Online Backup or Local Backup? Sometimes Both.

by Lynnette Nolan | Dec 16, 2008

Last week, a user posted on her blog: Are there any real advantages to a Windows Home Server other than remote access and backing up multimedia?

One respondent said it was just a "NAS with a fancy menu." Even though the blogger already has Carbonite, a NAS or some kind of local or network backup can make some sense. I don’t see Home Server as competition. I see it as complimentary.

I was recently talking to one of our users who was concerned that his initial backup was taking too long. Turns out he had over 200GBs of TV shows that he'd recorded and he was backing them up on Carbonite. Using his DSL connection, it's probably going to take him several months to back up all that stuff and meanwhile his business documents (Word and Excel primarily) are waiting in the queue and could be lost if his computer crashed in the meantime. When I asked him how important the TV shows were, his answer was "I really don't care about the TV shows. If I lost them, it wouldn't be the end of the world."

My suggestion: If there are REALLY BIG files that have relatively low value, back them up locally. If you have small files that are high value, back them up on Carbonite. When the important files are safe and sound, then you can back up the other stuff. Most people never bother to learn how to select what they do and don't want to back up with Carbonite. It's pretty simple (just right click on the folder with the TV shows and select Carbonite – don't back this up). Local backup, of course, is a lot faster than backing up over the Internet. But, as you can see from the post about my son's fire, local backup does have certain limitations.

CEO, Carbonite