U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Science and Technology > Computers
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 07-01-2018, 12:34 PM
 
11,394 posts, read 8,934,532 times
Reputation: 28793

Advertisements

Does anyone have any recommendations for an external automatic back up drive? I'm looking for something that I can plug into the USB and the drive will automatically back up the entire computer.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-01-2018, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Spring Hill, Florida
3,047 posts, read 5,041,313 times
Reputation: 3338
You have lots of options. Any USB external drive of sufficient size can be used along with Windows Backup that is built into Windows 7/8/10. Once configured, this will run automatically at specified interval as long as you leave the drive connected to the PC.

There are some drives that have a button on the drive that you can press to start the backup process. Western Digital, Seagate, and others make such drives.

Keep in mind that external drives have the same issues as internal drives. They are subject to mechanical/electronic failure. In addition they can be lost/stolen. You may want to consider a cloud-based backup as a substitute or in addition to an external drive. This is dependent upon how important your data is and how much you are willing to spend to protect it.

I have a friend who has two of the aforementioned USB external drives. His backup solution is to use two drives and keep them in different places. He keeps one at home and this one is used to make a daily backup of his PC. The other one is kept in a safe at his office. Once a week, he takes the one from home to his office, puts it in the safe, and brings home the one from the office. He does a backup of his PC on the "office" unit and then brings it back to his office the next day. That night, the "home" drive is brought back to his house.

His reasoning is that in case of a fire or some other disaster, both drives are not in the same place. He recently subscribed to a cloud backup service as an extra measure. I am not sure which one he uses or what it costs.

I have a NAS unit (basically a network hard drive) that all of my devices backup to. However, I also have a second internal hard drive in each desktop PC that is used simultaneously to make a backup of the primary hard drive. So, I always have two backups, should something happen. Granted, something could happen that would affect both backup copies. So, I am giving serious thought to a cloud solution.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-02-2018, 04:50 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
2,297 posts, read 3,491,828 times
Reputation: 3018
I do something similar to HWTechGuy, but with one extra twist.

I don't schedule backups, I manually start them, after first powering off my modem, and only then plugging in the USB to my at-home backup drive.
This is way less convenient, but necessary as it protects my backup from the latest risk, ransomware. The malware that will encrypt all connected drives and demand money for the decryption key.
I never, ever, connect my backup drive to my computer when my Internet is active. That way keeps it safe from ransomware. (Slang for this is "air-gapped").
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-02-2018, 08:30 AM
 
40,290 posts, read 41,836,137 times
Reputation: 16800
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlygal View Post
Does anyone have any recommendations for an external automatic back up drive? I'm looking for something that I can plug into the USB and the drive will automatically back up the entire computer.

The best way to do this is with RAID1 array which can be implemented with hardware or software, you can also do it with an external drive.

A basic RAID1 array is going to have two internal drives that are identical but they don't have to be. In real time data is written to both drives, the second drive is an exact and always up to date copy of the original. If one fails you can pop out the failed drive and pop in a new one which will then be rebuilt from the good drive. This will prevent the most common way data is lost which is drive failure. This can also give you a slight boost in performance for read speeds because data can be read from each drive.

I haven't done it with an external drive but it should work the same way but there may be performance issues. I know Peregrine who is another member here mentioned using it but he would only plug it in occasionally making it more like a backup.

Bear in mind a RAID1 array in real time is not a true backup. A true backup should be isolated and account for things like file revisions. e.g. if you accidentally resize an image and save it to your primary hard drive a backup of that image should be available for recovery on a backup drive.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-02-2018, 08:34 AM
 
40,290 posts, read 41,836,137 times
Reputation: 16800
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_RDNC View Post
I do something similar to HWTechGuy, but with one extra twist.

I don't schedule backups, I manually start them, after first powering off my modem, and only then plugging in the USB to my at-home backup drive.
This is way less convenient, but necessary as it protects my backup from the latest risk, ransomware. The malware that will encrypt all connected drives and demand money for the decryption key.
I never, ever, connect my backup drive to my computer when my Internet is active. That way keeps it safe from ransomware. (Slang for this is "air-gapped").

If you ar infected with ransomware virus disconnecting from the internet is not going to do anything.



The safest way I know of to deal with this is backup to optical media. This is difficult to keep up to date and should be for disaster recovery only. However it's impervious to Ransomware.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-02-2018, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
11,849 posts, read 13,973,633 times
Reputation: 8083
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_RDNC View Post
I don't schedule backups, I manually start them, after first powering off my modem, and only then plugging in the USB to my at-home backup drive.
This is way less convenient, but necessary as it protects my backup from the latest risk, ransomware.
Agree with Coalman... this is ... illogical.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-02-2018, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
2,297 posts, read 3,491,828 times
Reputation: 3018
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
If you ar infected with ransomware virus disconnecting from the internet is not going to do anything.
The safest way I know of to deal with this is backup to optical media. This is difficult to keep up to date and should be for disaster recovery only. However it's impervious to Ransomware.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
Agree with Coalman... this is ... illogical.
I guess I didn't write it clearly. I didn't mean that I'd disconnect AFTER I got attacked. But rather I set up my backup so it could never be attacked.

If I set up as a backup: an internal hard drive(s) OR external hard drive(s), OR external hard drive(s) set as a RAID, .... and my PC gets hit by a ransomware, then those programs will encrypt ALL the attached drives. Even my backups would become encrypted and unusable because they too, were connected at the time of attack.

My back-ups never have an open connection to the Internet, that is what is meant by 'air-gapped'.
Backups only occur from my main machine when it's known clean, (virus scanned, anti-malware scanned, and not blackmail encrypted), AND disconnected from the Internet.
Yes: I do have anti-virus, anti-malware programs running and kept updated, but ransomware seems to be a bit more of a risk nowadays, so I felt it worth the effort.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-02-2018, 01:21 PM
 
Location: McAllen, TX
3,988 posts, read 2,623,523 times
Reputation: 4759
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_RDNC View Post
My back-ups never have an open connection to the Internet, that is what is meant by 'air-gapped'.
Backups only occur from my main machine when it's known clean, (virus scanned, anti-malware scanned, and not blackmail encrypted), AND disconnected from the Internet.
Yes: I do have anti-virus, anti-malware programs running and kept updated, but ransomware seems to be a bit more of a risk nowadays, so I felt it worth the effort.
Of course you are free to do what you want but this does not make sense. So if you know your machine is clean when you start the backup, you are saying that ransomware could hit you while you are backing up? If that was the case, then you couldn't trust your AV software at all could you?

This would not be a concern with image backups. They are done at the bit level and not at the file level. Not only that, if you need to restore you could do a "bare metal" restore with OS, apps and data intact without having to reinstall anything. I do this PLUS an actual backup (copy) of my files.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-09-2018, 03:42 AM
 
Location: 10110001010110100
6,385 posts, read 10,847,586 times
Reputation: 5589
OP, request should be broken into 2 parts for a more complete coverage:
1- Selection of proper scalable media (hardware) based on backup size requirements.
2- Selection of a proper method for security/protection


OP,
Do you know how much data you have to backup? Or, would you rather just copy the entire drive?

If you can be selective with what to backup, it could allow you to use a USB Flash drive but regardless of the size of the flash drive, unless it is using a SSD chipset, large data backups could be very slow and data will be more volatile than using an actual NAS hard drive. You will have to determine what you really want/need to backup so you know what type of device to use for the job.

If you have more than a TB of data to backup, then I suggest you use a NAS drive.
I have been using Synology 218J NAS system and have been extremely happy with it overall. I bought the NAS closure and then got a good deal on 2x 8TB NAS drives so I am using a RAID 0 (mirroring two 8TB drives with each).
You don't really have to buy them separately, there are NAS drives that comes ready with everything. You plug them in and then maybe installed their software (which handles the backup process too).

Second part is protection. do you care to have protection of your backup data. If what you are backing up if valuable or irreplaceable, logically, you should (otherwise why even bother with backup?)

Encryption is the best filtering. So, if your system is infected or hacked, you do not want your backup data compromised. A good software encryption would be very useful.

I use an app called Safehouse Explorer which is free unless you want to get the Personal Edition which costs like $30 but most do not need it.
In a nutshell, the app can encrypt a folder/directory, a partition or an entire drive, effectively making the encrypted drive invisible to anyone that accesses your computer locally or remotely.

After installing the app, at the final stage, it will prompt you to create the volume (directory) to be encrypted) so you don't really have to have a directory already created, it will do this on the fly. Then you pick a good password. Once done, access the encrypted volume and copy/move whatever file or folder you want to protect. That is it.

If you were to schedule a backup, you could first open up the encrypted folder yourself, when prompted for password, you enter it so the hidden/encrypted volume becomes visible in Explorer and also accessible by you or the backup app so you can start the backup process.

If your security is ever compromised or got hit by ransomware and all your data got encrypted, this SafeHouse volume will be untouched as it was already encrypted so it was inaccessible to even malware.
If you didn't create the SafeHouse volume on an external drive but instead used an available space on your local disk, it is still OK. You simply copy that encrypted volume which will appear as a file, ton flash drive or media that has enough space then carry it over to a healthy system where you can open it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-09-2018, 11:48 AM
 
1,525 posts, read 2,511,694 times
Reputation: 1032
Any decent external hard drive will back up just fine. I use an 8tb WD MyBook Duo for a local backup/image, but I also use Carbonite to back up to the cloud. Far less to worry about, it's set it and forget it and I always have a backup. I don't care about apps, windows, any of that mess - all I care about are my docs and the 300gb worth of pictures I have.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Science and Technology > Computers
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:31 PM.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top