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I'm having difficulties to find a backup and synchronization solution with the following characteristics:

  • Cross-platform: Windows, Linux, Mac
  • Transfer only new/modified bits of modified files
  • Maintain multiple versions of files (even deleted files)
  • Data deduplication
  • Offsite backup (so Internet Backup)
  • Secure: Data encrypted before leaving computer
  • Folder synchronization integrated with backup and across multiple computers connected to the internet (not necessarily in the same LAN)

I think that the Folder Sync feature needs a better explanation.

The use case is this: you have a desktop pc and a laptop. The desktop pc contains a folder with some files and this folder is part of the backup (so it was selected to be backed up). The laptop does not contain that folder or that files at all.

Then you're abroad with your laptop and you need that folder. So you want to be able to open the backup program, select that folder from the backup (since it is an internet backup solution the backup and so the folder will be in some server in the internet) and download it in your laptop mantaining it synchronized with the backed up version. When you then come back home and switch on your desktop pc you want the folder we're talking about to be updated in the desktop PC.

Does anyone knows any service with all these features?

I've only found SpiderOak to support all the features I've mentioned but I'm not completely satisfied by the time taken to complete a backup. Sometimes it seems to hang for minutes with no reasons at all and folder synchronization occurs only after all files are backed up (instead folder sync should have a separated queue independent from other backup operations and synchronization should occurs frequently... for example every 5 minutes or less, independently from the frequency of normal backup operations)

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Hey, have you found anything that's fits your criteria? I've been looking for exactly the same thing but haven't found anything yet. I've had the same problems and more (unacceptable bugs) that you experienced with SpiderOak. They also keep pushing out releases were they claim to have fixed those bugs, but when I do a quick test to verify it, I realize that they haven't actually fixed it. –  user21316 Apr 18 '10 at 9:58
    
@Hermann No, unfortunately I have not found anything new yet... :( –  Andrea Zilio Apr 20 '10 at 22:15
    
News: The new version of Wuala, released a couple of days ago, seems to meet a lot of these requirements. wuala.com –  Andrea Zilio Aug 27 '10 at 14:27
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3 Answers

Dropbox.com is a commercial service similar to Mozy and Carbonite which does much of this. I use this at home for my Windows and Linux machines, and it works good for me.

  • Cross-platform: Windows, Linux, Mac

I use Dropbox.com on Windows & Linux regularly. I have also used their Mac client a little bit. They also have clients for iPhone and Android Operating Systems.

  • Maintain multiple versions of files (even deleted files)

Not so sure about this one, and this might be hard to fit into a single product with all the other features. However, Dropbox does let you restore deleted files.

  • Data deduplication
  • Transfer only new/modified bits of modified files

Dropbox only transmits the deltas. I'm not sure how much of this is file based, vs. block based.

  • Offsite backup (so Internet Backup)

Yes, obviously.

  • Secure: Data encrypted before leaving computer

Dropbox does this. They have more detail at dropbox.com

  • Folder synchronization integrated with backup and across multiple computers connected to the internet (not necessarily in the same LAN)

The recent Dropbox client have a feature called 'lansync', which means that clients on the same network will sync with each other over the LAN, before they look for files on Dropbox.com . See https://www.dropbox.com/help/137

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I tried Dropbox recently, it's a very good tool but I'm concerned about security: files are downloadable from the web interface and so this means that files are not encrypted on their servers or that they are encrypted only with my account password (and dropbox knows or can easily obtain my account password). Anyway +1 for the detailed response even if I will not consider DropBox as an option ;) –  Andrea Zilio Mar 31 '10 at 0:15
    
>>> files are downloadable from the web interface and so this means that files are not encrypted Just because they are downloadable doesn't mean that they are unencrypted. >>>or that they are encrypted only with my account password (and dropbox knows or can easily obtain my account password). According to dropbox.com/help/27, "All files stored on Dropbox servers are encrypted (AES-256) and are inaccessible without your account password". Upon login, your password is used to decrypt the data. However I only store photos on Dropbox, not anything sensitive like financial records. –  Stefan Lasiewski Mar 31 '10 at 17:58
    
I also use DropBox to share and sync data with my coworkers or classmates, but it's not the kind of tool I would choose for my backup solution... Mainly because of lacking security features. –  Andrea Zilio Apr 1 '10 at 0:18
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You can take a look at Unison, it seems to fit most of the requirements.

However, I have the feeling that you actually need a version control system... instead of or in addition to a backup system.

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I've looked at Unison in the past, but unfortunately it's only a (ver good) two-way synchronization tool... Not a full backup solution. On the other hand a version control system is not a backup solution because it stores all the previous versions of the files while you only need some of them... –  Andrea Zilio Mar 30 '10 at 15:44
    
You say you need 'multiple versions of files', but no version control? And you can always take a backup of the version control repository. –  Dan Andreatta Mar 30 '10 at 16:37
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what about amanda http://www.amanda.org/

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Great product, but Amanda has no folder synchronization features –  Andrea Zilio Apr 1 '10 at 0:13
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