We set up many of our clients with a service called CrashPlan for offsite backup of their Mac computers. Having a backup offsite, in a different place from your computer, is important in case of a flood, fire, or theft at your home or office. And also in case the local backup fails. (You do have a local backup, right?)
CrashPlan only backs up what is new since the last backup. So usually that doesn’t take long. But that first backup can take forever. Why does it take so long for CrashPlan to do the initial backup?
It’s because your upload speed, from your computer to the internet, is usually much slower than your download speed, from the internet. In the past that wasn’t a big deal, because most people were just looking at the web or downloading files. But now that people want to store files in the cloud, upload speed is important too.
Here’s a personal example. I just got a new MacBook Air for personal use (well, it’s a hand-me-down, but new to me). And I set it up at home to start the first CrashPlan backup over the internet.
At home I have Time Warner Cable for internet. My MacBook Air said that it would take 35 days to complete the first backup!
So I brought my MacBook Air to the office, where we have Verizon FiOS. FiOS has a way faster upload speed than DSL or cable. Now the Air says it will only take 2.5 days for the first backup with CrashPlan. Quite a difference the faster upload speed makes!
Image of the safe deposit box by -JvL- from Flickr Creative Commons.