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Google Data Storage IT Technology

Google Drive Will Soon Back Up Your Entire Computer (theverge.com) 188

An anonymous reader shares a report: Google is turning Drive into a much more robust backup tool. Soon, instead of files having to live inside of the Drive folder, Google will be able to monitor and backup files inside of any folder you point it to. That can include your desktop, your entire documents folder, or other more specific locations. The backup feature will come out later this month, on June 28th, in the form of a new app called Backup and Sync. In some other news, Box announced on Wednesday desktop apps for its storage service.
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Google Drive Will Soon Back Up Your Entire Computer

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  • I could use this! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmhNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @01:12PM (#54619347) Journal

    This is something I could use every day...when pointed to reverse encFS mounts, that is ;-)

    • Then... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sycodon ( 149926 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @01:18PM (#54619415)

      ...they will examine it all for clues to provide targeted advertising.

      Next will be looking for hate speech and porn and reporting it to the authorities.

      No thanks.

      • Re:Then... (Score:4, Funny)

        by sinij ( 911942 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @01:20PM (#54619443)
        For some unknown reason, after backing up my "personal data" drive to Google, I started to get a lot of equestrian advertising.
        • For some unknown reason, after backing up my "personal data" drive to Google, I started to get a lot of equestrian advertising.

          Well, it probably found the MedFet stash and misinterpreted the usage of the Stirrups.

        • You can disable targeted advertising in your Google account settings. This does not, however, change the fact that Google parses and categorizes your content. So to have Google backup all my computer data? No thanks. You're gonna pry my laptop from my cold, dead hands.
          • Meh. Encrypt stuff, put it in the directory.

            • by torkus ( 1133985 )

              Which is not especially convenient when you want to use those files.

              When google drive supports encryption seamlessly WITHOUT keeping the keys themselves then I'll gladly give them hard drive images. Granted that makes using their storage tool much less useful to THEM. (which is kind of the point)

              We're actually going through something very similar at work right now. We want to use cloud based storage and distribution of files, but need to be able to (more or less seamlessly) encrypt ourselves and not give

            • Or go with the easier solution of just not using it.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            So to have Google backup all my computer data? No thanks.

            Google cannot "backup" your data.

            "Backup" is a noun. You do a backup. Do do not backup something.

            "Back up" is the verb you want. You back up something. Google backs up all your computer data.

            • So to have Google backup all my computer data? No thanks.

              Google cannot "backup" your data.

              "Backup" is a noun. You do a backup. Do do not backup something.

              "Back up" is the verb you want. You back up something. Google backs up all your computer data.

              But Google CAN be pedantic. And you can be wrong.

              you can call for backup to back you up (extended from a military sense).

              Technically, the verb should be phrasal verb back up, with a space, and the noun back-up. This is because up is a function word so it can't really be combined.
              If you consider the past tense of such a verb, have you backed up your files?, I think it becomes clear that there must be a phrasal verb at play here - unless people do actually say 'have you "backupped" your files?

              So please dismou

              • But Google CAN be pedantic. And you can be wrong.

                Except that nothing I said above was wrong.

                you can call for backup to back you up (extended from a military sense).

                Correct. That doesn't contradict anything I said. The noun is backup and the verb is back up.

                So please dismount from that overly high horse.

                Nothing overly high about it.

                • except the part about backup is accepted language but not technically correct it should be back-up or we should consider backupped correct (which it isn't therefore backup isn't therefore you are ok with language being bastardised and shouldn't try to be a language nazi)

      • That's why he's pointing it at encrypted data (reverse encFS mounts).

      • ...they will examine it all for clues to provide targeted advertising.

        Next will be looking for hate speech and porn and reporting it to the authorities.

        That was my first thought: They'll index it & update your advertising on searches. Of course, you could always point it to an encrypted backup file and have it back that up for you...

      • Boris: "We need an insidious plan to steal the private data from the Americans, every single one!"
        Natasha: "Well, why don't we just ask them to give it to us?"
        Boris: "You think that would work?"
        Natasha (long pause): "We could say 'please'."
    • by stooo ( 2202012 )

      >> Google Drive Will Soon Back Up Your Entire Computer
      No. Thanks.
      I got back up already.
      Without publishing everything.

  • No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrdogi ( 82975 ) <mrdogi@sbcglobal.AUDENnet minus poet> on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @01:16PM (#54619387) Homepage

    No, no it won't.

    • I have a feeling they wouldn't appreciate terabytes from everybody. Since this would only be acceptable with encryption on the client side they couldn't even deduplicate.

      • Since this would only be acceptable with encryption on the client side they couldn't even deduplicate.

        Why not? An encrypted blob of data looks pretty much like an unencrypted blob of data, the deduplication service shouldn't need to know one from the other.

  • I got a FreeNAS file server to store my data and backup all my systems.
    • Re:No thanks... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by enjar ( 249223 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @01:29PM (#54619549) Homepage
      What happens when your house floods, catches fire, electrical storm fries the machine, RAID controller fails and writes gibberish, OS update goes sideways, you fat finger an rm command, etc? Offsite backups can be very useful. Maybe you don't push everything offsite but there's probably a class of data you'd like to know will survive when something happens to your freenas.
      • Speaking for myself, that data easily fits on an external drive that I ask them to bring with them once every couple months so I can sync it. I used to have a remote rsync to their house set up but it's easier just to have them bring the drive here.
        • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
          crashplan lets you replicate to another user's computer, into an encrypted space. Even if you don't use their service.
      • You use borg backup and upload it to the cloud. Offsite backups are super important, but probably not ones that allow google to dig through and market for free. Although, I suppose you could accept that, and that's the "payment" for the offsite storage. Fortunately it's super cheap to not have anyone dig through your stuff, and just back it up encryptedly.
      • for me the amount of data I have that is actually critical on my NAS should any of those things happen fits easily on a small thumbdrive of which I have several I keep with me and one offsite as well as an occasional encrypted copy I put in a cloud drive.
      • by houghi ( 78078 )

        Your data is not as important as you think. (Talking about personal, not business here)
        All from the bank and what not will still be at the bank. The access to the bank will be restored. The data I have given the IRS will still be somewhere available.

        Look seriously at your data and see if they are 'must have' and 'nice to have'. Hint: pictures of your kids, your music and your movie collection is 'nice to have'. Except for perhaps 100 emails (if that much) keeping emails is nice to have when older than 7 day

      • Offsite backups can be very useful. Maybe you don't push everything offsite but there's probably a class of data you'd like to know will survive when something happens to your freenas.

        True, but you don't need the cloud to do that.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Really, any year now.

  • by LordHighExecutioner ( 4245243 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @01:19PM (#54619425)
    ...but I prefer my NAS!
  • Privacy? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GLMDesigns ( 2044134 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @01:21PM (#54619447)
    Wonder how much of your data will be parsed, stored, collated and available to the IRS, NSA and others at their discretion?

    Wish such thoughts were tin-foil conspiracy type things.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Oh just stop with that nonsense! If you aren't doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.

    • by Daetrin ( 576516 )
      Google won't make the data available to the government at their discretion! That really is tin-foil conspiracy!

      Your data will actually be parsed, stored, collated, and be made available to Google's targeted marketing AI to maximize revenue.

      The government won't get ahold of the data until they get a secret warrant from a secret court, and _then_ Google will roll over.
    • Wonder how much of your data will be parsed, stored, collated and available to the IRS, NSA and others at their discretion?

      I would suggest encryption then. At least for the files that are sensitive. I have a dropbox account that I use extensively to transfer stuff between all my devices but there is no way I'd put any plain text document in there without encrypting it first. Been using veracrypt. Works for me but there's always bcrypt which is a good option of you're on Linux.

  • by sinij ( 911942 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @01:22PM (#54619461)
    This move by Google likely guarantees that porn would be sufficiently duplicated to survive collapse of our civilization.
    • by torkus ( 1133985 )

      Actually, if google is smart (and they usually are) they would de-dupe on a massive scale...while still replicating multiple copies for speed/redundancy.

      That vastly lowers their required storage (oddly enough you aren't the only one with biggestboobz.mp4) and lets them continue offering more 'space' that doesn't cost them nearly as much as it looks like it would.

      • by swb ( 14022 )

        I used SugarSync for a while and it must have been deduping because if I copied a widely available .ISO into my folder it would often immediately upload and begin downloading on other synchronized computers.

        I was always kind of curious what their global dedupe ratio was.

        This behavior is not something I have seen Dropbox do.

  • I don't think Google wants to get into the business of saving crap for nothing (or pennies).

    For reference: https://hardware.slashdot.org/... [slashdot.org]

  • Yeah, let's put our ENTIRE history up for grabs, people can analyse our private lives and preferences, create ad campaigns, have NSA predict our movements, have governments predict our actions and political preferences and take steps to keep us in ignorance at best, or coerce us into submission at worst. Let's all create a world where our intellectual/psychological profiles can be used by marketing and politically interested parties, infiltrating our private lives as well as public lives to the point we are
  • Does this come with already baked in support for NSA prism selectors, too?

  • by Imazalil ( 553163 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @01:47PM (#54619743)

    So, um, maybe Google could actually roll this out to android first so that users have a proper full device backup. Just an idea?

    Also, Yay, now both Microsoft & Google get all may data.

    • My android devices are currently backing themselves up to Google somehow, and I've restored the entire phone from backup with almost no problem. There were only a few apps I had that didn't support this, causing me to have to reconfigure them or transfer settings another way.

    • Google already backs up Android devices, and has done so for several years now. When you buy a new Android phone, one of the setup prompts asks you if you want to enable backup for your phone. I've done so, and been able to move from one phone to another, taking nearly all my data with me. It even backs up most of the installed apps.

      • My understanding is that, yes, Android does have a mechanism for apps to back their data up (and restore that data to a new device, etc), but it is not a system wide "full" backup of the device. In essence, it's the "nearly" part that is annoying.

        I would like both, a full device backup snapshot - the os, the temp files, the apps, etc, and, the app specific backups as well.

  • Any folder? (Score:4, Funny)

    by apoc.famine ( 621563 ) <apoc.famine@gmai ... minus physicist> on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @01:50PM (#54619783) Journal

    Google will be able to monitor and backup files inside of any folder you point it to.

    Even /dev/urandom?

  • by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) <{skennedy} {at} {tpno-co.org}> on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @01:54PM (#54619823) Homepage

    Putting aside the notion of google and privacy issues, current google drive doesn't do file versioning. That, alone, tanks the notion of using it for "backups", although it's a pretty convenient file sharing tool.

    • Well that sucks. I'm used to MozyPro through a reseller where retention is 90 days of versioning. Per GB, it's expensive, but you get what you pay for. I can't see a versioning-less cloud backup solution is of any use it your primary data get's whacked by ransomware only to have the backups overwrite the good data in the cloud.

      • Turns out I was wrong; google drive does keep versions, you just have to use their web interface.

        However, Mozy is overly expensive and complex. I use backblaze. It's 5 bucks per computer per month...period.

    • Take a look at Duplicati [duplicati.com].
      It's a backup software (been in 'beta' for years, but it works) that can use all sorts of backends, gDrive included. Encryption support (privacy issues no more), versioning support, multiple backup sets, scheduling, etc.
  • There is a lot of important stuff there that I wouldn't want to lose.
  • So it's come to this? They expect/encourage you to DIRECTLY give them all your Most Persona and Private Data? WTF, Google!? What's next, "Let us store all that banking and credit card information for you!". Fuck that shit. Glad I have nothing to do with any Google services that require a sign-in.
  • I'd sooner trust Microsoft with my data in Azure. As people have been mentioning, I wouldn't be surprised if they randomly just pulled the plug with little notice, probably after they realize that most of the interesting stuff is encrypted and/or unprofitable.
  • Holy shit, it's like we've forgotten about the major privacy implications of the first version of this: Google Desktop [wikipedia.org]

    Many privacy and civil liberties groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have concerns that personal information on people's computers could readily be copied from users' hard drives.

    Google Desktop version 3 contains certain features that raise serious security and privacy concerns. Specifically, the share across computers feature, which introduces the ability to search con

    • We've learned, but millennials and other up-and-comings clearly haven't. Watching the nightly news gives you plenty of samplings of the stupid stuff they post to Facebook and such. We're not Google's target audience.
  • by DidgetMaster ( 2739009 ) on Wednesday June 14, 2017 @03:11PM (#54620685) Homepage
    Let's assume for a second that you actually would want all your important stuff backed up to the Google cloud (I don't). This kind of thing almost never works. File systems allow you (and the applications you run) to store a file almost anywhere in the directory tree. You can create new folders all the time. Maybe you have found a way to make sure ALL your important stuff gets saved to a few folders that are backed up and that some huge file containing unimportant data never gets put there, but I have found file systems woefully lacking in this area. You also have to make sure all your important folders get listed in the backup list, otherwise you end up missing something. I create huge test files all the time on my system and the last thing I would want is those files pushed up to the cloud. They would eat up bandwidth and storage space and I don't care about the data in them.
    • So don't make your huge test files in a directory that is being monitored for back up. This extends to any similar back up system, not just this one.
  • A cloud service run by an advertising company backing up my computer?

    Like hell it will.

  • Typical Verge. "Documents, desktop, pictures" = "entire computer".

    No. No it doesn't. When someone says "entire computer", I think "that means the entire computer" not "that means my documents". Google Drive cannot backup c:\windows\ or other locked / key files. The title of this article makes it sound like this is a full disk backup, which it's most certainly not - all they're letting you do is change the directory Google Drive syncs. ownCloud has done this for literally years.

    TheVerge is supposed to be a
    • Good to know. So, it won't provide a full BMR backup set. It only lets you choose whatever directories contains user data. Though with the OS and common program files (MS Office, Adobe suite for example) being de-duplicated, it's not like it would make that much extra of a dent in storage use. Temp file and browser cache would however as those get pretty unique and large per machine; and it's those you can't de-deduplicate!

  • No, no it will not.

  • That doesn't even cover what in my Documents folder.

  • "Google Drive Will Soon Back Up Your Entire Computer" ...whether you want it to or not.

  • I keep my files where most people do, at the NSA, why use a middleware solutuin like Google when you can just to straight to the source.
  • If Google plans to sell this service and have decent encryption, then it could be a good competitor for Carbonite.

  • I don't trust Google Drive with any file of mine, let alone my entire computer.

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