Superstorm Sandy and Backing Up Data Off-Premise – I Love Cloudberry

The recent storm affected millions of people including my family. One of my family described water entering their house during the storm like water spreading through the Titanic. Within minutes the PC’s on the first floor of their house were underwater. Seawater can’t be good for a hard drive. It killed it and of course all data was lost.

This reminded me of my continuous effort to ensure my personal and business files are backed up. I follow the 3-2-1 backup plan. Three copies of my essential data. At least two different media. One copy off-site.

The off-site copy is a challenge. I have three rules for this backup. It must be secure. I follow the “trust no one” axiom. It must be reliable. Once setup it must be automatic.

I finally found the solution. Cloudberry Backup (www.cloudberrylab.com). It uses AES-256 bit encryption with a password that only I know. I have it backup to Amazon’s Glacier and Microsoft’s Azure cloud backup services. Both are pennies a month. So not only do I backup off-site but two different backup services. Cloudberry automatically backs up my essential files per a schedule I set (one a day for me). The Cloudberry application comes in various formats depending on whether you want to backup your PC or a home server (my local backup solution is Windows Home Server 2011). The cost is minor..

What sealed the deal for me was tech support. A day after I started my free trial I got an e-mail from Cloudberry support asking for feedback. I ran into a small problem setting up a backup. Told support about it. They responded back and said they would incorporate my feedback. Fantastic!

The one caveat I have with Cloudberry is that while its got the right feature set for me as an advanced PC user, its a too complex for my mom. When I told this to their tech support they agreed with me and suggested a couple of programs that my mom could use.

I’m a fan.