At this week’s MacTech Boot Camp conference in Boston, a recurring theme was new solutions for online backup for the Mac.
Five years ago, backing up your Mac over the internet to a server in a data center was extremely difficult. Most people had extremely slow internet (DSL or even dialup) which meant uploading data to a remote location was too time-consuming. There were also few options in terms of providers who were offering lots of data storage at a reasonable price. Last, there was not much software that had been designed for automatic backup in this manner.
Now there are multiple options for backup to a remote server in the cloud. The big names in this space are Mozy, Carbonite, and CrashPlan (although there are others too). They generally all offer the following:
- Data is sent over the internet as encrypted, and is stored encrypted
- Allow you to set automatic backup times and backup intervals (including ongoing backup)
- Flat or low monthly fees for multiple GB of storage
- Backups can resume from where they left off (if user powers down computer in the middle of a backup)
- You can decide what you want to back up, on a folder-by-folder basis
At the MacTech conference the overwhelming majority of attendees recommended and use CrashPlan for offsite backup. Here are the reasons why they prefer CrashPlan.
- Extremely robust especially on Mac
- Free version allows you to back up remotely to another computer (for example you can back up your home Mac to your office Mac and vice versa, for free)
- Flat monthly fee for home user backup to CrashPlan server
- Have option for business backup to CrashPlan server for a fee per GB
- Lots of customization possible
- Also can be set up for onsite backup, as well as offsite backup
- If only one small thing changes on a very large file (an Entourage file, a video file) then only that small thing needs to get backed up again, because it uses block-level backup (instead of file-level backup)
As a result we have begun recommending CrashPlan for offsite backup for many clients (as well as for onsite backup for some clients).