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Ask Slashdot: What Are Some Cloud Backup Solutions That You Recommend? 241

New submitter OneHundredAndTen writes: After having used the services of CrashPlan for my backups for a few years now, I have just learned that CrashPlan is exiting the home backup business. Although this won't be happening for another 14 months, they have the chutzpah of recommending a provider (Carbonite) that does not support Linux. Looking in the net, there are not so many alternatives available -- unless you go with somebody that charges you $5/mo and up for a measly 100GB, or (occasionally) 1TB. Fine for a little phone, but not for the several TB worth of video I have shot over the years.

Anybody aware of decent cloud backup solutions that support Linux, and that offer a maximum backup capacity that is not ridiculously small?
Reader cornjones asks a similar question: My use case:
Backups for several computers, both at my house and scattered family machines
Encrypted locally by a key I set, only encrypted bits are stored offsite
I have a copy of my data onsite. I primarily want to protect against lost drives or fire (or ransomware attack)
Ideally, I would be able to point it at a NAS, which I don't have now.
The plan I was on was 10 computers, unlimited data, for 4 years @ $429. Lower is better, but I am willing to pay in that range.
Across my machines, I probably have about 1TB of bulk storage and 10 or so machines w/, say, 60GB backups each.
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Ask Slashdot: What Are Some Cloud Backup Solutions That You Recommend?

Comments Filter:
  • Backblaze (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    • Sounds good, but it doesn't sound like they have a Linux client which the OP mentioned they needed in the summary.

      It may be overkill for a home setup, but even though it's an old (but still updated) I still really like BackupExec. I use it on my servers at work and do a combination of backups to the SAN and tape. The latest version also supports using a cloud data provider as a storage target so you can place backups off-site.

      You have to have a Windows machine to act as the server but it does have agents

      • Re:Backblaze (Score:5, Informative)

        by brianwski ( 2401184 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @05:32PM (#55066203) Homepage
        Disclaimer: I work at Backblaze.

        > it doesn't sound like they have a Linux client

        For Linux, Backblaze offers "B2 Object Storage" with a large list of established Linux clients supporting it. You can see the list on this web page: [] (for Linux, look for the little pictures of a penguin).

        Solutions that backup to Backblaze B2 include: Duplicity, HashBackup, Transmit (by Panic), and rclone
        • But the breakeven for that is ~833 gigs.

          If you have to backup more than that, B2 costs more than the regular service .

        • That would be wonderful information to share with customers in an easy to find place on the website. I used to be a BackBlaze customer but left specifically because they don't support Linux. I even left that as my reason for leaving and talked to Support about it! Please fix this situation.
        • Re:Backblaze (Score:4, Interesting)

          by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2017 @03:59AM (#55068411) Journal
          Since you work for Blackblaze:

          I back up computers in my house to a FreeBSD NAS and I'm looking for an off-site backup solution. I want to be able to send ZFS snapshots, encrypted, to a remote location. Do you know of any tools that work well for this kind of use, or do I need to roll my own.

          • > I want to be able to send ZFS snapshots, encrypted, to a remote location.

            This is a REALLY common request and there are TONS of solutions. I think most of them were originally crafted to send your ZFS snapshots to Amazon S3 and/or Microsoft Azure, but now they work for Backblaze B2 also (and it is a LOT cheaper on Backblaze B2). If you look through the "integrations" list on this page you can choose your favorite: []

            If you don't have any favorites, one of the Ba
            • If you look through the "integrations" list on this page you can choose your favorite

              I had a look through this list the first time that you posted it, but none of them seem applicable.

              If you don't have any favorites, one of the Backblaze IT people here uses "Duplicity Linux" to do EXACTLY what you describe

              Duplicity doesn't seem to be able to do this. It maintains its own change logs, which ZFS gives me for free. I can do zfs send and get a stream that contains the changes since the last snapshot. I want to send this stream, encrypted, to B2, named such that if I need to recover I can easily stream the snapshots back, in order, so that zfs receive can reapply them to the filesyystem. I also want to configure

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Why ask Slashdot when someone has already done an indepth review and provided results?

      • by suutar ( 1860506 )

        Probably because that review says nothing about linux, which is kind of important to the original poster.

    • [] []

      Disclaimer: No warranty expressed or implied by me, and I have never used it.
  • FreeNAS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by darkain ( 749283 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @02:03PM (#55064593) Homepage

    I'm lucky enough to manage IT and servers for a pair of businesses in physically different locations. Both are running FreeNAS for their local storage. Both cross backup to one another using ZFS SEND/RECV. This gives full snapshotted history on both physical locations of both's complete storage. Pretty handy!

    • Re: FreeNAS (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @02:25PM (#55064771)

      Holy fuck! You put my corporate data at your other client's site?

      You're fired.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Ditto other poster's sentiments. Encrypted data alone is no guarantee of security. It's more of a road-bump; another check-box on the compliance form.

      Also, are the businesses fully aware of the cross-backup situation? There could be potential liability issues you've not considered. If both fully understand what's happening and accept liability, then good for you. Cheaper way of doing things, but if anything goes wrong, both businesses could be up the creek. Again, seems a risky move.

      On a related note, hopef

    • Re:FreeNAS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Albanach ( 527650 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @03:11PM (#55065147) Homepage

      Others point out the commercial concerns here, but as a personal strategy it could be a useful solution. Use your parents, siblings, inlaws etc. and share backup bandwidth. Set it up to replicate in the middle of the night when it's unlikely to affect folk.

      Alternatively, keep local backups and dump a hard drive in a lockbox at your bank once a month. Cheap and comes with almost unlimited capacity. I guess you could even send incremental backups to the cloud, minimizing your storage requirement there.

      • This. I have a pair of external drives, as does a friend of mine. He brings over a drive of his data and my old drive, I put them in my gun safe. I give him his old data and my fresh data, he puts it in his gun safe.

        Since we see each other every few days anyway, whenever we feel the need to back up (just backed up a phone, just took a bunch of pics, whatever) we can swap drives forth and back when ever we like.

        No bandwidth restrictions to worry about, no client software to worry about, just copies of the

      • by steveg ( 55825 )

        This was one of the reasons that I (used to) like CrashPlan.

        Their software allowed you to designate other computers running CrashPlan as destinations -- either other computers on your own plan, or friends that have given you an access code.

        I have one sister who lives a thousand miles from me who backs up to me, and one who lives 3000 miles away. Until February, anyway, when my account expires.

        There really don't seem to be any alternatives that support Linux. There are some roll-your-own options, but nothi

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Amazon is not going under. S3 will be viable for longer than you'll need it to be.

    • by drakaan ( 688386 )
      I was just going to say this. And you can do versioning/history in S3.
    • I have a Synology NAS that both acts as a central file server, and backs up my local computers' important files - various Windows, Mac, and Linux boxes on my local network. Synology has a built-in app that makes remote backups to S3 or Glacier servers.

      Because I'm mostly only backup up source code, documents, and my videogame development game assets, the overall backup is pretty minimal. And because you only pay for what you use, that means I'm literally only paying pennies per month for online backup. I

  • Don't for get an cap free ISP as well!

  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @02:04PM (#55064605)
    I like this site. [] They have the basic backups, and also cloud storage options. It seems to met most, if not all, of your criteria.
    • Yeah, Backblaze is a pretty good option for personal cloud workstation backups. However, it doesn't have a Linux client, which seems to be something the OP wants.

      • Re:Backblaze (Score:4, Informative)

        by darkain ( 749283 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @02:20PM (#55064733) Homepage

        B2 works on Linux. []

      • You could run Backblaze in a Windows KVM on Linux. To be honest, running Backblaze in a Windows KVM on Linux will use less RAM/resources than running the standalone CrashPlan Java client anyways.

  • ... that my recommend does what with, exactly?

    • by arth1 ( 260657 )

      ... that my recommend does what with, exactly?

      I thought the submitted wanted to know what the company named "Your" recommend.

      It's English As She Is Spoke.

  • by Noishkel ( 3464121 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @02:11PM (#55064661)
    Such things might not be ideal for everyone, but I prefer the peace of mind having control over my own data. And there's enough good options out there that you can set up system pretty easily.
  • Do an internal backup and ship a copy to AWS S3 Glacier
    • I seem to be headed down that road. Use Time Machine / Windows Backup to basement server, sync basement server to Glacier.

    • by nomad63 ( 686331 )
      Glacier storage was $10/TB/mo if I am not mistaken. For a large size data storage, amazon might be too costly IMHO.
  • Spideroak supports linux and allows multiple computers (and de-dupes for you). And it's fully encrypted.
    • I've been using them for years on Windows and Linux. The Linux client has been clunky in the past, but it seems stable (albeit slow) now.

      If you want to go full-free-software, I recommend Tahoe-LAFS ( you can run your own version with any server provider you want, or buy their service [] ...the last time I tried to use it, the setup was too complex to be worth the hassle and I gave up. But that was nearly five years ago, it may be much mor
  • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @02:13PM (#55064681)

    When dealing with large collections and video the last thing that you really want to deal with is the slow backup / restore process to the Cloud when something goes wrong. The Cloud is not really a good option for backups IMO.

    If you have a public facing IP and a satisfactory enough upload then home-hosting sounds like a decent solution. A small Linux / Unix box like a FreeNAS or something similar running Seafile or OwnCloud can provide you a cloud server. Clients are available for every OS and even mobile devices for remote access. And for actual backups, an Archive HDD like the 8-10TB models on the market should suffice. Leave that at work, at a friend's house or in a deposit box.

    This gives you:
    - cross platform
    - no cost
    - in your house very fast access to the "cloud" (remote access speed will depend on not being in Australia an hampered with shithouse internet)
    - your own in control backup strategy
    - your own in control deleted file retention strategy
    - the ability to share content easily as with all other services
    - security of being your own small self and thus a less likely target than a big provider

    • But in the scenario you outlined, if something catastrophic happens (fire, flood, etc.) your backup isn't sufficiently separated for your primary. All you're protecting yourself from is hardware failure, really.
      • Note that a bank safe deposit box is one of the offsite options
        • That assumes you'll do this regularly. For a long time, my backup procedure was to back up all of our laptops onto one external hard drive. Then copy that drive to another drive. One external hard drive stayed in the house for easy access. The other was hidden away in a second location. In theory, this worked well. In practice, I would either not update the "off-site" backup often enough such that loss of my primary backup would be devastating or I would forget to bring the off-site backup off-site, defeati

          • by brianwski ( 2401184 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @05:59PM (#55066373) Homepage
            Disclaimer: I work for Backblaze.

            > I'm currently backing up 210GB and the estimate is 21 days

            If you are using Backblaze, make sure you "Check for Updates" (menu option) and make sure you are running the 5.0 client we just released last week. Then if you want to make faster progress, turn off all power savings modes on your computer so it won't sleep, and then go into Backblaze "Settings..." menu and turn off "Automatic Threads/Throttle" and manually set the number of threads high enough to saturate your network. Let it run all night long for several nights in a row then check the time estimates again.
      • your backup isn't sufficiently separated for your primary.

        Let me quote myself:

        Leave that at work, at a friend's house or in a deposit box.

    • by vux984 ( 928602 )

      When dealing with large collections and video the last thing that you really want to deal with is the slow backup / restore process to the Cloud when something goes wrong. The Cloud is not really a good option for backups IMO.

      When dealing with backups, the last thing you want to deal with is *loss*. For a business, being able to restore mission critical data quickly is critical.

      For a home user, their video library ... if it takes a week or even 6 to get it all back down, that's fine.

      I agree with you that having your data in another home via owncloud etc is a good idea, and recovery can be faster if you can drive to the other house and restore the backup 'locally'. I agree with all your points.

      However, I'd still recommend a 3rd p

      • The cloud backups don't need to be your complete system backups. For example in your "documents" folder keep an "important" subfolder. Archive and encrypt the "important" subfolder, upload that to Amazon's or Google's cloud storage.
      • What if the owncloud server dies, and your busy/on vacation/ etc and it goes a few weeks before you can get over to your friends to rebuild it and fix it etc... now your operating with just the copy on your local pc. And are vulnerable to theft, fire, hardware failure... etc.

        What if dropbox goes down?

        Actually your what-if scenario strikes close to home. I was in Australia 2 weeks ago while my server motherboard shat itself (only just got the library up and running again 20min ago).

        What I actually did was upload any changed files to dropbox as a backup while I was in transit. I didn't need to rely on it, and I didn't upload anywhere near my whole library, but effectively the emergency backup plan was quite similar to what you proposed.

        Mind you the "risk" you are talking about wa

        • by vux984 ( 928602 )

          What if dropbox goes down?

          The odds of dropbox going down hard (and permanently losing data as opposed to a brief service outage) is, I think, *much* lower than the odds of a basic home server going down hard. I'd rule the latter as all but inevitable over a 10+ year period.

          However, I don't dispute that it could happen.

          And that is why I agree 100% with combining a DIY backup with a cloud backup. More is always better with backups.

          If I had to pick just one, I'd say the cloud backup service is more reliable. But if can have more than o

  • Anyone try IDrive? The pricing [] seems too good to be true, and they are offering 90% off the first year for Crashplan users.

    • by vinn ( 4370 )
      Yup. I have a few sites using iDrive in production as the primary cloud backup. I haven't done an extensive recovery operation yet, but I have done the usual recover of misc docs. Works great, simple to configure, lots of great options available.
  • For Linux? Amazon S3 and duplicity

    • I came here to say just this, but if Backblaze really will give you unlimited backup AND there's a duplicity backend for it, if you're backing up more than 1TB or so then Backblaze will be cheaper than even S3 Glacier.

      Backblaze are probably making out like gangbusters even if they're re-selling S3 capacity though, most people's backups will only be a small fraction of that.

  • by magarity ( 164372 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @02:23PM (#55064755)

    Not only does Carbonite not support Linux but neither Windows Home Server. One gets emails from them demanding that as a business using a server, they are cancelling the account unless it is upgraded to a business level. Trying to explain that WHS is a personal home system get only mindless "Server! Servers are for businesses! You are running a business!". Total morons.

  • I don't know of a good cloud backup provider with a Linux client. However, you mention wanting to point it to a NAS, which opens another possibility: You could have the NAS backup directly to the cloud.

    For example, if you get a Synology, it has a built in backup application that can backup to various cloud providers. I don't know any that will backup several TB for a fixed price, but you could backup to BackBlaze B2 (BackBlaze's service similar to Amazon S3) for as low as $0.005/GB. That's likely to be

  • by guruevi ( 827432 ) <evi AT evcircuits DOT com> on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @02:24PM (#55064767) Homepage

    FreeNAS and rclone should give you all you need. If you're looking particularly at only-cloud, look at Duplicati. Then pick a storage plan, not sure what you expect as far as availability, throughput and cost but there are Google, Amazon, Box, Dropbox.

    I would recommend, not only do they have native rsync, they also have native ZFS send capacity.

    • ... Then pick a storage plan, not sure what you expect as far as availability, throughput and cost but there are Google, Amazon, Box, Dropbox.

      Also Apple iCloud, which has encrypted cloud storage for reasonable monthly rates.

      For any of the above, I hope that you have a fast internet connection at home.

  • I have had (for the moment) a good experience with iDrive. Not the cheapest, but the client is flexible, you can have several machines, and it seems to have plenty of bandwidth, I also tried the free tests of backblaze y carbonite, and found the clients sorely lacking in features, and IIRC, the allowed only one machne.

    iDrive makes incremental backups, saving only the changed pieces of big files. That is interesting if you have big files that change fairly often, as it's my case. Never have had to recover fr

    • Disclaimer: I work at Backblaze.

      > I also tried the free tests of Backblaze and IIRC, they allowed only one machine

      Backblaze has evolved quite a bit in the last couple years, I don't know when you last tried it. First of all, you can backup several computers under one email address in Backblaze. Second of all, Backblaze recently released "Groups" which is where one IT admin can administrate and monitor backups of hundreds of different users each with one or more computers.

      For Backblaze Groups,
      • I usually dislike when people start with "Disclaimer: I work at ..." and then give a sales pitch.

        But in this case every answer you provided (7 so far) has been genuinely helpful and candid. From the look of it you guys are a pretty decent outfit.

        I use tarsnap for my business and was using S3 so far for other stuff but I think I'll dump S3 and try Backblaze.

  • I'd suggest backing everything up to a hard disk and sticking it in a safe deposit box at a bank. To save trips, have two disks; drop one off and pick the other one up, swapping them out again next cycle. It takes more work than an internet-based solution that runs automatically overnight, but it may be cheaper and (if you encrypt the drives) the security is hard to beat.
    • My solution is simpler.

      Make sure that your backups are encrypted (with a strong encryption method and strong keys), and just keep the drives at your office.

      If you suddenly leave your job, you may need to leave the drives behind, which is why the encryption is important.

      • Make sure that your backups are encrypted (with a strong encryption method and strong keys), and just keep the drives at your office.

        You have just given me the missing piece to my backup strategy, which is now:

        1) Local Linux Debian server with RAID 5.
        2) Separate hard drive to backup/sync with the RAID.
        3) Swap backup disk once a week with second backup disk.
        4) [new] Store newly disconnected drive in a locked, personal safe at work.
        5) Goto 3.

        • by lucm ( 889690 )

          RAID 5

          Don't do that to yourself. The only thing you'll achieve with RAID 5 is slow death by failed rebuilds and corrupted arrays.

          The bigger the hard disk, the bigger the odds that your RAID 5 scheme will shit itself; the smaller the hard disk, the smaller the savings. It's a lose-lose proposition.

    • Yeah but when the NWO and/or Illuminati take over, banks will be the first places hit.

      So really, what you want to do is buy an abandoned ICBM silo, and setup an off-grid server farm powered by hidden solar panels. You'll want to install a faraday cage around the premises to protect against tempest attacks on your data. This also has the added benefit of keeping the armed guards from accidentally (Or intentionally! Remember, you'll want to vet these people carefully before hiring. NDA's are a must.) revea

    • I'd suggest backing everything up to a hard disk and sticking it in a safe deposit box at a bank. To save trips, have two disks; drop one off and pick the other one up, swapping them out again next cycle. It takes more work than an internet-based solution that runs automatically overnight, but it may be cheaper and (if you encrypt the drives) the security is hard to beat.

      Yes, easiest, and within the budget of the poster. Within the budget he mentioned, he could buy two 4 TB external drives, and a safe-deposit box. Just don't get clunky 3.5" drives––get the drive-types that have laptop HDs, and are powered by the USBx/Firewire/eSATA cable. Plug and play.

  • Dev Null (Score:2, Funny)

    I'd recommend switching everything over to dev null as soon as possible. Any of your Linux friends should be able to set this up for you in under an hour. I hear your backups to dev null have great throughput and won't impact your other network activity at all.
  • Tarsnap []

  • by hackel ( 10452 )

    I just use hubiC. They give you 25 GiB for free, 10 TB is only €50/year (though I've never needed that much!). It's compatible with Openstack swift, and it works with Duplicity (which I use), rclone, etc. They have a Linux client, but it's written in Mono, hasn't been updated in years and is pretty bad.

    I just realised this sounds like a marketing push, but that wasn't my intention! (I won't share my affiliate link here.) I'm very much interested in learning about other solutions that are better su

  • You could roll your own remote/Cloud backup with Duply/Duplicity and AWS S3. It will be a few dollars per month []

  • This is easy:

    * Get a used Apple Airport 2 off of ebay.
    * Replace its internal hard drive with a WD Red (or a NAS-worthy Seagate).
    * Plug the Airport into your router via CAT-5 cable.
    * Turn off the Airport's WiFi capability.
    * Use the public IP address of the AirPort to log in and remember for each machine.

    Alternatively, buy a small web-host or host package from an internet provider (like Set up your backup script to do it there. I think Carbon Copy Cloner, which does scheduled backups, w

    • I had put a 4 TB in mine, but am upgrading to a 10 GB to completely cover needs.

      It is internationally accessible for backups or use as a personal streaming media drive.

      (Why 10 TB? Not a bunch of 'pirated' movies, although my family's music collection is on there. It's three people with laptops. One a scientist with huge datasets, another an artist/photographer. Those two need lots of space.)

  • If you aren't trying to restore your backups often, then AWS Glacier will give you a terabyte of storage for $48 a year (check my math on the pricing [])
    • I was just about to post something like this. Amazon charges a pittance to store large amounts of data ($0.004/gb/month).

      If you plan on rolling your own backup solution anyway, then using glacier as a final endpoint is your best bet cause then you won't have to worry about replication, etc. All you do is upload your files. It doesn't care how or what you upload. It's basically just a very slow performing storage volume. Encrypt your files and maybe add some PAR files for extra security, and you're gold

  • With that much data, I'd be tempted to spring for a high-capacity tape backup system and avoid the hit on my bandwidth.

  • I have been using hostmonster for many years, and am considering switching. I've looked a few and will make a decision when my current contract comes to an end. I've looked at InMotion and a few others.

    Basically find a web host that has unlimited storage, or storage limits you are comfortable with (but check the TOS and make sure they don't have a limit on number of files [HOSTMONSTER!]).

    As far as backups, some basic scripts and you should be good to go on linux. I am sure there are some free backup tool

  • Then use the Crashplan business offering to back up that machine?

  • by ejoe_mac ( 560743 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @04:38PM (#55065825) [] - Use an application that works, and you're set. If you want to be more cost aware, doing a local NAS and sync'ing what matters up to B2 centrally allows for more instant restores locally, but if the worst of events happens, you can pull the offsite data. [] has more info
  • Get yourself an external hard drive (or TWO of them if you're paranoid) and a safety deposit box at your bank (if you really want 'offsite' backup storage). Backup and store your own data. Now you'll never have to worry about some 'service' folding on you and taking your data with them, or ever having to worry about your data being stolen or snooped on.
    • And how much of your time do you have to spend doing all of this?
      • I don't have anything so important that I even bother. xD
        Once in a while I'll take an image of the boot drive of my desktop. Otherwise there's nothing I really need to save.
        But I think using 'cloud storage' for backups, considering how fickle these companies are, is not a viable long-term solution.
        Also, I'm far from convinced that you can trust any of them, regardless of any encryption, to not snoop.
        At the very least Murphy's Law fully applies, at the absolute worst moment they'll bail on you and say "t
  • 1) Zero fuss + reasonable safety and privacy: Apple iCloud + big fat Timevault. It's a hideously expensive setup but it's about as safe and easy and reliable as it gets. ... This is, of course, when you're in the Apple ecosystem already.

    2) Google + automated takeaway downloads. There is a huge advantage and a huge disadvantage with Google, and both spell out exactly the same way: Google watches over you. Price-performance is second to none with Google, but, of course, here you have to be part of the ecosyst

  • ARQ seems to be working just fine for me... Non Linux, sorry. Pay for your own hosting of data. []

  • by Cyberax ( 705495 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @05:21PM (#55066135)
    I've switched my backups to - it's fully S3 compatible and is reasonably cheap. You'll pay $47 per year per terabyte of data which is significantly more expensive than some other cloud solutions. However you'll get full 100Mb through and random access to your files, any time. And there's a multitude of ready-made OpenSource solutions for S3 backup so they can immediately use Wasabi.
  • they store it all offsite somewhere or another. Getting data restored is turning out to be a problem however.
  • by paugq ( 443696 )

    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Zoolz yet. They are a legitimate business and have been operating for years. You can find a "for life" 2 TB deal for $49.99 [] this week.

    No Linux client but given it's developed in .NET with no obfuscation, I guess it won't take long before someone decompiles the code and implements the feature in Duplicati or rclone. []

  • Encrypt. Name it something memorable, but not something that is going to get a DMCA.

    Upload. Enjoy 3 years of free off site backups distributed throughout the world.

"I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person, unless he has an atomic weapon." -- Howard Chaykin