:

 

Suggestions about Backup

 

 

I use Acronis (paid version) for my Cloning and Macrium Reflect (free version) for my Imaging processes.  I like to have a couple of backup software options available in case I encounter issues with one product.

 

I've used a 3rd tool called "Clonezilla" (a free ISO download) but it's not, my take, one of the more straightforward tools for novice users.

 

 

Things I'd recommend to consider:

 

- Redundancy.  If one backup recovery path fails for a variety of possibilities, you'll have more paths to use for a recovery requirement.

 

- Include a full-HDD recovery path (Cloning and/or Imaging) in addition to having backups of those must-keep personal items.

 

- Spare internal HDD's.  I noticed you're running with one SSD HDD so cost may be an issue there.  For your parent's PC's, I'm guessing they have conventional "spinner" HDD's in their PC's.

 

Since the spinner HDD costs have decreased significantly the last couple of years, it's worth considering having a compete tested bootable spare HDD available on the shelf containing everything for recovery from nearly all malware and undesirable incidents, in addition to providing a fast recovery in case the Source HDD fails unexpectedly.



#5 RolandJS

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 10:16 AM

Macrium and Acronis can squeeze 2-3 backups from each computer onto each external HD.  I believe poster[s] above recommended you and your parents each having 1 if not 2 backup sets  [1 OS/program partition backup & 1 data partition backup] on each external HD.  Because any 1 of 2 external HDs [rarely both together] can suddenly become unreadable -- I now have backup sets of desktop and laptop on each of my ext usb HDs.


Edited by RolandJS, 02 April 2015 - 10:17 AM.

"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#6 GameMaster

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 07:59 PM

Hello all,

 

Sorry for the late reply.

 

I appreciate your help. I have decided to go with 2 separate 1 TB external portable hard drives or a 1 2TB external portable hard drive (more likely the former). Furthermore, I have decided to go with Bvckup 2 or Acronis True Image 2015 Backup Home as backup software. I will download the trials, but still would like to know your experiences with these pieces of software. Reading a review on Acronis True Image 2014 by Edward Mendelson on PCMag concerns me. I don't like how it ruined his system and that there were problems with knowing what option was selected, though this could have been fixed.

 

Being able to encrypt data is an option that I would like to have the ability to use if needed.

 

Also, I would prefer to have support for the product's life for free. Something that looks like Acronis True Image lacks.

 

Robert House, I believe my ISP imposes a data cap of 150GB per month, so that may also be an issue with cloud backup services.

 

RolandJS, maybe I can partition the hard drives to make 2 backups. 1 may be okay, I imagine, though. I will be plugging them in every so often and unplugging them to back up data, so if any warnings or something odd appears, I can get the drive serviced.


Edited by GameMaster, 06 April 2015 - 08:00 PM.


#7 RolandJS

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 08:58 PM

As long as your computer and your parent's computer has at least 1 backup on each external HD, you've covered the bases.  Acronis, Macrium, Norton Ghost, all of these are going to have problems posted, that's the nature of things.  No program made by man is perfect, no hardware made by man is perfect, no enduser [self-made or Above-made] is perfect.  All one can do is secure what is free or fee, regularly and dedicatedly use said software and hardware, and as one person's signature somewhere put it:  Backup, backup, backup!  I add:  Regularly test backup images by restoring a folder or a file.  As an example:  one of my restore attempts failed, 'cause the external media failed [I did a full-format once, to lockout any errant clusters] did an MS fixThis, all ok, hence I have two external HDs which has images from each of the computers.


Edited by RolandJS, 06 April 2015 - 09:01 PM.

"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)





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