Poll: How do you back up your data?

The more data we accumulate in our increasingly digital lives, the more we stand to lose in the event of a catastrophic storage failure. Fortunately, the steady progress of technology has made backing up vital data easier than ever. Users have plenty of options from which to choose, and we’re wondering what you rely on most often to back up important personal files.

Do you dump everything onto external hard drives, tap into the cloud with some kind of online backup service, pipe everything over your home network, kick it old-school with a stack of DVDs, or use some other method? You can cast your vote by scrolling down, hitting the front page, or clicking here.

In last week’s poll, we asked whether you purchase most of your PC games via online services. A resounding 71% said yes, with the overwhelming majority making their purchases on Steam. A handful of voters also use Direct2Drive, Games for Windows Live, the EA Store, and other online services. Some folks still prefer to buy games the old-fashioned way, though. 10% purchase physical copies from retail outlets, while 8% do so from online vendors. Another 8% do a great Keith Richards Jack Sparrow impression, while 4% smugly assert that they don’t play games at all.

Comments closed
    • apertur3
    • 9 years ago

    I’ve been using DriveImageXML for the past several months with success. Was previously using Acronis True Image but DIXML will make shadow copies as my system is running (and compress the data!) so I don’t have to have an equal sized drive for every drive I want to backup. It works pretty slick and is easy enough to configure a batch file for.

    • C-A_99
    • 9 years ago

    External HDD’s, flash drive, and the other computers I have.

    • chunkymonster
    • 9 years ago

    A mix of a NAS and external hard drive.

    Duplication across multiple mediums is the best solution I have found.

    • Silus
    • 9 years ago

    External hard drives for me!

    • Wintermane
    • 9 years ago

    I use a very simple method. If my hard drive fails its just god telling me I need to get new porn.

    • A_Pickle
    • 9 years ago

    How is “I have two hard drives” not in this poll?!?

      • derFunkenstein
      • 9 years ago

      two hard drives inside the machine is not backup. RAID is not backup, either (though I guess that requires two drives inside the machine).

        • Sunburn74
        • 9 years ago

        how is 2 drives inside the same machine, one serving as scheduled backups for the other, not backups?

    • Disco
    • 9 years ago

    I chose multiple methods, although my system is pretty simple. I have a main desktop on which I do most of my work. I also have a couple laptops hanging around, which I also use for work when I am away from home. I just use the program “Super Flexible File Synchronizer” to keep all my machines current every week or so. As the name says, it is a very flexible sync program and I can’t recommend it enough. Although I’ve never really experienced a true hard drive crash over the past 15-20 yrs, this method has saved my ass multiple times when I’ve screwed up a file or deleted one unintentionally.

    • frumper15
    • 9 years ago

    I use a combination of Windows Home server (both whole computer backup and folder duplication), Crashplan for both local to external drives and offsite to family/work computers, and Syncback for some syncing between some of my local machines. All my media and docs are stored on the WHS. Critical things like pictures of my kids are duplicated, backed up to an external drive locally, syncced with local machines, and backed up remotely via crashplan to 3 different places. Stuff that can be replaced, like music and movies aren’t duplicated on WHS, but are copied to external harddrives that are kept offsite and updated occassionally.
    For my needs I find WHS, Crashplan, and Syncback area a great fit with very low/no cost and very low management requirements.

    • kei
    • 9 years ago

    Three hard disks. Perl script to generate/update/check/clean-up a parallel directory structure with md5 checksum for each file. This allows, for example, checking data integrity at source, rsyncing to another disk, and then checking data integrity at destination.

    • burntham77
    • 9 years ago

    Once per week on Sunday nights my main system does an automatic backup to an external eSata drive. The following morning I do a manual backup of my main system to the HTPC across the room.

    I am considering a NAS option, as the backups do take up a large chunk of space on the HTPC, and a NAS might make backing up other PCs on the network, such as my wife’s laptop and HTPC, easier by putting everything in one central location.

    • nagashi
    • 9 years ago

    3 strategies, depending on the type of data:

    * All work-related files are backed up via version control, mostly svn and some git.
    * Audio/photos are backed up to an external hard drive
    * Video is backed up to my friend’s hard drives. If I lose a drive, I need to make a road trip to all their houses to copy all my stuff back.

    • vince
    • 9 years ago

    I actually have two methods: NAS and external drive (for the iMac). But for everything else, it’s on the NAS, so I voted NAS 😉

    • Metalianman
    • 9 years ago

    I was wasting too much time backing up data on DVDs and I already had more than 4 TB of hard drives full of data. The back up process got so boring that I just put some old hardware together, set up a CentOS server and my life is so much better with multiple RAID 5 arrays. haven’t lost a single bit in over 7 years! 😀

    • Veerappan
    • 9 years ago

    Multiple methods here:

    All of the data on my desktop is mirrored by an Areca SATA RAID controller in RAID 1.

    I back up the contents of my desktop’s hard drive to an external disk about once a month (whenever I remember to plug it in).

    All of my classwork (master’s program) is also hosted on a co-located server in an SVN repository. I’ve got copies of that data on my desktop, laptop, work machine, one of the school servers, and also checked out in my user folder on the server. The server uses RAID5 for its disks. My thesis work is being hosted in Git via github, and I’ve got checked out copies of this data in most of the same places as the SVN repository (desktop win7/linux partitions, laptop win/mac/linux partitions, HTPC, work, and co-located server).

    My laptop is a bit simpler. MacOS backs up to an external drive using Time Machine, and it’s windows partition backs up to an external drive. Its linux partition has been left to fend for itself, but the only data on that partition is the SVN checkout that is backed up already.

    The MythTV box is fairly unprotected. I’ve got a RAID1 array in that machine to handle a single-drive failure, but the rest of the data is not backed up externally. If I lose all of the digital copies of the TV shows I’ve recorded and movies I’ve ripped, I can replace them with a bit of work.

    I figure that this way I’ve got single-disk failure protection on my desktop. If a disk dies, I’m ok. If both disks die, I’ve got my external backup. If the house burns down, I buy a new laptop and finish my thesis and then cry about the rest of the lost data while I concentrate on moving. Eventually, I’ll be adding another external drive as an off-site backup (parents’ or friend’s house probably).

    The wife’s laptop is a nightmare… Still running Mac OS 10.4 (no Time Machine). I keep trying to convince her that I could back it up and upgrade it to Leopard and use one of my spare drives to back it up regularly, but she just says that it’s not a good time, and that she’s planning on replacing it in a few months anyway… This laptop is already on its second hard drive after the first failed 2 weeks out of warrantee (I managed to salvage about 2/3 of the data before it finally died).

    • willmore
    • 9 years ago

    Two raid5 arrays in separate boxes that rsync nightly.

    I really want to look into a better off site system. Something like “mail a spindle of dvdisaster encoded DVDs to a relative”. Hmm, should throw in some encryption.

    I used to use GPG on my backup tapes (back when one could find tapes big enough). The server would encode the backup with a public key. It, itself would not be able to restore the backup without the matching private key–which I kept elsewhere. It made recycling backup tapes much easier.

    • Voldenuit
    • 9 years ago

    Hard drive growth has outstripped affordable consumer level backup options for me. I used to archive to DVD-R, but that’s simply unfeasible in this age of multi terabyte drives, and Bluray discs and burners are too expensive and too small to be a feasible solution for me.

      • willmore
      • 9 years ago

      I agree, BD-R drives are just starting to get cheap enough to justify for data retention uses ($70 for a 10 drive at Fry’s, recently), but it’s too late. 25G each? Add in some redundancy and you knock that down to 20 or 15G each. Now, how many of them would it take to backup my 6T on my server?

      Ansers below (no peeking!):

      240 discs with no ECC
      300 with 5G/disc of ECC
      400 with 10G/disc of ECC (this is the level I use on DVDs)

      Now, a good incremental scheme would help this a lot, but it’s still a huge chunk of plastic. One is probably better off buying a whole new array, replicating to it, and mailing that to a secure location.

    • setaG_lliB
    • 9 years ago

    Gonna lose everything and cry myself to sleep if my hard drives die.

      • setzer
      • 9 years ago

      Same here.

      I have some redundancy for really important data, and have survived some hard drives through the careful buying of new disks when the old ones were near their half-life.
      But i’m now living dangerously with a raid0 setup and loving the thrill of it 😛

    • PetMiceRnice
    • 9 years ago

    My personal data is stored on an external hard drive, which is backed up onto another external hard drive every couple of months. Hard drives have gotten so cheap that this is the best way to go (at least for me). I used to back up data onto CD’s and DVD’s, but hard drives are so much easier to deal with.

    • d0g_p00p
    • 9 years ago

    I chose “Multiple Methods” My main storage is 8TB NAS (RAID5) where I pretty much keep everything. Attached to that is a external 1.5TB (RAID5) box for backups stored on the NAS box.

    How my backup works is my desktop runs Personal Backup and dumps all my important stuff to a directory on my NAS box. standard son/father/grandfather backup. From there the NAS runs a rsync cron job that dumps that directory to the external 1.5TB disk on a nightly basis.

    I had no type of backup prior to getting the NAS box and only recently added the external disk to the NAS for “real” backups. I know people are going to say RAID is not a backup but I don’t agree. I can lose a single disk fail each device (desktop, NAS, external box) and both pb and rsync protect me against user errors.

    works for me.

    • Rakhmaninov3
    • 9 years ago

    I love how “tape” has received more votes than “memory card.” What are the tape users actually using them for?

    Nixon got in trouble for backing up his communications on tapes. 😛

      • kc77
      • 9 years ago

      Servers. NAS is great for quick and easy access to backup files. However, tape still can have it’s advantages. For 1 they aren’t that big compared to enterprise backup solutions. You’re not going to pack drives from a raid collection away. It’s easier to do it with tape.

    • PeterD
    • 9 years ago

    I write everything down in a paper notebook, and keep that in the shed. We have a big shed.

    • BenBasson
    • 9 years ago

    Mozy (Home). Cheap, effective, no hassle. Couldn’t recommend it more. It even has the option to manage local (i.e. external disk) backups as well as backing up online.

    • RealPjotr
    • 9 years ago

    Windows Home Server… missing that option.

    • Deanjo
    • 9 years ago

    16 TB FreeNAS box. Critical items are synced to a server over to a datacentre.

    • albundy
    • 9 years ago

    my important data is well encrypted, in the bright white fluffy things in the sky, known to yooz peoples as ADrive. a second backup is done on a separate external e-sata drive. its all i’ve got implemented for my raid0 array.

    • crsh1976
    • 9 years ago

    At home, for my very basic needs, I simply use a basic 2-disk NAS attached to my wifi router.

    • tompka
    • 9 years ago

    Amahi home Server with Greyhole spanning many disks, QNAP NAS for additional backup and redundancy… Love Amahi!

    • Anomymous Gerbil
    • 9 years ago

    You guys need to enable multiple replies with your polls.

      • homerdog
      • 9 years ago

      “Multiple methods” doesn’t cover it?

        • Anomymous Gerbil
        • 9 years ago

        No, of course not. “Multiple methods” tells you nothing about which methods they use. This poll is a waste of space.

          • willmore
          • 9 years ago

          Fortunately, there’s this button labeled “post a comment” for just such situations. Oh, I see you found it.

    • ludi
    • 9 years ago

    My desktop has three physical disks, so one disk crash definitely won’t kill the works. Data backups are divided amongst two external hard disks. Most of my media files are also replicated on a separate HTPC, and also onto a third external HDD that usually follows me to work.

    My Documents gets copied to a CD-R about once every two months. Those, I store off-site at my folks’ house.

    • spigzone
    • 9 years ago

    Drobo, my beautiful, beautiful Drobo …

    • adampk17
    • 9 years ago

    Windows Home Server.

      • FuturePastNow
      • 9 years ago

      Same here. I built one myself, and it is great.

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 9 years ago

      Same here with the option that the WHS backs up itself.

    • solo_clipper
    • 9 years ago

    A couple of years ago I looked at my pile of CD disks, DVD disks and old hard drives with backed up data and said to myself , you have never once looked at them since they were stored. Now I don’t back up anything. I keep on looking forward, why look back?

    • Hattig
    • 9 years ago

    This really needs checkboxes, not radio buttons…

    DropBox for smaller important docs.
    External hard drive for media.
    Duplication across multiple computers 😉

    • cheerful hamster
    • 9 years ago

    No Yarr option? Just upload everything of value to BT sites and if your drives crash then download it (again?). All your truly personal stuff could probably fit on a floppy.

      • Veerappan
      • 9 years ago

      Not here… While I’ve been in school I’ve collected a lot of code/notes which would be very hard to replace. Not to mention old tax returns, banking info, and all of the work I’ve done on my thesis to date (including the several GB of OpenCL profiler output that I will be using to generate many of the figures in my paper).

        • Buzzard44
        • 9 years ago

        Thumbs down for not recognizing sarcasm.

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 9 years ago

    Other: Constantly upgrading to a larger hard drive that holds all the vital contents of the previous hard drive, plus more room for torrents and games (and porn).

    Currently my media library spans 7 drives, 2 of which aren’t connected…

    • odizzido
    • 9 years ago

    You can usually tell when a HD is going to die so I usually just copy the entire drive to another one to be ready for when it does go.

    • ew
    • 9 years ago

    BackupPC with storage pool on a RAID 1 array. Saved my butt a few months ago when my laptop’s hard drive died.

    • Entroper
    • 9 years ago

    RAID 1 at home, with nothing super important to worry about losing. At work, everything important is checked into source control, which is backed up offsite.

    • glynor
    • 9 years ago

    Describing my “multiple” vote:

    1. For my main media storage system I have a 4-drive RAID 5 array in an Addonics Storage Tower box (it has two extra bays for future expansion when needed). By the way, external mini-SAS cables are absurdly expensive (I think they must be made out of unicorn tears and dragon scales or something).

    2. I have a Thermaltake BlacX Duet dock connected to this system, and another single-drive dock at work. I have 2 3TB WD Green drives. One of these two drives “lives” connected to the dock on the system at home, and the other at work, and then I swap them every so often (about once a month or so). SyncBack SE keeps the contents of the RAID box synced to the “external” disk.

    3. Likewise, I use Acronis True Image to keep a “live clone” of my main system drives (updated every so often when I remember) on a shelf.

    4. I also have two 16GB USB drives, one at home and one in a safety deposit box. I keep all of my “most important” data synced to one of these 2 USB drives using SyncBack SE. This includes an 8GB TrueCrypt container file where my Quicken files and all my other “sensitive data” lives. I swap this with the one in the safety deposit box every so often, though not as often as I should. All of that data is [b<]also[/b<] replicated on the 3TB Green drive at work, though, so unless something REALLY horrible happens I should be fine. One nice thing about this is that I have the USB sync profile only run once per week, where the hard drive sync runs every day. That lets me always roll back to at least "last week's" version of documents if I mess something up manually. 5. Most of the stuff I need to access regularly I keep in my Dropbox folder (which is also synced to the USB drives), so I also get some nice cloud storage and access to the files on my phone. It took me a really long time, and a few painful data losses, to get to this point, but I'm about as secure as I could possibly be without using an online backup service of some kind. Plus, this gives me the benefit of having access to basically my entire data set from the office, which is very nice. PS. Syncback SE is about as awesome as a program can possibly be for the money.

    • holophrastic
    • 9 years ago

    Actually, none of the above. It turns out that in this day and age of multiple colleagues and teamwork, my data exists in multiple locations all by itself. Between the e-mail server itself, the IMAP account, the latent pop3 accounts, and each client that connects to an e-mail account and downloads messages, and various redirects, every e-mail in my entire company winds up on at least three machines.

    Code follows a very different but equally crazy path. It’s on the web server, naturally. Download via ftp and the text editor places it into a not-so-temporary folder. hit save, and the text editor saves it to a permanent folder before sending it back up to the server. Five minutes later, another developer edits the same file. So now it’s in three directories on two developer machines, plus the server for a total of 7 natural copies.

    Business data isn’t produced for fun. Accounting documents and tax calculations are e-mailed to accountants and lawyers. Invoices are e-mailed to clients.

    Certainly, it’s a pain to retrieve everything — but you don’t tend to lose everything. And besides, that pain, annoying as it is, only lasts 4 hours.

      • Anomymous Gerbil
      • 9 years ago

      Wow, that seems pretty ad-hoc for what sounds like critical data. I hope you never lose your data centre…

    • LoneWolf15
    • 9 years ago

    HP MediaSmart server, running Windows Home Server. Automagically backs up all clients on a regular schedule. Backups can be used for bare-metal restore, and due to Windows Server Single-Instance-Storage technology, files are not duplicated across backups (e.g., if two clients have the same iexplore.exe file, only one copy is kept), saving space.

    The Server itself has folder duplication enabled to protect from drive failure, but is also backed up to an external drive in an eSATA enclosure. At some point, I’ll probably need a multi-drive external enclosure, but for now, I have a single 2TB drive.

      • SezaGeoff
      • 9 years ago

      Pretty well the same as me, though I don’t have as much data as you. I rotate the external drives, storing the alternates in the fireproof safe in the stand-alone garage. WHS seems to do its external backups nearly as well as it does the attached PC backups. Also does the wife’s MacBook Air via TimeMachine to the WHS. As well, important stuff is also copied onto duplicated folders on the WHS.

    • KarateBob
    • 9 years ago

    I upload my important pics to Facebook. They never delete anything.

    Everything else important is mirrored around on local hdds, usb sticks, burned optical media and/or the cloud

      • Corrado
      • 9 years ago

      The resolution/quality/compression is AWFUL though. Why not use picasa or Flickr instead.

        • Statica
        • 9 years ago

        I think you forgot to turn your sarcasm detector on today! lol

    • dmjifn
    • 9 years ago

    Was seriously looking at Carbonite – encouraged by the GUI but a little thrown off by the data loss stories.

    Been pinging my friends, trying to get them interested in doing CrashPlan with me. None of them will bite. Don’t suppose TR would set up a //crashplan.techreport.com/dmjifn/? 🙂

      • Irascible
      • 9 years ago

      Carbonite = cheap, easy, off-site, remote access to files by ‘puter or smart phone app

      I get why tech-heads like their fancy solutions. But for fifty some bucks a year I’d just as soon avoid the headaches.

        • dmjifn
        • 9 years ago

        You are right in what you say. I currently use SyncToy, Acronis, and Win 7 backups and would not miss this type of tinkering. I did compare the cost and Carbonite compares pretty well to even buying a drive doc and 2nd 2TB drive, even better against setting up a small home server. The ability to grab your files off the internet made it a no brainer.

        But then I saw the data loss stories that seem to apply to all pro players, and I lost some enthusiasm.

        Tinkering with a new toy is a draw, sure. But also:
        * It’s free. And I’m cheap.
        * It can back up my ubuntu laptop AND Win 7 desktop AND my gfs Mac for the one low price of “free”.
        * It does external drives, both as backup sources and destinations.
        * It will push to an external drive, a machine on the LAN, a machine on the Internet, AND to a CrashPlan paid account if you want.
        * I feel comfortable that 3-4 of my friends wouldn’t all go down at the same time (disclosure: I have zero insight into the comparative odds of this vs losing data with a pro service)
        * I like being able to drive by a friend’s house with an external HD if needed rather than pay $130 for a shipped HD.

        Carbonite is OK. It’s just second place is all.

          • Irascible
          • 9 years ago

          Indeed. If I had all the “complications” you describe I’d tinker too. 🙂 I’m average Joe that runs a business with just one computer with one HD to back up. It’s mission critical data, so to speak, and I’m very busy. The thought-free reliability of Carbonite is perfect.

          Data loss stories that apply to pro players???

            • dmjifn
            • 9 years ago

            “Complications” is a great word for it. 😉

            By “pro players”, I meant the businesses popping up to service the (growing) online backup market.

            Before actually pulling the trigger, I decided to go read reviews on various providers. I think every major company had someone who loved it and vice versa. Usually people were happy with the initial set up. Then Provider A would have a bug in their software which ground the user’s PC to a halt. Or Provider B wouldn’t let the user restore after a crash because it wasn’t the “original” PC.

            With Carbonite – in 2007, they lost 7500 users’ data. Which is only really a big deal to people who lost their HDs then also (there were some). But, for those users, ALL copies of their data was gone. In 2009, Carbonite sued Promise Technologies over this for selling them “faulty equipment”. Promise’s response was that Carbonite didn’t know how to run a data center.

            That was 2 years ago, and I’m sure any such problems are behind them. Probably. I’m just saying, such stories don’t improve my confidence.

            • Irascible
            • 9 years ago

            Ah. Got it.

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 9 years ago

    Windows Home Server.

    • Jambe
    • 9 years ago

    Data on the PC is on some RAID 1 disks for redundancy; that’s backed up to another part of the house in the NAS (RAID 5 affair). Critical stuff also finds itself on S3. I have all my CD’s and movie discs in a tucked-away closet as well… dunno if that counts… they just sit there.

    • Materiel
    • 9 years ago

    Carbonite (encryption password managed by me), external 2.5″ HDD using Acronis True Image.

    • boing
    • 9 years ago

    Got 5 tb of data, though I only backup around 300 gb of it which is personal data, photographs, documents, research, theses and other important stuff. The rest can be re-downloaded again in case of a crash.

    • Corrado
    • 9 years ago

    Time Machine to a Western Digital 2tb NAS for both mine and my wife’s main machines. I have a second NAS that mirrors the 1st as well once every 2 weeks.

    • Joerdgs
    • 9 years ago

    Two external haddrives which I sync using the program GoodSync. One of them is always in my backpack when I’m not home.

    • Mentawl
    • 9 years ago

    No “Home Server” option? Boo. I voted for NAS as the closest thing. 🙂

    • DancinJack
    • 9 years ago

    External HDs and NAS ftw.

    • swaaye
    • 9 years ago

    A lot of my stuff ends up duplicated at work or on other computers and that’s how I roll for backups.

    • flip-mode
    • 9 years ago

    How in the world did “secondary drive” not make it into the options? Poll fail. Oh well, I chose “external hard drive” since I guess that’s the most similar options.

    • MrBojangles
    • 9 years ago

    I’m gonna lose tons of irreplaceable porn and games that can never be reinstalled should my hard drive crash…….. errr wait a sec that can’t be right??

      • Peffse
      • 9 years ago

      oh, so you bought Securom games too?

    • quackxp
    • 9 years ago

    Windows Live Mesh sync of my laptop and my girlfriends laptop up to my desktop. Windows backup of our two profiles to second internal drive dedicated to backup and storage space for non critical (non backed up) files and online backup to Carbonite.

    I know live mesh and Carbonte do not work for Linux and I don’t care.

    More people access the web through the iPhone that do Linux so I see why its not a priority to these companies.

    [url<]http://www.w3counter.com/globalstats.php[/url<]

    • thesmileman
    • 9 years ago

    The only usable data resulting from this poll is the fact that we need a poll with checkboxes.

      • Dirge
      • 9 years ago

      Ya I chose “Multiple methods” but would like to see more specific results.

    • blastdoor
    • 9 years ago

    Two computers, different locations, each with an external hard drive backed up by Time Machine. I keep copies of important files on both computers.

    • puppetworx
    • 9 years ago

    Secondary internal hard drive. Surprised there is no option for this as it’s the cheapest option to prevent loss from drive failure. If the whole PC goes that’s another story, but that’s far less likely to happen then a single drive failing.

    • firestorm02
    • 9 years ago

    1 system/apps drive, 2 Raid0 data drives and monthly archive to an external HD.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 9 years ago

    The super-critical stuff goes into my Dropbox account automatically. A free 2.5GB of online storage that auto-syncs as changes are made is great.

    The rest is stuff that I could survive if it croaked – MP3s, videos, photos that I haven’t uploaded to other sites like Facebook. I take reasonable precautions to make sure it doesn’t croak, though – backing up to an external hard drive using Acronis True Image Home 2010 that I shut off and unplug when it’s not in use. It doesn’t even do full system backups, just my user data, music/video/photo libraries, and the contents of my audio drive. The emerging trend of being able to download installers from websites where I’ve registered the apps (Studio One, Sonar X1, EZ Drummer, Guitar Rig, etc.) is pretty sweet. I have installers saved in my backup, but if I ever lost the backup it’s nice to know I could download it again.

    • bLaNG
    • 9 years ago

    First-Gen Netbook connected via USB to a Raid1 External HDD with 4 GB (gross) and a 1,5 GB external drive.
    Netbook itself is connected via 100 MBit LAN. Actually, this system serves not only as media and backup storage but as web, ftp, torrent, print and Skype server. All while using around 10 Watts.

    • Kurotetsu
    • 9 years ago

    1TB external hard drive + Dropbox for certain documents. I’ve been toying with the idea of some sort of online backup, just to reduce the number of hard drives I need sitting around.

    • etrigan420
    • 9 years ago

    Sadly…nothing I have on my computer is important enough to worry about.

      • HunterZ
      • 9 years ago

      Same here really, but Windows 7 nags you to set up Windows Backup, so I did that for a while and got sick of it. Decided to look around for some alternatives that fit my needs better (backup over LAN on Win 7 Home Premium, Linux support, etc.) and found CrashPlan.

    • Xylker
    • 9 years ago

    WHS FTW!

      • mcnabney
      • 9 years ago

      18TB WHS server…….. with an offsite backup.

      Why yes, I am paranoid. Why do you ask?

        • Kurotetsu
        • 9 years ago

        Is that for purely personal use or for a home business? I ask because I’m wondering if I want to potentially risk brain cells by reading the justification for it.

          • mcnabney
          • 9 years ago

          Every picture.
          Every video.
          All of the digitized 8mm home movies.

          For the entire extended family.

          Everyone uploads to my server and I protect it. The backup sits at my dad’s house.

            • Sahrin
            • 9 years ago

            Interesting. Is there any reason you don’t use something like Mosy ($5/month for infinite backup)? (At 18TB it seems like it would be a steal over the drives). Just wondering.

            • esc_in_ks
            • 9 years ago

            With that much data already collected, it would take who-knows-how-long for him to upload it all. That was the conclusion I came to when I considered using Mozy or Carbonite, and I have a fraction of the 18TB he has (only 4TB).

            • mongoosesRawesome
            • 9 years ago

            Mozy is no longer unlimited storage. Carbonite still is, but they throttle to 100kbps after 200GB.

            At that speed, it would take 2.74 YEARS to complete that backup (a full 18TB).

            • paulWTAMU
            • 9 years ago

            18 friggin TB?! How many pictures of grandkids do you need?

    • HunterZ
    • 9 years ago

    I picked external HDD, but really it’s an internal secondary 2TB HDD that I use for media and backups.

    I’ve been using CrashPlan on all of my Windows and Linux machines to back up my user folders, application data folders (but not installation folders) and Windows registry hive files over the LAN to the 2TB HDD.

    • cheerful hamster
    • 9 years ago

    5 1/4″ floppies.

      • Buzzard44
      • 9 years ago

      They need a cheese option.

    • indeego
    • 9 years ago

    Acronis to local storage, then VPN to work the very important stuff.

    Windows 7 backup is borked, it is slow, wasteful, broken with some types of AV installed, has issues restoring to different media types. I would not trust it at all.

    I’ve used Acronis at work and home for ~8 years now, and it has saved my ass numerous times.

    • Buzzard44
    • 9 years ago

    I went for external hard drive, although it’s an internal hard drive I just pop into a dock when I need to back up.

    • Farting Bob
    • 9 years ago

    I have a 6.5TB fileserver which stores my media library that i built out of cheap parts i had lying around. Other than the HDD’s the only thing i had to buy was a PSU.
    I have everything on at least 2 drives there, sync them once a week. My main Pc only has a single 1-platter Samsung drive to keep all my programs and other stuff on, it gets backed up every week as well.

    • bowman
    • 9 years ago

    External hard drive, multiple internal hard drives, my laptop, and Dropbox.

    • Thanato
    • 9 years ago

    None of the above, I have extra internal hard drives in each machine where I back up my work. External hard drive just add clutter to my desk, so I use hot swap bays on my machines.

    • bthylafh
    • 9 years ago

    An older SATA drive inside my case. It’s all kinds of sub-optimal, but it’s still better than not bothering, which I did for ages before this.

    Actually, I think the last full backup I did before this involved about forty floppies and MS Backup for DOS 6.

    • BKA
    • 9 years ago

    External drive and BD-RW’s

      • [SDG]Mantis
      • 9 years ago

      Redundant copies of key data across multiple systems and thumb drives, external drive for weekly system back-ups. Data sync occurs at least every couple of days.

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