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Currently I back up my files to two locations, my computer and my hard disk. I'm thinking of backing up the files to other places, i.e. my web server (hosting company).

The reason I want to do this is, at my place, I have a lot of natural disasters and I'm afraid (touch wood) that some day if something happens to my house, my laptop and hard disk will spoil or get ruined and it would be a total disaster.

Can I put all the very important files in an FTP account, under httpdocs folder (double-click the httpdocs folder)?

Or should I create a new FTP account that can access httpdocs, cgi-bin, httpsdocs folders? It would mean having one level above my website folder.

Where do you store/backup your files?

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migrated from Nov 9 '09 at 8:53

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

Don't know what httpdocs is exactly in your case, but sounds like the name of a directory to publish files. If this is the case you will make all your files public if put in httpdocs. If you don't like that store your stuff in a directory one level above. – Ludwig Weinzierl Nov 9 '09 at 5:04
So to sum up... if you want to use your own server, don't use FTP to copy files, use rsync. This way you only need to transfer files which have been modified, and if you do it over SCP, it's secure. If you don't want to use your own server, go with one of the online storage providers mentioned. I use Dropbox and can certainly recommend it. – nedned Nov 9 '09 at 9:36
There's a similar question here.…. Check my response,… it has some interesting advice and recommendation, both offline and online. – GmonC Nov 9 '09 at 16:13
Be aware that many hosting providers don't allow that you upload files that are not part of your website. is one provider that allows this, and such backup files are placed in a separate location. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Aug 10 '10 at 9:55

Just use one of the many available backup services like Mozy, Carbonite or even Dropbox. Most will give you 2GB for free, or a free trial period.

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Don't backup your files over FTP. It's insecure, and slow. Use something like RSync over SCP.

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My preferred method is to multiply the number of external disks.

If you think one disk isn't enough, then use two. If you're still worried, use three and stash one, in rotation, outside of your house.

I believe this is surer and easier than using an online backup, not to mention the privacy issues.

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+1 for making backups on external harddisks that you manage yourself, and keeping one in your office's desk drawer. Use encryption if you store it away from your own home, though. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Nov 9 '09 at 14:08
Agree with this. This is what I do here. I've got a couple of external hard disks (cheap nowadays) encrypted with TrueCrypt. I refresh the backups once a week and bring the refreshed backup to work, and the older one back home. I also have an extra backup at home. Plus daily backups to DVD-RW (for user data). Online backups aren't an option since my upload speed is very slow (60Kb/s max, vs 10+Mbps download). – MetalMikester Nov 10 '09 at 16:19

There are many offsite backup companies, most of whom offer 2GB accounts free for personal accounts and very affordable rates if you need your data.


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I suggest using CrashPlan. It should suit for needs well. It lets you choose where to backup your files. Your options include backing up to a network computer, an ftp-server, to a friends computer (who also has crashplan) or to CrashPlan's own servers (this last option costs money. All the other ones, including the application itself is totally free). It's very easy to use, and you choose the folders to back up yourself.

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Actually you can back up your files anywhere. I mean it is don't matter where physically HDDs situated. The main is the backup technologies. The are CDP, snapshots, RAID, HA. For all of those and more functions I'm using StarWind now.

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Online backup solutions are only useful for small amounts of data. Also, most web hosts don't allow you to use their disk space for data backup, only for actual web content (except which allows 50GB for backup).

But if you have a lot of data (many gigabytes) then online services are impractical. It takes a looong time to upload so much data, and storing it costs money every month.

Instead, back up your data to an external disk (USB harddisk) then hide that harddisk away, either in your bookshelf, or at a friend's home, or at your work. For better security, encrypt the disk.

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I like JungleDisk. The software is cheap ($20), and the usage is billed directly from Amazon for what you use... meaning as storage prices go down, your cost goes down. There are no limits to how much you can store, and the prices are very reasonable. In fact, companies like DropBox are using the exact same storage, but tacking on their costs as well. I much prefer the JungleDisk model for network backup of data. I use it for my desktop as well as my server.

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I use rsync to a hosted sftp service (that used to be open, but when back into beta) called StrongSpace. If you're keen on sftp, has always sounded lovely.

There are good options for Amazon S3, and you should consider them. I've had good success with s3sync, but many swear by JungleDisk.

One thing about remote hosting is that there is usually some loss of metadata when you move files across filesystems. Usually this is just access permissions, but you need to be aware of it when you do recover files.

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