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kylejwx

DropBox for Backup? or CrashPlan + Office365

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kylejwx

My sister, a college student, recently told me, "I think I am going to get the paid version of DropBox for backing up my computer."  Now I know that this will make a lot of people cringe right there.  We all know that sync and backup are two different things, and that Dropbox is in the sync category.  However,  they do seem to do a pretty good job of versioning.  30 days of versioning is free and packrat gives unlimited versioning.  Honestly, a good versioning system is way more than what most people do for backup.

 

Price wise, DropBox does not look good.  $100 for 100GB + $40 for the packrat feature for 1 year. To compare, $60 for unlimited CrashPlan + $70 for Office365 1TB is cheaper.  (cheaper still, if she gets the student office365.)

 

CrashPlan is a huge memory hog in my experience.  I think OneDrive is fixed, but I have had issues in the past, especially on the mac, where it would not always load with the OS on boot up.  A regular user will never think to turn it on.

 

I think she has about 20GB of critical data and another 30 GB of important data, but she wants to get a DSLR camera and that 100GB on Dropbox is starting to look pretty small.

 

At the end of the day however, Dropbox is what she knows and is comfortable with.  And it's what everyone she knows is using to share college work with.  Does that make it worth it?  In reality, we are talking about a small amount of money compared to the amount going to be spent on Laptop + DSLR camera.  When I first started writing this post, I felt like this argument of familiarity was pretty strong.  I think I may have answered my own question by typing it out.  I will still post it and let you sound off.

 

I loaded up dropbox and onedrive next to each other in the browser.  They look very similar.  I think she will get used to.  I think I will recommend Crashplan + Office365.  The value is there for so much more storage.  It just makes more sense.

 

Edited by kylejwx

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StanHD

Your post lays it out very well, so here is a brief synopsis of what we run and it works well for us.

 

My wife has been running a DSLR for many years now. In fact we have @ 25,000 photos stored in Raw format with approximately 5,500 processed jpg for general "consumption". To cope with this we adopted Crashplan a few years ago. As well as the cloud backup, the local backup features are excellent as well, however, this may be less relevant in your scenario. Crashplan takes a fair bit of thought and is not the easiest interface to work with, however, once you have it set up as you want it, it just does it's job continuously including weekly email reports if you forget to check status from the application manually. I think a testament to the resilience of this programme is the lack of updates to the software. I guess that as it's stable and reliable, the developers don't need to continually try to add features and thus risk compromising a solid product.

 

We also run Dropbox for mainly other reasons (copies of travel documents etc.) and it is really easy to use as I am sure we all know, however, as you point out, it is a synchronisation product and it does this really well.

 

Although perhaps not relevant here, our WHS is also the Cloud backup host for some friends and family, which is a free feature in Crashplan. It works very we'll or us.

 

So for us, Dropbox = synchronisation and multi device file portability. Crashplan = Set and forget unlimited backup to multiple destinations.

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ikon

I think you've both made really good points. Kylejwx, I would only add that, if your sister does go with something other than DropBox, she may end up being a trend setter at her college, once her friends realize how much cheaper per gig her storage is.

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jmwills

Have you looked into the possibility of her back up to your WHS/WSE box over a VPN?  She has very little storage and even running a batch file to copy over that much data shouldn't take more than about 15 minutes or so, depending on the connection.

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awraynor

Can she run more than one service at a time. DropBox for the very important items, maybe with a smaller data quota. Given it's broad integration with many apps that may be beneficial.

Yes, CrashPlan is a huge memory hog. Mine is using over 2GB at this time. Lastly, that 1TB of OneDrive is looking very good, although it does have a file limit which I found out recently.

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Andne

A DSLR can eat memory fast, especially if you shoot in RAW mode - my main album is around 300GB currently.  I use Crashplan for backup, can't say I've ever noticed it using a lot of memory, but one instance is running on the server, so I don't think I'd notice it there, and the desktop has 16GB of RAM and doesn't use near all of it anyways. Originally I had the desktop storing the album and backing it up to Crashplan (actually 3 ways - local drive, folder on server, and Crashplan cloud) as well as having WS2012R2E backing up that computer to itself every night.  I'm currently in the middle of rearranging some of my folders, keeping the main set of originals on the server and (unfortunately, due to limitations) the catalog file and previews on the desktop hard drive. I also have another catalog that I copy back and forth between my desktop and tablet that only knows about the set of images that I am in the process of editing. I just wish I had the bandwidth that as I move files they didn't take so long to update.

 

What kind of files is she sharing with her friends? One big advantage of Office 365 is the online Web apps when you just need to view something quick, or access it from a computer you don't normally use. That and I find the availability of OneNote coupled with storing the files on OneDrive to be very nice to use. Granted, I've never used dropbox, so I can't quite compare the two. Also, if she's not sharing a whole lot with them, the free part of OneDrive may be enough, so then that might help with the cost argument as well.

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Al_Borges

its hard to beat the real simplicity of onedrive, especially if you are a windows type of guy 

The support for other platforms is very good -  

 

This forum has skewed perspective, being composed of power users and Uberusers 

 

but for "normals"  the first step is to get their personal data "backed up" somehow, someway

 

The distinction between syncing to the cloud and a true backup is moot for 90% + of users

 

The free storage built in onedrive/googledrive/icloud  is also sufficient for the great majority of users. 

 

So the differences between the services is trivial, compared to not using anything

 

and its hard to beat free. 

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ikon

You raise a good point. The most important step, indeed, is to simply get people to back up at all.

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jsox

I would not consider MediaFire for anything personal or confidential. The data is not encrypted in transit and not encrypted in their storage. For copies of CDs and such it might be a good solution.

 

Users should also be aware of limitations such as no more than 300 files can be copied at a time (unless the source is included in the "sync" folders).

 

I've been playing with Mediafire for a couple of weeks and my impression is one of limited usefulness but perhaps neat in some specific application.

 

The lack of encryption bugs me. I am not even tempted to consider it instead of Crashplan or One Drive.

 

Also, there is no way to control bandwidth usage when uploading other than on / off.

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