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I have tried an external hard drive and it just isn't practical for me because...
-I travel so I can't have it plugged in all the time
-When at the office it is on site sitting right next to my laptop. I would like to backup to a different physical location
I have looked at several online options. Ideally I'd like to be able to back up....
-Emails (OutLook) *This is a big one*
-Program files /.exe's / System files (this seems like the show stopper, I think I can live without it)
-I would like to be able to restore/download all the files/folders onto a new laptop should something happen
I'd appreciate any suggestions. I was looking at carbonite among others.
There are some encrypted services, but you have to pay them by the megabyte which can become quite an amount of money if you want to backup a full harddisk.
My solution at the moment is a shareware program I found (please don't sticky me about the name, there are more of these programs with several features which might fit your needs, please search for yourself) that is capable of setting up an SSH connection to one of my dedicated servers and backup local data over an SFTP connection to my remote server. Before copying, the data is encrypted and optionally compressed to ZIP format. When copying the data back, the encryption reverses.
With this solution the key for encryption is only known on my local computer, so even if people hack into my dedicated server, the hackers will only find a number of encrypted files.
And this solution is cheaper than the ready-to-go solutions also, at least if you happen to have a server with some unused gigabytes in a remote location.
For most people, a commercial online service would not be ideal for both security and volume reasons. And with the volume you are suggesting, you'd be spending half your life backing up.
The joy of external hard drives is that they are portable - not while functioning, granted. But it doesn't have to stay next to your laptop, does it?
You could even have two external hard drives, one at home, one at work - unless you are proposing to lose data several times a day? ;)
If you dump outlook and use gmail, you'll reduce the backup need instantly, and manage spam better, too.
[edited by: Quadrille at 11:54 pm (utc) on Jan. 5, 2008]
One stranger solution might be to leave your external at the office/home wherever for big back ups when you are there and buy a second, smaller and cheaper laptop.
You can then back up to the other laptop while on the road, plus you have the benefit of having a ready working laptop all configured to your preferred settings in case anything goes wrong with the primary.
Sounds strange but can be a useful alternative.