I’ve spent the past couple of years trying to find a good offsite backup solution for my personal computers. My needs are a bit more intense than the average user as I am backing up video, which means that not only am I backing up what will soon be terabytes of data, but I have individual files that are in the 20 GB range.
In May 2008, I tried Transport. Unfortunately, I just don’t think Time Machine was developed with such a solution in mind, and didn’t renew my service. I still use the Time Capsule (they shipped it to me after my service expired) for onsite backup.
Last summer, I tried using Mozy. I was never unable to successfully upload one of my larger files, so I cancelled the service and received a full refund. After Mozy didn’t work out, I tried Carbonite. I was able to get a big file uploaded to Carbonite, but as I continued testing I saw my upload speed to the service drop considerably, so I didn’t continue using the service past the free trial. I would be willing to give them another chance, but they still have some pretty big limitations such as only backing up internal drives and not offering any type of site license to consumer users.
The most recent service I signed up for was LiveDrive. It worked well for a while, but recently it’s been choking on large uploads, and I think I need something a little more robust. I’ll probably just let this subscription run its course and not renew.
Now, thanks to a positive review, I’m investigating CrashPlan. I uploaded two large files as a test: one about 6 GB and the other about 22 GB. It took a few days to upload on my Comcast connection which doesn’t offer a lot of upload bandwidth. (Can I get some Google fiber up in here?) After the upload succeeded, I deleted the local files and tested the restore function. Several hours later, the files were right back where I left them, with even the original creation dates intact. Looks like a success. At the end of my free trial, I intend to purchase the family unlimited plan, which will allow me to back up all of my family’s computers without having to purchase an individual license for each machine.
Update on April 13, 2010: I just had my first support experience with CrashPlan. I emailed them three questions about my account, I received a reply the next day. A reply with specific answers to all three of my questions. I am happy about this. 🙂