Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Free tools to backup your online accounts

Thought I already had an article covering some of this. Couldn't find it though. so putting it here for now.

I just came across a lifehacker article detailing free tools to backup your online accounts. just had to share it cos it's my #1 concern with cloud computing. since I'm committed to the cloud it's now about covering the down side. that being what if I lose my account for any number of reasons. As long as I have a recent backup I'm not completely screwed.

So the question is, how easy is it to get a backup of all this cloud based stuff?

for Google docs I'm impressed. I initially thought I could only backup a folder at a time but I clicked on the my folders view to see the root folders. Selected all using the drop down, right clicked in the pane, chose export and got a zip containing all files I have in gdocs. I clicked the email me option since it was going to take a while.

I've found some small niggles. there seem to be a problem with unordered lists in word documents. They don't copy properly. Instead you get a big blank section that goes over multiple pages. I haven't looked further to see what other issues I found.

I also found that file names with characters that aren't allowed for files in windows like ':' cause errors when unzipping. I didn't check to see if these files were actually included when unzipped. But I can fix this by never naming a file using these characters. Would be simpler to have an option in gdocs to list the valid characters that invalid ones will be switched to but that may come in time.

Overall though I'm just really happy that Google Docs are taking this issue seriously and built right into the tool an export function. I'm just waiting until it's more solid but atleast I have some kind of backup with a promise of something better.

Just read about Googles Data liberation front. A project designed to give access to data back to users. I hope this takes things forward.

I've recently signed up to and set up daily backups for gmail, gdocs, facebook, twitter and a few others. All seems great so far. I've got a bunch of backups. The help articles seem really helpful. they explain that the restore process is different for different applications. Some allow full restore. Others don't have a restore. But either way you'll atleast have your data. finally I've got some peace of mind.

Came across and article on how to: escape from Google. Seemed to go through the backup process and restoring to other services.

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