How Do You Back Up Your Stuff?

How Do You Back Up Your Stuff?

Back up your data regularly. No matter how often people hear that advice it’s surprising how few follow it.

We’ve shown you how to set up an automated, bulletproof backup system and we’ve rounded up your five favourite online and offline backup tools. But we’re curious. How do you back up your computers, phones and tablets?

[polldaddy poll=7826479]


  • crashplan. Yes, it doesn’t do bare metal restores, yes it relies on crashplan staying in business, yes, it takes a while to sync 1TB of data up to the cloud.

    But 1. Who bare-metal restores a desktop/laptop anyway? 1b. who wants to be waiting on cloud backup for a bare-metal restore of a server? 1c. who is doing bare-metal restores in a .vhd world anyway? 2. It’s backup. If crashplan go out of business, I’ll backup my computer elsewhere. 3. F*ck you Australia for voting LNP and killing the NBN! 1TB would take a whole lot less time to backup on a 100M/40M NBN plan than it does on my ADSL2+.

  • +1 for crashplan. I have mine running on a raspberry pi allowing me to leave it running permentantly, The rpi pulls data from a WD Live 2TB NAS, pushes it to another USB HDD and to the CrashPlan cloud.

    I also have to agree with @xqx. ADSL is v.slow for uploads. My initial backup took 2 -3 months.

  • I use Acronis. Do full backups on my laptop to an external drive every month or two. Back up the SSD on my main PC. The other drives have games etc, that can be re-downloaded. I’ll back up those annually to BR. My server is mirrored across 2x 4tb External drives. Stuff I can’t afford to lose (photos etc) are also backed up in cloud services.

  • Yeah, gotta give my +1 to CrashPlan. Cheap, unlimited storage. Currently backing up almost 400gb of photos and a metric ton of DVD ISOs (mostly photo and programming backups) for a few bucks a month. Only had to restore once, and that was after I accidentally deleted a RAW file I was working on.

    Word of advice: If you’re backing up with CrashPlan, make note of your GUID, as you’ll need to re-enter it if your computer dies and you get a new one. Otherwise CrashPlan assumes you’re backing up a whole new set of files, even if the drive structure is the same, and you’ll have to upload all your files again.

    • When I loaded the software on a new computer with the same name, it asked me “is this computer the same as “pc01″? ” Then just picked up where it left off.

      • ah, that might be a new feature then. I noticed my CrashPlan client had updated at some point recently. The last time I had to do the GUID trick was about two years ago when my original computer died and I bought a new one.

  • I use Google+ for photos (auto backup from my camera) and Drive for documents and scans of things I don’t want to lose.

    Everything else goes on dropbox (I use simple notepad for syncing notes to dropbox for example).

    For what little i consider worth backing up, this system works well for me.

    For the bigger stuff like my FLAC music collection (which I paid for) I keep an external hard drive hidden in someone else’s house. (offsite backup)

    I’ll look into crashplan after reading these comments though 🙂

    • @jjcoolaus: I chose crashplan over dropbox, google or aws because of it’s retention. Dropbox is (probably) faster and (arguably) more platform independent; but I was afraid of having one of my PC’s sync an empty directory and delete everything from the cloud.

      Crashplan stores unlimited file versions, and keeps deleted files forever. (unless you tell it to delete them). So, no risk of having an empty replica copied to the cloud, thus loosing your primary+backup at the same time.

      • When you sync dropbox to an empty folder (like on a new PC) it downloads everything in your dropbox to that computer. It doesn’t delete anything.

        Google Drive is the one I rely on every single day for the most important documents. Fortunately I can’t see either service going anywhere anytime soon.

  • Hmm OK This is what I have:
    First Line of Defence – Time Machine to an external HDD (for user stupidity deletes… hey I am only human)
    Second Line of Defence – CrashPlan local backup to different external HDD good to have a different mechanism on a different drive. (used if User is stoopid AND first line of defence fails)
    Third Line of Defence – CrashPlan Pro (I use a lot of space so happy to pay the $11AUD a month to support that). Backs up constantly to Sydney datacente set to have increments every 15 minutes that never get deleted. (This is as a “failing everything else because of house fire”/”user is so stoopid they deleted half their uni career but it has since been rotated out of mechanisms 1 and 2” (this has ACTUALLY been done by me *cries*)/Apocolypse form of backup).

    I think that covers everything 😀

  • Everything on my computer that I don’t want or can’t afford to lose is periodically backed up onto one of my external hard drives. I also use Dropbox, and I email my creative writing pieces to friends so that I have a record of it in my sent items.

  • All the my doc folders on my windows machines are actually on my nas. Which ryncs once a week to a backup array.

  • Another +1 for CrashPlan.

    I backup my large media files (mostly movies and TV shows) locally on an external HDD. I don’t really need these backed up. Not really. Everything else (including music and photos) gets backed up locally and on CrashPlan’s servers.

    Additionally, all my music is on Google Play Music (for which I have an All Access subscription) so I have access to it everywhere and all my work documents are in Google Drive (which also gets backed up to the CrashPlan cloud, just in case).

  • I use Crashplan to back up all PCs to a NAS, then once a month I copy Crashplan files onto a portable HDD that I keep at work.

  • I want to use the cloud for extra backup, but I’m still one of those “worried about data breaches with my IP” types….

    I just use my NAS, and then robocopy from NAS to an external hard drive weekly, or after major work releases, and then keep that hard drive in a fire-retardant bag off site.

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