Best backup software?

By | 03/10/2015

This is opinion, not fact. It is also based on experience and testing.

Biggest thing to realise is that each person’s situation can be drastically different. For instance:

  • Is it a laptop, desktop or server?
  • Is the machine on all the time?
  • Does it have access to the internet?
  • How much data is changing?
  • How often do you need a backup?
  • Do you want to use USB drives, a NAS, or cloud storage?
  • What operating system are you using?
  • How much are you willing to spend?
  • Do you want it to be automatic, or do you want to manually start it when you want?
  • How critical is your data?

All of these questions above, plus more are really important in deciding the best backup software/solution for your situation. For instance, I have the following situations personally.

  1. Linux VPS server with several websites. I want it backed up once a week to cloud storage (different to where the site is hosted) and also on different disks at the same VPS provider.
  2. I have desktops and laptops at home which I backup only certain folders to my NAS.
  3. At work we have several servers and laptops/workstations. Exchange, spreadsheets, word docs. All Windows based.
  4. My sisters and parents have desktops/laptops. Some are in the same house, some are not (over ADSL). Mostly photos are backed up and one small MYOB database.
  5. A relative who has MYOB, emails and photos on a Windows 7 machine.
  6. Windows 8.1 used as a server for a very small business.
  7. …others that I can’t remember right now…

The solutions I use for the above situations:

  1. I run a custom script which dumps mySQL database, compresses the /etc folder and subfolders, the /var/www folders and subfolders and uploads them to my mega.nz account. This is setup via a cron job weekly so it runs automatically. I don’t set any email alerts as I can see it appear in my mega.nz account which is synchronised to my work laptop and home desktop. My other laptops have only selected folders synchronised so it doesn’t waste bandwidth. The script I used (and modified is from: http://www.wikihow.com/Close-iPhone,-iPad,-and-iPod-Touch-Apps). I used the megabackup, not megafuse section. Besides folders, days to keep and passwords, I had to change megasync to megacopy as the megatools files have changed. I’m planning on writing a full report on how I got this working on another post at some point.
  2. For this I used crashplan free and set my linux server (with NFS shares to my NAS4FREE server as the storage location). Set for whenever files in the folders change.
  3. ShadowProtect server, virtual server etc is what we use here. We use a NAS4FREE server as the target. Continuous incrementals about 4 times a day and ImageManager to manage the images to consolidate and verify them automatically.
  4. Crashplan free. Had to port forward and thankfully I have a static IP address at home so I don’t need dynamic DNS to point my sisters laptops to it. I select only a few folders of theirs to backup so if they for instance upload a few photos from a party, it’s automatically backed up over the internet. I also use Windows file history to USB drive in case of any issues with my backup server. It’s set to backup whenever anything in those folders change.
  5. Windows 7 backup to USB drive. Set to backup nightly, but told him to unplug the drive and plug in whenever he remembers. That way, hopefully if he gets infected with ransomware (has before), then don’t plug the backup in; call me.
  6. Crashplan to USB, external home PC, CrashPlan Australia (paid cloud storage), and Windows 8.1 FileHistory to USB
  7. Look at the situation and requirements…

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