OneDrive, Google Drive and Amazon S3 are all popular cloud storage services. The benefit of these is that you can put your files on their servers and then access your data wherever you are, providing you have an internet connection. However, one of the downsides of some of these services is that you have to specify what files you want backed up. If you don’t remember to mark the file for the cloud then it won’t appear.
This is where something like Duplicati comes in. Duplicati stores encrypted, incremental, compressed backups on cloud storage servers and remote file servers (like SSH and FTP). If you own your own web space, you can tell Duplicati to send all your backups there automatically.
One of the great things about Duplicati is that it’s entirely free (and open source). The project is supported by donations, so if you find it useful then you may wish to tip the developers, but it’s not mandatory. It has cross platform support for Windows, Mac and Linux, meaning it should work without a hitch across systems.
Upon launching Duplicati, you’ll be given the option to create a new backup and decide which files you want to backup. You can choose from some pre-sets (like documents, images and videos) or specify individual folders. This means that whenever data changes within these folders Duplicati will track that and mirror it in the cloud (rather than reuploading the whole folder every backup). This is called incremental backup and saves on your bandwidth and storage space.
The program uses AES-256 encryption to send your data, ensuring that it can’t be read by anyone it shouldn’t be. This means that you’ll need to set a password to protect your backups. It’s fundamental that you remember what this password is. The nature of encryption means that there’s no way to recover from a lost password – you either know the key or you don’t.
You can then choose where you want to store these backups, including services like SmartDrive, Box, CloudSafe, along with those mentioned earlier. Perhaps the only downside to this is that the program doesn’t yet support Dropbox, one of the most popular cloud services and where something like Duplicati would come in great help. Nevertheless, the selection of services is decent and the ability to backup via FTP is great.
Duplicati offers a number of advanced backup features. Users can determine how often the backup should run (right down to the time), how many full backups you should be kept, how much bandwidth should be used, and more. It’s brilliant how customisable Duplicati allows your backups to be, especially for a free program.
Finally, Duplicati offers a simple and easy to use interface, with everything being set up through the wizard. If you were able to sign up to a cloud service then you should have no issues operating the program and customising it to your use.
More information about Duplicati, as well as where to download this great utility, can be found on the official website. The program is currently in an open preview of the second version, which brings a new look to the utility, but that’s an optional download.
Introduction to Duplicati
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