World Backup Day is today: Backup your data!

Backups are an important topic, but something many people don't think about until it's too late. We have a lot of data always available in the cloud, and sites like Flickr, Youtube, and Facebook hold a lot of the pictures and videos we hold dear, but most people still have a trove of data sitting on their main computer as well, whether it be a laptop or a desktop. If your hard drive crashes, your house burned down, or a thief stole your computer, would you still have all of your important data?

March 31 is World Backup Day, a day to remind people to backup their data. However, a wise man once told me that nobody cares about backups, they only care about restores. If you don't test a restore, then you may not actually have a good backup! Cloud storage is a good first step, but you should always ensure that there are at least two copies of your data. If your only copy is in SkyDrive, what happens if that service has a problem or someone cracks into and deletes your account?

We've provided some backup suggestions in the past: In 2009, we provided an overview of how to backup Windows 7; in 2011, we mentioned that automated backups were coming to Windows Phone; and in 2012, we gave a review of a backup suite called Acronis True Image 2013. Windows Home Server is also a great solution for onsite backups, but it's always best to have at least one offsite copy of your data. For offsite backups, services like Crashplan, Mozy, and Carbonite are good automated solutions.

So how diligent are you in backing up and testing restores of your data? Let us know of any stories, good or bad.

Source: World Backup Day

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How do you backup your data?

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Everything I need is on one USB stick, the rest can be downloaded again, on my connection No need for any back up, I'll just download again in secs

Dinggus said,
Can someone explain to me what onsite and offsite are?

Onsite = your house or business.
Offsite = your house (if onsite is your business) or online etc

TPreston said,

Onsite = your house or business.
Offsite = your house (if onsite is your business) or online etc

So basically backups saved at home or the cloud?

Also, can anyone recommend what they use to backup data and how do they store it? I have a Mac and used Carbon Copy Cloner once. Do you have a HDD just for backing up, so you plug it in, back up, and then store it away?

Dinggus said,
Can someone explain to me what onsite and offsite are?

Onsite = Where you are at, you can take the actual hard drive that stores your backup and smash it with a sledgehammer and your data is gone
Offsite = You cannot actually currently, where you are at, take the actual hard drive that stores your backup and smash it with a sledgehammer. This is because it is on hard drives that are not physically close to you or/and they do not "exist" (cloud)

The term is used that if your house burns down, onsite backups dont mean **** while offsite backups have the problem that if you dont have internet or the service goes down (megaupload) you lose all your data access.

pes2013 said,

Onsite = Where you are at, you can take the actual hard drive that stores your backup and smash it with a sledgehammer and your data is gone
Offsite = You cannot actually currently, where you are at, take the actual hard drive that stores your backup and smash it with a sledgehammer. This is because it is on hard drives that are not physically close to you or/and they do not "exist" (cloud)

The term is used that if your house burns down, onsite backups dont mean **** while offsite backups have the problem that if you dont have internet or the service goes down (megaupload) you lose all your data access.

Okay make sense. Do you keep your backup drives running or just backup and unplug until next backup?

I don't need a day for backing up I do it everyday. I have been burned 2 times before with the I will be ok till tomorrow, and then dead HDD or kids deleting a partition on my HDD so know I have my PC backing all my data every day. I know overkill but better safe then sorry

My home internet is extra slow this morning, I am not sure if it is because people are just doing a backup to the cloud or it just happened to be slow, but still, selecting one day to overload the internet is just damn stupidity.

ShareShiz said,
Where is the option "I have too much data to backup, but I try to backup the important stuff" ?

Crashplan gives you unlimited offsite backups. Just sayin'...

I only use the cloud for small stuff. It would take me years to upload all my data to the cloud.

I have a few external drives, but those are all full of data that I didn't want to lose if I lost my internal drives.

Indeed, so I also backup critical data to Google Drive. Basically use my Google Drive as an off site backup alongside my USB Hard Drive Backup.

Earth to Acronis Symantec etc

Hurry the hell up! You should have working solutions after server 2012 and w8 preview then an update to the final versions.

Its taking far too long for you to support Server 2012 and Windows 8 in your business products.

All my data is on a 1TB drive but my OS is on a SSD. If my 1TB goes and my 1TB external does I am Toast. Need to buy a few more backup drives I guess to clone them. Having all my data on drive other than my OS drive has saved me so many times before though, and gives me comfort installing a new OS that it will not touch my other data. But HDD's don't last forever .

I actually started backup process last night and it's still going on. decided that 25 gb SkyDrive storage is enough for my music projects folder, which is about 12 gb currently. Before, I used Mesh to sync my projects between several PC's and it's sad that it's gone now because SkyDrive is limited on Storage capacity.

I guess I don't really do backups? Use Dropbox for photos and important documents, so I always have a copy of my files on my phone, computer, and Dropbox. Codes goes on Bitbucket and the computer of everyone I work with. Email is on Gmail. If I lost my computer today, I doubt I would have any issue recovering my files ...

Hello,

Remember, if you've only made one backup, than the data must not have been very valuable. I have my personal data backed up and stored offsite (locally) as well as periodically offregion (one time zone away) whenever I can transport a HDD over there.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

How do you find crashplan, I am tempted to sign up. I presume you are on the Unlimited plan. Any hidden charges/problems I should know about?

bucko said,
How do you find crashplan, I am tempted to sign up. I presume you are on the Unlimited plan. Any hidden charges/problems I should know about?

I've been using Crashplan for a couple of years and it's great. Unlimited for one price, and if you prepay a few years in advance, it gets even cheaper. I had Mozy before that and liked it, until they started charging more for backing up more data - got to be too expensive. Crashplan claims they won't raise their prices based on data consumption, so we'll see...

Crashplan also gives you the ability to backup to a friend's computer over the internet, for free. I haven't tried it, but you apparently install the client on both sides and it will automatically copy over there.

Honestly, it's got good points and bad...

It's slow, but from what I've heard it's speed is better than most. Upload is capped at about 5 Mbps. I usually get downloads that vary between 5-12 Mbps.

Online restore via their website is a maybe at best, and can't be depended on. I've tried to restore files several times that just wouldn't download. Only allows 500 MB to be restored at once online, so no big files or folders.

The actual mechanism it uses to back up is primitive. Not many options, not very intuitive or flexible about what is backed up, and how it's backed up.

Support can be nightmarish. I purchased month-month with Google Wallet, and it never would renew. Had to repurchase a new account to fix the problem, a month after it had been supposedly fixed.

CrashPlan has unlimited space though, and keeps deleted files forever (if you change your Frequency/Versions to always keep a daily version, not every 7 days or 90 days). Good way to manage disk space by deleting large non-critical files (old app backups, like Adobe CS 5 or Visual Studio 2010, downloaded Blu-ray/DVD rips, etc).

It also encrypts your data locally before sending and lets you control the key (no snoopy server-side admins, or emails alerting you about the copyrighted material in your backup).

While it could be better, it meets all of my needs and it's very cheap. I still don't trust it completely though, and keep backups of critical stuff on CrashPlan, Google Drive, and SkyDrive.

File history has been part of Windows since Vista, as a subset of Windows Server if I recall correctly. I'm using this for as long as I can remember now, it's really handy.
I have to admit W8 made it easier to find though..

File History and Previous Versions aren't quite the same thing.

I never bothered using the PVs feature in Windows 7 because of the limitations. e.g. Previous Versions were stored on the same drive as the files themselves, so could hardly be classed as a backup.

Its amazing....

March 20:: I make this http://www.neowin.net/forum/to...efinitive-best-backup-2013/
March 27: Noone makes a SINGLE reply and I am surprised that noone backs up
]SK[ makes some smartass comment
March 28: The thread is closed for unknown reasons by a mod. He makes HIS own thread (I thought duplicating threads was against the rules but oh well).
March 31: World Backup Day. And no mention of my original thread or the mod's thread.
Amazing timeline....

Anyways, Im on a RAID5. When I post this either my comment will be deleted (just because I told something that actually happened; The truth). or people will start complaining, bitching, moaning, making stupid comments/jokes, or being a allaround idiot saying RAID5 isnt a real backup solution.

Your poor opening post and lack of tags completely justified the closing of your thread as it didn't contribute to the community in the slightest, and, indeed, your self-serving bias and complaining in this post only begs for more repressions, to be honest.

Phouchg said,
Your poor opening post and lack of tags completely justified the closing of your thread as it didn't contribute to the community in the slightest, and, indeed, your self-serving bias and complaining in this post only begs for more repressions, to be honest.

You dont need to say anything else; Wastes my time and your time if I make a bigger opening post.

Besides, Marshall's pretty much isnt any better.

pes2013 said,
or being a allaround idiot saying RAID5 isnt a real backup solution.

But RAID is not a backup solution. It's for redundancy, not a backup. A backup implies multiple copies of something, RAID does not do multiple backups. The only partial exception would be RAID1 which kind of does, except it's not a true second copy in that a corrupt file will be duplicated, and you don't have a good copy to fall back to, which a good backup would provide.

Oh yeah, sorry, but that's a very sorry excuse for a discussion. You clearly don't use forums much by the looks of that.

Ideas Man said,

But RAID is not a backup solution. It's for redundancy, not a backup. A backup implies multiple copies of something, RAID does not do multiple backups. The only partial exception would be RAID1 which kind of does, except it's not a true second copy in that a corrupt file will be duplicated, and you don't have a good copy to fall back to, which a good backup would provide.

Oh yeah, sorry, but that's a very sorry excuse for a discussion. You clearly don't use forums much by the looks of that.


See? I said there would be at least one...

pes2013 said,

See? I said there would be at least one...

Well if my answer frightens you, perhaps you should cease asking scary questions.

Better yet, don't ask questions you don't really want the answers to. RAID is not a backup, and anyone who knows something about computers above the level of the "home expert" (Whose skills usually sit at the level of plugging Ethernet cables between a router and a computer to make the Internet work) will tell you that RAID is not a backup.

Ideas Man said,

Well if my answer frightens you, perhaps you should cease asking scary questions.

Better yet, don't ask questions you don't really want the answers to. RAID is not a backup, and anyone who knows something about computers above the level of the "home expert" (Whose skills usually sit at the level of plugging Ethernet cables between a router and a computer to make the Internet work) will tell you that RAID is not a backup.


You can continue all day if you want: RAID for me has been a excelent solution to my problem of loosing data.

We probably will, for the sake of discussion and to inform folks stumbling on this topic here later. Although a foreword - I'm not angry - if a certain solution works, it works. Unless it doesn't, which is a function of dice, as I like to say.

A question of nomenclature indeed may appear unimportant for a home user. Let's say, RAID is simply not a very good form of backup. A fail-safe against disk failure - yes. Protection against power issues, software bugs and, most importantly, human error (which some of us want to appear to be impervious of) - none at all.

To avoid the argument being one-sided, do consider the opposite - a protection against all the latter without taking into consideration possible disk failures is not a very good form of backup, either.

All data is on a WHS, and this is daily mirrored on a external HD. Every week there's also a second copy made on another external drive.
And a lot of that data is on the cloud as well as a third option.
Hope that will be enough to save me from data apocalypse ;-)

I have two set of backups. One for my main data like documents and other files. They get onsite and cloud backup with SkyDrive and Box.

The other set if for photos, music, movies and everything else. It's an onsite too but I have two copies, one inside my main desktop computer and the other one in an external HDD. I've been planning to move one copy of this backup off site for a while, but I haven't yet.

These two sets are automatically backed up using Syncovery.

Every Sunday, at 7 p.m., when I'm at work on a slow day, my data gets backed up. I'm good. Thanks for reminding me of 7 p.m. this evening....don't know what I'd do without the reminder.....okay, that last part was sarcasm....about the reminder. Better make that one clear, lol! Love you, neowin!

since clouds are unrealible, can be slow, prone to unwanted removals,
so how to backup from one cloud to another (different, not just another accounts) clouds?

What do you folks use for backup, software wise?

I use SyncToy to backup my photos and music to two external drives, then a copy gets sent to my parents.

Happy to consider alternative software solutions, although SyncToy is pretty good (it does have it's limits)

Got a spare external and a server for backups. Mostly just website files and data I might need in the future, I never backup music or pictures, just don't have anything so "personal" I might need backing up.

I constantly backup via TimeMachine to an ioSafe Fireproof/Waterproof hard drive. That is backed up every month to another external drive that I take off site and store at work.

Still waiting for the funds (and space) to build a home server. Throwing $1,500 into a NAS solution isn't quite cost effective for someone with limited finances.

In the meantime, I have a 2TB RAID1 array.. shame it's only got 200GB left on it and I have no more drive bays left in my case (or SATA ports!), ugggh.

I just use Windows Backup for documents to an external drive and I have my important docs backed up a 2nd time to the cloud (dropbox usually). Photos/videos are on a seperate external and online service.

I feel sorry for you and your miserable life. Nobody (Including some of the resident Windows 8 trolls here already) felt the need to turn a backup story into a Windows 8 bashing one, except you. Job well done!

You know, we get it. You don't like Windows 8. Fair enough. That doesn't mean that you should be running around and bashing Windows 8 in each topic/news article on here. If you're doing this just for the sh*ts and giggles, then congrats on wasting your time on something completely pointless, rather than trying to contribute to the topic in a helpful way or doing something that is actually beneficial.

The only thing I backup is my code, and that's only because I keep it offsite in version control. I'd be really really really depressed if I lost that.

warwagon said,
Where is the choice "I laugh in the face of danger! HA! HA! HA! Ha!"?

Yeah I was missing that option as well, backups are for ******* that can't data recover.

Good idea. Good thing I have backups coming out my ass!

Including a 2 3TB hard drives to backup every single drive in my PC one for my house and one for my safety deposit box which get swapped monthly!

Carbonite
DVD backups (mostly important text documents and Quickbooks, nothing extremely large)
Internal Drive nightly backups

For my quickbooks : all of the above
plus network backup to 2 pc's on the network
A USB flash drive nightly backup which is plugged into the laptop at all times.

Edited by warwagon, Mar 31 2013, 3:43am :

Repeat after me:
Backup is Nothing Without Recovery Testing!
Backup is Nothing Without Recovery Testing!
Backup is Nothing Without Recovery Testing!
Backup is Nothing Without Recovery Testing!