In The Mix

As a SharePoint architect I have the business behind me and the Developers and IT Pro on my shoulders.

Online Backup for free May 28, 2008

Filed under: Backup,Online storage — fmuntean @ 1:55 pm

I am writing this blog as I still find people who do not backup their documents and important files from their computer.

I personally have had few disasters in the past and have helped others to recover the files from floppies or hard drives. None of them were 100% successful and the process was quite painful.

I have used online backup for my important files for over a year now on a daily basis and I think that this is the most reliable way for a home user to keep their files safe. Even with this system in place, I still back-up my files few times a year on DVDs or HDD and keep them as a second line of defense.

Right now it is easy to get 2Gb of space online for backup for free.

Following is my review of few online backup solutions:

  MOZY iDrive Carbonite xDrive SpiderOak Diino














Backup History







Free Space







Easy Restore







Open Files Backup







And the winners are:


  • It is a “set and forget” way to backup your files.
  • Keeps full history of backups.
  • All files are encrypted locally and then transferred.
  • Open Files support (backup of the outlook files).
  • Get 2Gb for free.
  • A Referral mechanism allows for 250Mb per referral. Many people don’t know but I found out that currently MOZY gives 250Mb to both the referee and the referrer making it very attractive. If you plan to test it or use it you can use my referral code thus giving each of us 250Mb for free. Don’t worry, by using this code, I would not have access to you files.
  • For a $5 per computer per month you can get unlimited backup.
  • There are multiple options for restoring from mounting the backup as a virtual disk to receiving one or more DVDs by mail.
  • You can’t backup network drives.
  • The free version can’t be installed on a Windows 2003 server, use the Pro version for this.


  • Another “set and forget” online backup.
  • All files are encrypted locally and then transferred.
  • Only keeps the last 30 versions of a file. The history counts to the quota.
  • Performs reliable backups of open/locked files like Outlook files.
  • Supports mapped drives and works on a windows 2003 server machine.
  • E-Mail notification.
  • Get 2Gb for free and another 10Gb free by refering 5 friends.
  • For a $5 per month you get 150Gb of storage.

If you know of any other options let me know so I can review them.


2 Responses to “Online Backup for free”

  1. ERO Says:

    I am sorry to suggest an alternative to the research done above; however, in order to relay the details correctly as it relates to SpiderOak:

    Once a user selects the folders for backup, the SpiderOak application will automatically backup any changes or additions to the backup set.

    All files are encrypted locally and then transferred. Further, SpiderOak does not store a user’s password or the plaintext of the encryption keys – meaning data stored on SpiderOak is 100% secure at all times.

    SpiderOak keeps historical versions of every file dating back to the original (not just 30 days worth).

    SpiderOak will backup and store all file types including Outlook files.

    Although more expensive ($10 for 20 GBs), a user can backup as many devices across any platform to one central location (Windows, Mac, Linux) for no increase in cost.

    To restore, a user can choose between two options: 1) add a new device to their SpiderOak network and access all their data on the new machine; or 2) download all the data from the web-access tool.

    SpiderOak supports backing up mapped drives as well as external drives.

    The SpiderOak free version can be installed in any environment including Windows 2003 server.

    Thank you for your time and allowing me to pass along this information.

  2. Alison Says:

    Hi there, I work for Carbonite and thought I’d help you fill in the chart where you had some questions.

    Backup History: Carbonite keeps a keep a user-viewable log of every Carbonite action. In addition, the status of all files can be viewed in the Carbonite Backup Drive or determined by the colored dots on every file and folder included in your backup. Unless you choose to schedule backups for a certain time (Carbonite also lets you schedule times when the backup should not run), Carbonite will back up your files automatically on a continual basis. Therefore, keeping a history of the backup jobs is pretty meaningless since your files are continually being backed up (with block-level incremental backup).

    Easy Restore: Carbonite makes restoring files so simple, it offers perhaps the easiest restore of all. Carbonite’s Restore Wizard can automatically place every backed up file to their appropriate locations for you – making it easier to switch to a new computer or operating system (such as from XP to Vista).

    Open Files Backup: Carbonite backs up open files, including Outlook.pst files.

    As far as pricing, Carbonite does not offer a free limited gigabyte account, but we offer unlimited backup for only $49.95 per year per computer. That comes out to be a little over $ 4 a month and the most reasonably priced online backup solution.

    For more information on Carbonite, visit our blog at

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