Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Backup your online data FREE

Why should I backup my online data?

Your lifestream contains important data, but all those pictures, videos, documents, and blog posts are exposed to potential loss. Some web 2.0 services shut down without warning. Others are hacked. Sometimes data is lost from basic human error, or the intentional actions of a disgruntled employee. Don't put your lifestream at risk when there is a simple, easy, low cost way to back it up.

The short answer is that your online data is important and Backupify is an easy cost effective way to protect it from loss.

The longer answer is that much of the data you generate today is not stored on your computer. You have data locked up in Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Google Docs, Basecamp, and all the other online services you use. Backupify is not just about backup, it is about controlling your data yourself instead of having it stored in hundreds of services all around the web. Your online data is just as important as the data on your computer. Both should be backed up. You can read more about reasons for backing up your online data in this blog post.
Am I likely to lose my online data?

It is unlikely that an online service will simply lose your data, just as it is unlikely that a hard drive will just delete a file. It does happen occasionally, but your real concerns for cloud services are hackers, viruses, user error and legal issues. Many services can shut off access without warning if they think you violated their terms of service. Many hackers are targeting online accounts because they are easier to access than your computer. On top of that, roughly 1/3 of all data loss is due to simple user error. These are the kinds of risks that Backupify can minimize.
If I use Backupify, where does my data go?

We store all of your data on the Amazon cloud. We chose Amazon after a careful analysis of their security and data duplication policies. For some specifics about why we like Amazon, read this. The reason we chose Amazon over building our own cloud infrastructure is simple... in the unlikely event that something ever happens to Backupify, you can contact Amazon to get your data back out.
Why should I backup my data to another cloud? Isn't that just as much of a concern?

Not really, for three reasons. First of all, you can download all your Backupify backups to your computer so that you can have a third copy. Secondly, when calculating the likely failure of two independent systems, you multiply the probabilities. What that means in plain English is that the likelihood of two independent systems failing at the same time is so unlikely that you really don't have to worry about it. Third, if Amazon did fail and lose your data, once they came back online your backups would kick off again and re-backup everything you had before.
How do I know what was backed up?

Initial backups usually take 24 - 48 hours, depending on how much data you have in your accounts. Once you sign up, you can access all your data from the "archives" page simply by choosing a service from the drop down menu. We also give you the option of receiving daily or weekly digests of which services were backed up.
How secure is Backupify?

Security is our highest priority. We chose Amazon's data center because of the security features they offer. Our system was designed by top security experts who previously worked on sensitive data systems like billing software.
Do you store my usernames and passwords?

It depends on the service. Most services work like Flickr, Twitter, and Facebook where you authenticate one time through Backupify, and they pass us a "token." This token is a unique identifier that allows us to pull in your data without sending your login credentials. For those services, we do not store your login credentials. There are a few services that don't offer this kind of authentication (Gmail, Hotmail) and for those we have to store your username and password to back them up. When we do that, we use advanced encryption methods to keep your login credentials safe.
How do I restore my data if I lose it?

It depends on the account. For something like Flickr, we can restore your account to a state very similar to what it was before you lost it. This isn't yet automated, so our programmers will have to do it manually for you. For something like Twitter, we can't time stamp a tweet so we can never really restore you account. The best we can do is re-tweet everything for you at one time, but your followers would probably hate that. If you have specific questions about specific services, email us and we can answer them for you.
What is your privacy policy? What will you do with my data?

We don't do anything with your data once it is backed up. We don't look at it, we don't sell it, we don't analyze it, we don't modify it. Our privacy policy is that you own your data and you should be in control. We don't own your data, we just provide software to give you more control over your stuff. We charge for our service, so we never have to resort to analyzing your data so that we can sell advertising against it or anything like that. You will never get email from us unless you opt-in for it.

Backupify was started on the premise that your data is yours and you should not leave it locked up in all of these online systems. We believe strongly in freedom and privacy.
What does my data look like when it is backed up?

Every service we backup sends us data in a different format. In general, we store the data in the format we receive. Often times, this is an XML format that is not easily readable by human eyes. We are working on new data presentation interfaces to let you browse your data in formats more like the original services.

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