As the name suggests, off-site backup services provide backup storage space at a remote location. These are usually accessed via the internet, although other methods may be avaliable (e.g., restores could be done via CD/DVD).
Why use an Off-Site Backup Service?
Whilst making ones own backups is a good idea, if they are stored at the same location as the main files, then a disaster such as fire could still destroy all copies of the data. An off-site backup overcomes this issue by storing the backup at a remote location. Whether an off-site backup is necessary depends on how important the data is, and how much effort would be required to rebuild that data (or create something similar).
Here are a list of things to look for in an online backup service:
- Secure connection to backup server,
- Encrypted backup (the backup service provider should not be able to read your data),
- Multi-machine backup on a single account,
- Data storage Guaranteed against loss,
- Support for all operating systems that you use, and
- low cost.
The service that I personally use is Mozzie Online Backup. It satisfies the list of requirements above. What I like about the service is:
- It supports multiple operating systems, including Linux,
- Multiple machines can be backed up on one account,
- It is low cost, $5.95 NZD (approx. $3.22 USD or $2.42 Euro on 18 January 2008) for 10 GiB, and
- Email notifications are given for backup events, including when scheduled backups are missed.
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