I?m not sure whether it?s my imagination or not but I have the feeling that computer viruses are becoming more common and destructive.
I’ve had a couple of clients whose machines were trashed by viruses and I’ve heard of even more whose machines have become infected. Some time ago I decided that it was just too risky not to have an anti-virus program so I went out and got one and I’ve even been keeping it updated.
In spite of those precautions, however, I was still worried about what would happen if the anti-virus program didn’t work, or if I had a hard drive failure, and so I decided that I had to start backing my stuff up on a more regular basis.
Doing the job manually didn’t work too well because I’m pretty lazy and was soon doing backups less than every fortnight. I was also uncomfortable because I seldom got around to taking them offsite and there was the risk that they and my PC might get taken out simultaneously by fire, robbers or falling meteorites.
Something had to be done and, at that very moment, in walked Remote Backup’s Donald Orbin with an offer to let me try out their service which automatically backs up your most precious files to a remote server and does so as often as you need it to.
This sounded good to me so I installed the Remote Backup application on my Windows 2000 system and fired it up. The interface is very similar to the backup program you get with Windows and it works along very much the same lines.
The first step is to configure a dial-up connection so that Remote Backup can phone out and connect to the backup server. The next step is to select the files you want to back up and select the required backup interval which can be daily, weekly, monthly or, even, every time you switch off your computer.
The first telephone call that Remote Backup makes to the server can be pretty lengthy but it doesn’t have that much effect on your telephone bill after that because it only copies new files and the parts of existing files that have changed since the last backup.
You data is stored on the Remote Backup server in compressed format meaning that you can probably store about 300-400 Mb of wordprocessing and spreadsheet files in the standard 100Mb of hard drive space that you are allocated.
Data stored on the server is protected by 448-bit Blowfish encryption which means that nobody but nobody will be able to read it and it is worth noting that the same applies to you to you should you ever forget your password.
One potentially lifesaving feature of Remote Backup is that you can restore previous versions of files in case you overwrite a file and don’t realise until the after the next backup. The system will keep previous versions of a file for a month by default but you can alter this if you need to.
I’ve have been using Remote Backup for a couple of months and it has so far worked flawlessly backing up and restoring files. I don’t trust it absolutely and still do my own backups whenever I think of it but I am sleeping much better at night.
The cost is very reasonable at R79 per month for the first 100 Mb of compressed files.