How do I setup a backup system for my home network (2 laptops plus some old desktops) that is fireproof?

I would expect there to be lots of network based backup systems that come in a fire safe; however this does not seem to be the case. I am looking for something that is simple that I can just setup and forget about until I need to recover some data.

I know there are a 101 internet based solution, however my upload speed is slow and we get capped in the UK if we use to match bandwidth.


There are MANY off-site backup companies setting up shop these days. Your backup goes out of the building to their data center(s); perfect solution to fire concerns. :)

As I said, there are many to choose from, and many offer several gigabytes to home users for free.

Here's a couple to get you started (not recommending anything):

There are (again) many others you can search for as well. :)

Hope that helps.


Check out crashplan. http://b5.crashplan.com/landing/index.html

  • +1! CrashPlan is seriously clever and simple at the same time. And FREE! I use it to back up my computers against each other and also to another offsite computer. Works like a charm. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Aug 4 '10 at 13:59

An issue with fireproofing objects is that they often need to be encased (think of a fireproof safe) to protect them if the room they are in is on fire. So for a backup computer (or external HDD, etc) - how would the they receive electrical power, and how would they be ventilated to prevent overheating?

If you're serious about backups remember the following (can't remember the source):
"Don't have a backup plan, have a recovery plan"

Simply backuping up to a removable HDD or DVD and placing it in a suitable fireproof safe (not all fireproof safes are rated to protect electronic media and/or electronic devices!) might be sufficent to protect your data, but doesn't hit your "forget" about it criterion.

That said, the danger with a setup-and-forget backup system is you might not notice when it isn't working, which can be a serious problem.

The best fireproofing for anything (backups included) is for it to be somewhere else entirely.
So, an External HDD / CD / DVD that you leave somewhere safe (work/with a family member/etc) would work, or you could maybe consider looking at an online backup solution.

  • +1 for suitable fireproof safe! I heard of cases where people placed disks in fireproof safes and after fire found out that disks melted! And very good point on forgetting to check if the system is working. Tests of backups are very important. I've heard of a case in one company where home-brewed backup system reported fine backups for months and after that it turned out that disks were empty because of bad bash script. – AndrejaKo Aug 4 '10 at 13:38
  • @Andreja - exactly. A safe might stop flames, but they only protect against the heat for so long! Also, There's a good question here about storing electronic media in a fireproof safe, it's worth a glance for anyone interested in doing so. – DMA57361 Aug 4 '10 at 13:50
  • at present I use a extern hard disk that I leave in my Car (that is parked on the road, not a driveway) this covers fire etc, but need to be make an effort each time a backup is needed. – Ian Ringrose Aug 4 '10 at 15:44
  • @Ian if you want something that is (a) not destroyed in a fire in the property, (b) doesn't use up internet bandwidth and (c) is constantly live so you can sync/forget, have you considered some form of point-to-point wireless network link - you'd need another building near by, in line-of-site and range and a pair of directional antenna's - maybe a friends house so you could host backup servers for one-another? Bit unlikely most people would have the positions to make this work, but it just jumped to mind as a possibility... – DMA57361 Aug 4 '10 at 21:16

I would highly recommend the off-site solution. Even if it's a neighbor's place, your car, work if permissible. I had a fire in my apartment that destroyed everything. I thought I was ok, since I had a backup of all my data on an external HDD. The irony? It was sitting on top my desktop. :(



If you want an "on-site" fireproof backup solution, ioSafe makes fireproof hard drives.

  • Thanks, I just look at them. There NAS start at $12,760.00 There USB drive are a lot more affordable, but would not backup all my computers on their own, and will be in the same room, so may get stolen at the same time as the computers. Now if they did a cheap basic NAS I could hide in the loft, it would be great. – Ian Ringrose Aug 4 '10 at 16:01
  • @IanRingrose You can always setup it up to a Raspberry Pi or similar. Place it anywhere in your house you can access the network. Mount the drive to the Pi and then access the drive over the network via the Pi. – Jesse Jan 14 '14 at 19:40

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