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I'm about to send my mom a new laptop and will pre-configure it to work with a new wireless router when I do so.

I'd like to set something up to allow automatic backup between their home and mine. I'm using Windows Home Server, but could conceivably back that up to something else to synch with them.

I'm thinking of my options and would like some advice.

  1. I could go with Crashplan which would allow us to share space on each other's hard drives and synch with each other. However, the notebook hard drive is only 300GB. I suppose I could get a larger drive for the notebook and go with this option, but it would only backup when the notebook was turned on as well.
  2. I know I can buy a high end router which will accept any USB hard drive which I could access from remote, but does anyone know of a software setup that will make the process automatic if I go that route? The router would conceivably always be powered on and therefore the process should be smoother.
  3. I could use a Dockstar or Pogoplug device to operate wirelessly on their network as well and run a high capacity USB drive on that as well. However, I don't know of software which will perform the automatic backups.

What do you folks think? What is the best option?

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Be careful when using online backups. Check there are no caps on downloads and uploads at both your end and you mums end. Online backups are also very slow, espicially for the initial backup. I would suggest doing the initial one locally and then doing incremental backups over the internet to minimize bandwith. Again, although I said it is slow, in a month you could still move 100 GBs or so which is easily enough to piss off an ISP. Make sure you are on a truly unlimited plan. –  Connor W Sep 5 '10 at 19:53
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Connor, I appreciate the warning. I had intended to do the first backup locally and then send the machine. –  DavidStein Sep 5 '10 at 20:06
    
Sathya, I saw that article, but it's about using online backup services whereas I want to create my own backup with myself and another site. –  DavidStein Sep 5 '10 at 20:07
    
In that case, dont worry :) –  Connor W Sep 5 '10 at 20:09

3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I would suggest Mozy for online backups, if you are happy to pay the monthly price ($4.95). I use it myself and I would say its much more convienient than backing up over the internet to a personal home server.

They have lots of options for restoring your data which are a lot easier than doing it yourself. They can send DVDs in the post with all your data, or you can restore over the internet either from individual files (say you deleted a document and want it back, you can restore a single file) or the whole lot.

I wouldn't reccomend doing the backup to your personal home server, as it will probably slow down your connection while a backup is taking place and, espicially while the initial backup is taking place, you will likely run into a monthly download cap set by your ISP (see comment above).

You will have to upgrade your mums service (and your's if you decide to backup to your home server) to an unlimited plan for any kind of online backup you implement though.

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Unfortunately most of the online services do not offer inexpensive backup for Windows Home Server. If I were to backup several hundred gigs to a site which supports Windows Home Server, it would cost a great deal. –  DavidStein Sep 5 '10 at 20:09

Super Flexible may be worth you looking into. It can also back up onto Amazon S3 cloud storage, which is not so expensive if you do not have much data. Jungle Disk can do this too. They did have a special version for WHS, but I cannot seem to find any details on that just now.

I know that neither of these are free, but they may be interesting to you, if you decide to pay a bit.

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I recommend Dropbox, it's awesome and does exactly that, automatically backups files and syncs between locations. 2GB free to start off with.

If you use this link you (and I as well) get an extra 250 MBs plus the 2GB: http://db.tt/nsx5ORA

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Dropbox is great for a lot of reasons, but the main problems with it is that you have to keep all synced files in one folder and that you cannot choose which files to sync on which machines, they all have to have all the files (which is not good for my laptop with small SSD). –  paradroid Sep 5 '10 at 22:36

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