Data Backup and Sync Strategies #2: Top Backup and Sync Tools


In my first article in this series, I discussed the importance of data backup and sync, and what data you should consider backing up. It ranged from files to browser preferences, credit cards to business data, and emails to your tweets.

So, now that you know the things you need to address, let’s check out some¬† backup and sync tools that’ll get the job done. Data backup is an industry in itself and there is no dearth of software to get it done. But we don’t need to worry about all of them. I’ve chosen certain tools which should be more than enough for the average computer user or a small business owner.

The tools are categorized into different sections depending upon what they are used for primarily.

Files, Folders and General Data Backup

1. Dropbox

Probably the hottest tool in the backup and sync scene at the moment, Dropbox boasts of some incredible features. It can backup, sync, works online and offline, is easy to use, and does much much more.

2. Mozy

While Dropbox is limited to 100GB of backup per account, Mozy goes beyond that and has options for both individual users and businesses. Mozy has been one of the foremost online backup services for a pretty long time.

3. Carbonite

Carbonite is head-to-head with Mozy in terms of features and premium offerings. It is another trusted brand when it comes data backup on the cloud.

4. Windows Backup and Restore

Windows backup and restore is a comprehensive backup and sync utility for Windows Vista and 7 users that helps them effortlessly backup their hard drive data on an external location.

5. TimeMachine in Mac

TimeMachine is Windows backup and restore center’s Mac counterpart. It facilitates data backup and sync with an external drive for Mac users.

Bookmarks, Password and Other Browser Stuff

1. Xmarks

If you want to keep your browser bookmarks backed up and synchronized, Xmarks is a must-have tool. Here’s a guide that gives a step by step explanation of bookmarks backup and sync using Xmarks.

2. Lastpass

Lastpass is a brilliant tool for creating and storing your passwords securely on the cloud. It also helps you fill forms, save secure notes and generate a one-time password to use on public computers.

3. FEBE for Firefox

Firefox users are likely to find the FEBE (Firefox Environment Backup Extension) quite useful. It can backup your complete Firefox data: passwords, profile, bookmarks, history–everything. You can schedule the backup to run every day. If you happen to do a clean reinstall of Firefox, you can quickly restore your original settings using FEBE.

Social Accounts Data

1. ArchiveFB

If you’re heard of the stories of Facebook accounts getting locked up and users losing data overnight (it does happen), and want to create a personal backup of the stuff you share on Facebook, then ArchiveFB or ArchiveFacebook for Firefox can help you do that.

2. Backupify

Backupify provides a complete social media data backup solution that includes your Facebook, Twitter and WordPress.com accounts as well as Google apps like Gmail, Picasa, Docs and all. It offers both basic and premium features.

Emails, Credit Cards and Business Data

1. Gmail Backup Techniques

Gmail has become the defacto email solution for professionals all around the world. It is important that you keep a backup of your Gmail, which you can access in the nightmarish scenario of your Gmail account getting compromised. The CybernetNews blog has a detailed article on various methods you could try out to backup your Gmail account. You could also use Backupify mentioned above as your Gmail backup solution.

2. Outlook Backup

If Outlook is your preferred email application then you can use the Microsoft Outlook Personal Folders Backup tool to backup Outlook data like inbox, contacts, calendar, etc. I am not sure though if the tool works on the latest version of Outlook. See this article by Microsoft and Outlook 2010 backup guide for more on this.

3. Website Backup Tools

If you own a blog or a website, make sure you back it up regularly. Whether it is by downloading the server files on your computer or backing them up to a cloud service like Amazon S3, you should have a backup of the most recent files which you can use in case of an emergency.

Tip for WordPress users: You can use plugins like WordPress database backup and automatic wordpress backup on Amazon S3 to automate the process.

4. Credit Cards and all

It’s good to keep a backup of personal data like credit and debit card numbers, bank account information etc. You can save it in Lastpass (mentioned above) or store it on an encrypted note on your computer. Another way would be to have them printed out on a plain sheet of paper and keep it in a safe location. You never know when you might need it.

That was about the various data backup and sync tools. Next article would focus on Dropbox, the best personal data backup and sync solution in my opinion.


Abhijeet Mukherjee is the editor of Guiding Tech, a blog that publishes in-depth articles and tutorials on all things tech, including mobile news and tutorials. He's been into web working since 2008 and continues to enjoy each day of it. He loves to interact with people so hit him up on Twitter.

Discussion

  1. ertt on the 26th August

    Backblaze is definitely worth mentioning too – they are much much much better than others like carbonite or mozy in mine & my friends/colleagues experiences – it’s unanimous, we all prefer it.

  2. Claude on the 26th August

    I prefer Jungle Disk (and its white label Secure Backup) for backup and multi-computer synchronization. It uses Amazon’s S3 and it has saved my butt a few times. My clients use it heavily without any technical issues. Works on Windows, Mac, Linux.

  3. Ron Peterson on the 26th August

    Windows Backup and Restore in Windows 7 appears to do an excellent job of backing up. I like to do an image backup of my entire drive. I also backup with a Clickfree harddrive as additional protection.

  4. Dave on the 26th August

    I would have unequivocally included 1Password on this list, especially for backing up and encrypting passwords, credit cards, login IDs, web forms, business data, etc.

  5. S Emerson on the 26th August

    I personally prefer total control over the access to my backups so I backup to an external drive. The reason why is if your system crashes then you don’t have access to these online backup systems until you get up and running again. (Plus the whole security thing)

    On your list of backup software you can add SyncBack

  6. mrjuls on the 27th August

    Thanks for the article. I’ve tested many free back-up and synchronization tools, and I recommand Syncback, very useful for synchronization with network drives.

  7. beekeeper on the 27th August

    Very useful links and tips, thanks for sharing. I prefer dropbox very useful simple and neat interface and easy backup file folders.

  8. Frank on the 30th August

    Good post! But you missed my personal favourite: http://www.filesdirect.com – inbrowser file upload and download, any file type, SSL encryption and a 30-day free trial. (www.filesdirect.com)

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