Online backup solutions
After certain unpleasant recent events I've been looking into the relatively new world of online data backups to see what was available. Traditionally backups have involved shifting data from one physical device to another (such as tape) which is ideally then stored off site, however this method is not always possible and can prove rather expensive which is where online backup services come into play. With high speed Internet getting more affordable and accessible all the time it is now possible for these online backup service providers to enable clients to backup massive amounts of data over their Internet connection. In this review I'll take a look at several online backup providers and see how they stake up.
Selecting an Online Backup Provider
The criteria I used for creating my short list of online backup providers was actually very simple. First, they must offer either a free trial of their system or provide an entry level account which was free. This obviously allows me to evaluate their service prior to having to hand over my hard earnt cash. The second requirement was that they offered client software which could be used to schedule backups, and finally that the online service provider targeted their services to the International market. I found that the sign up process of several providers required that you have an address (and sometime phone number) in the United States which obviously was not going to suit me living in London.
Testing my Internet connection
Unless you are prepared to pay through the nose for a high speed Internet connection, then you are likely to be using something like ADSL, cable, or if you're really really lucky a fibre connection. Even the very fastest of these connections are humbled when it comes to the task of uploading gigabytes upon gigabytes of data. I'm reasonably lucky in that I have an ADSL 2+ connection which runs at very close to full speed as I live only metres from my local exchange. To verify that my connection was not going to be the weak link in any of my testing I used the services at Speedtest.net which can be seen below.
As you can see my connection was very close to the maximum theoretical speed of 24Mbit/sec for ADSL 2+ with my test recording a speed of 19537Kbits/sec (2442.1Kbyte/sec) for downloads and 1110Kbit/sec (138.8Kbytes/sec) for uploads. With this upload speed and assuming ideal conditions (no latency or bandwidth bottlenecks) this meant my connection was theoretically capable of uploading 488Mbyte an hour.