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A PC Backup I Can Use

I’ve got all of my software in, loaded my working data as well as my pictures, music..etc. I work on this machine daily and no matter how reliable I’ve come to experience Lenovo’s hardware, a hard drive will crash sooner or later and it is not easy to predict when.

As you know, a good backup habit is very important if you rely on a computer for many things. So here it goes.
nFirst I have an off the shelf file backup software which I have automated to mirror my the files/folders to be backed up onto an external drive. I used to have a Windows Home Server for a while to backup to my home network, but lately the HP Server finally crashed and it was too much hassle to restore it as well as it did not support Windows 7 very well. There apparently is a new version of Windows Home Server (version 2011), however I hear that Microsoft is sunseting it. Besides, the 2011 version will require a 64 bit hardware, meaning I have to go out and spend a few hundred $$s to get it up and running. The server will also required regular maintenance and some experience with networking, and even though I do have the experience, I don’t really have time to play and tinker with it. I”m looking for something less time consuming and more straight forward. Thus, I instead opted to go with “cloud” based backup. For those unfamiliar with “cloud” based backup, it is a mechanism where your files are sent via the Internet to another company”s servers and storage facilities for safekeeping and retrieval.

My requirement for a cloud based backup was to have a service which supported “zero knowledge” type of cloud backup. “Zero knowledge” backup is simply a backup solution whereas the vendor or its employees cannot access your information even if they have access to your backup account with them. The reason for that is that the files being backed up to the cloud are first encrypted on your PC prior to being sent over the internet to their servers for safekeeping. After researching most of the major cloud based services, I settled with two vendors. the first one is. They are a bit pricey but I sleep better knowing that my confidential files are both backed up as well as encrypted before they leave my PC. However, they have a defined space you can use for storage, and I have many pictures and family videos that take up more than the 100 GB of space they offer. So, with Spideroak I keep my files that need to be confidential as well as the one to which I need quick access to. On the flip side I like their backup application as it offers several features (I will try and write a separate post dedicated to Spideroak soon).

The second service I may sign up with is either CrashPlan or Carbonite, both of which offer you unlimited storage and are about half the cost of Spideroak. For now either one seem like a good candidate for long term large data safekeeping solutions. I am also preparing an article dedicated to such backup solutions soon.

That is it on Backup for now. I think next I will cover my experience with the actual performance of the Lenovo ThinkPad X220T from various perspectives (hard drive read/writes, boot-up, screen display under different environments..etc). If not, I’ll see what my brain has to offer :-). Stay Tuned, your comments about your experience with the Lenovo ThinkPad X220T is always welcome.

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