But what about when the worst happens? When fire strikes, a lightning bolt fries your computers and backup drives, or a burglar runs away with the goods? A drive stored offsite helps--but the files stored on it are out of date the second it's unplugged and lugged away. An online backup service can be the perfect addition to your backup plan.
With large amounts of storage and faster Internet connections, backing up your files online has become more viable. These hosted backup providers can also add depth to your archives, since most of them store data in such a way that you can retrieve several--or even several hundred--previous versions of a modified file.
Here's a look at eight services with OS X software to manage automated backups.
Testing a slew of online backup services isn't for the fainthearted. Using a Comcast Internet connection that's described as 15 Mbps downstream and 2 Mbps upstream, but frequently provides far higher rates, we installed each of the software packages and selected at least 10GB of files to back up, up to 100GB in some cases. We used the services for a few weeks (in the case of Mozy and CrashPlan, I had been using the services for years and months, respectively, and examined large current backup sets as well as performing additional tests) and tested restoring backed up files as well.