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I am currently trying to figure out what's the best way to backup several PCs (about 5 computers each with Windows 7) from my family.

As I want the same solution for all Computer - I set up my old computer (Windows 7) and added some hard drives and there should now be enough space to backup the data of everyone from my family via the network. (Lets call this computer "Server")

But now I am wondering whats the best way to do this? What I do not want:

  • I do not want to start the Server each time manually when a computer tries to backup. (I thought about using WakeOnLan.. but I do not know if this is a good idea)
  • I do not want the Server to run permanently
  • I do not want to make the backups manually they should backup about every week automatically.

So which Software on the Computers / or the "Server" would you recommend?

Or would you eve recommend me to use Linux on the Server? If so, which Software would you use then?

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with Windows, using scheduled tasks on the server should be able to "wake" it and "sleep" it. as for what backup software would be a good fit for this method, i don't have a clue – Xantec Apr 27 '11 at 17:36
hey that's a great idea... and then I could shut the Computer down, when it's not any more used. so just have to find out which software is the best for backups. – Ripei Apr 27 '11 at 20:20

I use backup software CrashPlan+ for my backups. The crashplan+ is a paid version that supports constant realtime backups and it lets you setup options to send backups to other computers and/or to their unlimited online backup.

I actually do a similar setup where I push my laptops backup to my desktop (that has a big 2tb external usb drive just for backups). When the desktop is turned on within a few minutes the laptop will recognize that the desktop is up and running and starts pushing it's backups to the desktop. Plus I do a second push up to the online storage, just to cover the worst case if a natural disaster was to wipe out all my computers.

Crashplans unlimited family plan is 12/month or even cheaper if you prepay for a year or more.

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