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Old 05-18-2009, 09:45 AM   #1
taxpayer
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Remote backup services?


There are a number of services offering remote backups, such as Elephantdrive, Biscu, Memopal, safecopybackup, others.... Most of the rates are in the range of $5 to $10/month.

Some claim to work with linux and some claim to be working on linux. If anyone here is backing up from linux using a service of this type I would like to know your experience. Thanks.
 
Old 05-18-2009, 09:51 AM   #2
SlowCoder
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Here's what I ask myself when faced with such an option:
- How secure is the site?
- If the site was hacked, would I want my private data to be exposed?
- What happens when/if the site disappears forever, and I can't recover my data?
- How can I be sure the site maintainers aren't browsing my data right now? In other words, is my data truly private?
- Do I really want to entrust (allow to leave my control) my data to another entity?

To me, these are scary questions. I would much prefer to use my own backup solution, such as an encrypted USB hard drive, or DVD, that's kept in a personal safe.
 
Old 05-19-2009, 02:37 PM   #3
taxpayer
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Slowcoder raises issues which I have considered

Slowcoder raises valid concerns, which I saw expresssed in a number of other threads here as I searched to see whether anyone had experience with over-the-Internet backups. I wanted to keep my initial post brief, but since they're now raised I will address them.
Quote:
- How secure is the site?
- If the site was hacked, would I want my private data to be exposed?
No site is absolutely secure, and I plan to take measures, including encryption, to minimize the likelihood of any problem with private data. However, most of the bytes I want to back up wouldn't be worth encrypting.

Quote:
- What happens when/if the site disappears forever, and I can't recover my data?
This is backup storage, not archives. I will periodically retrieve a file to make sure they're OK. If the backup site goes away, but not at the same time I have local problems, there really is no issue, only inconvenience.

Quote:
- How can I be sure the site maintainers aren't browsing my data right now? In other words, is my data truly private?
- Do I really want to entrust (allow to leave my control) my data to another entity?
I really don't like to entrust my data to governments, banks, investment operations, employers, etc. I can't avoid these. With a backup service, I can choose who to deal with, and take reasonable precautions.

Otoh, what if my house burns down, or burglars ransack the place? I currently use off-site storage, but it's hard to keep up to date and secure.

Anyhow, the reason I posted was to see whether anyone here had actually had experience with backing up over the Internet. So far, it appears that no one has.
 
Old 06-26-2009, 08:23 AM   #4
taxpayer
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Diino seems to work with linux

Exploring this issue further, I have found exactly one reasonably-priced service which demonstrably works with the linux I'm using, Mepis 8.0. That's Diino, which uses a java client, and costs $49/yr for 100 gb. (A couple of others claim to work, but I couldn't get them working, and I didn't try the more costly ones.) Altho data travels by ssl, they don't claim that it's encrypted on their disks, so I'll encrypt some before sending it.
 
Old 06-27-2009, 12:21 PM   #5
choogendyk
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Another option is to do your backups with Amanda and send them to Amazon S3. I kinda doubt Amazon is going away anytime soon , and you can have your data encrypted by Amanda or not as you choose. You can also use it to do some backups to local drives or tapes for larger volume stuff and then do some particular things that take somewhat less bandwidth to go out to S3. I believe the Amanda API that was developed for S3 is also being adapted to other cloud storage options.

http://wiki.zmanda.com/index.php/How...p_to_Amazon_S3

That's been around for a while now, and there are a couple of blogs by people who have done it.

http://wiki.zmanda.com/index.php/Amanda_around_the_web

Clearly, Amanda works with linux. I don't know statistics, but while it grew up on Unix, there are probably more linux users now than for other platforms. You can get source, or you can get rpm's for a fair number of distributions of linux.

http://www.zmanda.com/download-amanda.php
 
Old 10-05-2009, 10:47 PM   #6
taxpayer
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Update

I just wanted to update what I've done since my last post > 3 months ago.

Diino not only stopped working, but their tech support stopped responding to my inquiries. So I looked for other options, found that memopal has a linux version in beta. It runs from the command-line and is sparsely documented, but it does run. I get up to 150 gb storage for $49/year (but if you click on the "switch to memopal/limited offer" button on their web site you can get about a 30% discount). Hopefully an improved final version will appear some time, but for now, at least it works.

Responding to choogendyk's earlier post, I did look into Amanda and S3, but that seemed to be a bit more complicated than what I could easily handle, and also more costly.
 
Old 10-06-2009, 03:57 PM   #7
trickykid
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Why not just purchase some 3rd party host provider that provides unlimited disk space and gives shell access and use something like rsync to replicate and do backups that way to the offsite server? I do it now myself and pay like $50 bucks a year for the hosting, where I also have my websites which get backed up vice versa to my home machine via an rsync script.

And if you like encryption, encrypt the files before transferring them to the remote server.
 
Old 10-06-2009, 07:30 PM   #8
lutusp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taxpayer View Post
There are a number of services offering remote backups, such as Elephantdrive, Biscu, Memopal, safecopybackup, others.... Most of the rates are in the range of $5 to $10/month.

Some claim to work with linux and some claim to be working on linux. If anyone here is backing up from linux using a service of this type I would like to know your experience. Thanks.
I just don't understand this fashion. If you store your data in a public repository, a court can subpoena it. If the archive is encrypted and you refuse to provide the password, you can be held in contempt of court. The basic problem is that, by contracting with the service, you make the existence of the archive public knowledge, and many people can make a case for examining it.

Read all the stories about system compromises, thefts, and governmental demands for data access. Why would anyone consider this option?

How about this instead: Buy a waterproof ammo can (most recent ones are waterproof), put a DVD in it, and bury it in your backyard. If you bury it properly, the house can burn down and it will remain readable. No one knows of it, and if you are questioned about data archives and don't mention it, you can always say you forgot. The point is that the archive's existence is not public knowledge.

How exactly is a public, fly-by-night, $10/month data storage outfit better than an ammo can?
 
Old 10-06-2009, 10:24 PM   #9
taxpayer
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Lutusp, thanks for accusing me of being fashionable, but I would be much more likely to forget a password than to forget that I buried an ammo can in my yard. I like to update my backups pretty regularly, without a shovel. And then there's the landscaping issue...but evidently your priorities aren't the same as mine.

Trickykid's suggestion that I use a hosting provider is actually my fallback. But Memopal allows me 150 gb of storage; I won't use all of it but it's nice not to worry about how much I do use. I'm not aware of any reliable host that would provide unlimited disk space, or even 50 gb, for $50/year. Suggestions?
 
Old 10-08-2009, 11:47 AM   #10
trickykid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taxpayer View Post
I'm not aware of any reliable host that would provide unlimited disk space, or even 50 gb, for $50/year. Suggestions?
Well, if you want to know, I use Arvixe which has unlimited disk space and bandwidth starting at $4.00 a month.

http://www.arvixe.com

I've been using them for around 6 months (with no real problems so far) after pulling my own dedicated servers out of a local co-located facility which just wasn't worth the money to me any longer since I stopped using my servers as often as I use to. I was paying close to 3 times the amount in a month with my own dedicated servers that I'm now paying yearly for.
 
Old 12-28-2009, 09:50 AM   #11
taxpayer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trickykid View Post
Well, if you want to know, I use Arvixe which has unlimited disk space and bandwidth starting at $4.00 a month.

http://www.arvixe.com
Thanks for that. From the look of the site it does appear to be an economical provider, and if I were seeking a host I might well use it. However, http://www.arvixe.com/tos.php:
Quote:
Using a shared account as a backup/storage device is not permitted.
(My current host, maiahost, has a similar policy.)

I do not understand the economics of this business. If 1 tb drives cost < $100, and last, say, 3 years, and redundancy is desired, that's 7 cents/year/gb. Add lots of overhead, it still seems that a charge of $2/year/gb could support a very profitable operation, just for simple ftp access. Evidently there is more to it than that.

What brings me back to this subject, btw, is just that Memopal seems to be collapsing the past few days.
 
Old 07-08-2010, 05:04 PM   #12
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Update on remote backup services

Just in case anyone is still interested in secure remote backup....

For the past six months I have been using myotherdrive and, on the whole, it is satisfactory. I encrypt my important directories, breaking the big ones up into 50 mb or 100 mb pieces, and upload.

The upload client is java-based, quite slow to load, I need to allow five or ten minutes to start a backup. Once it's started, it runs unattended. A nice feature is that it allows me to choose the upload (and download) speed, so it need not impair regular browsing.

I suspect myotherdrive can be made to work with Firefox, but I had difficulties and use Opera instead. (My linux is Mepis 8.5.03) They do have human tech support, responses come within a few hours and are sometimes helpful.

Myotherdrive offered a special price, I think $25/year for 25 gb, but their regular price is $55 for 100 gb, still very cheap compared to most of the other providers. You can try it out, 2 gb, for free.

They do offer a more automated type of backup, which I could probably use if I wanted to entrust the encryption to them.
 
Old 07-09-2010, 05:50 AM   #13
vsurlan
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You can also check this nifty and very short script that does remote backup via ssh using a live dump directly into the connection: solid Linux backup without pro budget. The connection needs to be authenticated using keys, but other than that it is pretty trivial.
 
Old 08-26-2010, 03:13 PM   #14
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The backup scene starts to look brighter

I started having trouble with myotherdrive in the past several weeks, not solved by updating java, switching OS's (from Mepis to Mint), nor anything else I could figure out, so I started looking around again. Many remote storage services have appeared in recent years, many have disappeared or gone zombie. But suddenly there are a few new ones (new to the world, or new to linux, or new to me) that seem to provide exactly what I need-- inexpensive reliable accessible secure linux-friendly storage for my encrypted files.

I signed up for a free account with SpiderOak. It seems to work as promised, and I intend to buy a paid account ($10/month or less for up to 100 gb). Also tested Mydisk, which seems OK. Researching these, I found Wuala, which I did not test but seems impressive, comparable to SpiderOak. Finally, there is Online Storage Solution, which offers fewer features (and no free trial) but claims to provide unlimited storage for a very cheap price.

The first and last of these are US-based, the others European. The first and third seem to have actual live persons providing technical support in various fora, and predominately satisfied customers.

In fairness to myotherdrive, I did not exhaust their tech support, and very possibly could have got their service working again. But it seems simpler just to switch.
 
  


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