Great question in a forum today!
Does anyone use an online - remote backup service that they would recommend?
Great Question. Some people use backup services on their computer, like Mozy or Carbonlite. I stopped using both when I purchased my 2nd last laptop in 2010. I found a system that works better for me. (Although you'll see several posts scattered throughout this blog while I was trying to find the perfect mix for me. This is the updated version & I no longer have that sinking feeling in my belly when I think about a hard drive failure, losing my laptop or being out of the office for extended periods of time).
Note: this won't work for people who are in the graphic design industry, or photographers, for example. Your file sizes will be large. The average consultant or service provider however, will probably have a very similar usage to me & this system might be exactly what you're looking for.
Let's see if this could work for you.
Semi - Monthly Physical Backup
I use a smart drive like the one here on Amazon. 500 GB and similar in size to my Samsung Galaxy. (It's the same one shown below) I backup every 2 or 4 weeks, and have a slightly different system for the rest. (write a reminder in your dayplanner or google calendar)
My Day To Day Files - Stored in a Sugarsync Directory (like Dropbox)
I keep all of my files in my sugarsync folders, so they're accessible on all of my devices (even when I had to buy a computer at the last minute - I was up and running again in less than an hour). I would have used Dropbox as my main filing system, but Sugarsync offered a much better storage limit in their free plan & then they hooked me with great service and ease of use. 5 GB to start and with a few friend referrals I was up to 12GB. Dropbox starts at 2GB
Internet Favorites, Browsers and Calendars
All of my favorites and aps are synced with Google Chrome - so regardless of which computer I'm using I still see the exact same navigation, if I'm logged in with my google ID.
I use Goggle Aps for business (their free account - good for up to 5 team members I think) and have 10GB storage there (Backup for my email and any google docs I might be using)
Note: I was going to include a link to Google Apps for Business today, but they seem to have removed the free option. If you land on the page today you'll need to pay $5/month or $50/year. I will post a link to the free version if /when I see it next.
Pictures and Music Files
And my pictures automatically sync from my phone to my dropbox account, so I don't lose anything there.
In the old days I used to backup programs and all the files on my computer. It doesn't seem necessary anymore. It doesn't seem relevant anymore. Most things are cloud based, or can be re-installed quickly. Instead, I store all of my files so that I can access them from my harddrive (online or offline).
The free WP Backup to Dropbox is great, and I've also had a really good experience with one called Online Backup. But I also use a Cloning plugin that makes a complete copy of the site (similar to backupbuddy)
I don't stress anymore...
I used to sweat this one out. Wishing and praying that nothing bad would happen. Even when I had bought backup programs that I installed on my computer, I would still sweat. I guess it's because I didn't test them to see if they would easily re-instate my computer if I had to use it. I could see it was "working" to back things up. But who really knew what would happen the day you needed it. Now I know beyond a shadow of a doubt (because I can see the evidence every day) that my files are backed up and secure. I don't need to search through endless folders and flash drives looking for files. They're always where I saved them, in the same file format and structure, regardless of which computer I'm working on (sad to admit this, but I have 4 at the moment - time for a purge)
Let me know in the comments (or by sending a tweet) if this helps you with the decisions you've been making about your own backup and storage needs.
Do you have any suggestions that will help other readers? Please share below.