We are currently in the process of opening a new accounting firm in the new year (actually moving from our previous location).

I am looking for a cheap/free solution to back up our files (small, text files couple of kb). I was impressed with FreeNas and Windows Backup but I found out that Windows Backup only saves for a maximum of 2 years.

The work machines will be running Windows 8 or Windows 7. There can be many work machines however we have only one to start with (ie, think of it as just one employee). I have an old core 2 duo with 2 gigs of ram that I can convert to a server if need be. I want the syncing to be done through LAN since the data is confidential and should never touch the outside world.

So ideally, I would like the following scenario:

  • A skydrive/dropbox like service to sync my client files over work machines and a central server.
  • The "server" part should store history of files (i don't know how this will be done since the file will have the same name?). This isn't really necessary, but I can see it become useful.
  • I am not familiar with RAID, so does any software RAID solution exist? I will most likely be buying 2 hard drives.

Crashplan makes their software freely available for situations like yours (where you host both the server and the clients). I do not know (and cannot check right now) if it keeps old versions of your files, or just the current state.

RAID is not a backup. Software RAID availability will depend upon the operating system you're running on the server.

Syncing (like Dropbox) and backup (like Crashplan) are 2 different requirements and need to be considered separately.

Rather than converting an old desktop to a server, consider a NAS device like a Synology DS413 (they even have a document about setting up office backups with their devices. Yes, the up-front cost may be higher, but in terms of reliability & functionality you'll come out much further ahead. Synology also has "packages" of applications you can install on their devices to add services - including backup & sharing/syncing.

  • Thankyou, I will look at it. Also do you know how it handles backup? ie, everytime i press ctrl s, does it back that file up? edit: to clarify, I don't think this is neccessary (continous backup). I am perfectly fine with the system backing up every 12 hours or 24 hours – masfenix Dec 17 '12 at 17:16
  • Crashplan checks for changes on an interval (I think an hour by default). Immediate sync would be better done by a sync tool - maybe SyncToy or even Sync Center (built into Windows 7 at least) – alroc Dec 17 '12 at 17:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.