Backup for free and prepare for Hurricane Sandy

October 29, 2012

The eastern seaboard of the United States is about to get hit with wind, rain, and possible power outages and flooding. We hope that if you’re in the path of Hurricane Sandy, you’ve evacuated safely and have reached higher ground.  For those of us who aren’t in the immediate path of Hurricane Sandy, this is a sobering reminder that disaster can strike at any time.

Protecting your home is the most important task – boarding up windows and tying down furniture is key to prevent as much damage as possible. What isn’t so obvious, however, is how to protect important digital files that you keep on your home and business computers (and external drives).

Disaster preparedness doesn’t have to cost a lot. Take advantage of our free 14 day trial to back up 50GB of your data and restore it to any PC or Mac. There is no commitment to purchase and no credit card required for download.

Click here to download your free account:

Free 50GB of online backup

Restoring data is easy. If you need to download SOS Online Backup’s software again, it can be accessed on our downloads page. Click here to visit the downloads page.

Stay safe!

The SOS Team


Another big update to our Android app: scheduled backup is here!

July 30, 2012

The newest version of SOS for Android adds a fantastic new feature: scheduled backup. Set your phone or tablet to automatically check for new items once per day and back them up to your private cloud. We also added an option to perform a backup each time the device is plugged into power.

Plus, there’s a new Favorites list! You can “star” any folder in your cloud to add it to Favorites for quick access.

If you have an Android device, you need SOS for Android on-board protecting your pictures, videos, music, apps, SD card and more.

The awesome download is here.

Let us know what you think: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Google+


SOS Online Backup 5.2 for Home Available Today!

May 11, 2012

SOS Online Backup 5.2 for Home is now available! This update to our award-winning software is available right now on our website.

What’s new in 5.2?

  • Faster upload speeds (approximately 40% faster than version 5.0)
  • Force uploads – don’t wait for your scheduled backup if you want to backup sooner.
  • Faster smart scanner
  • Faster “tree view” of files and folders to be backed up

If you’re ready to try the best value online backup solution, take the plunge and start backing up 50GB of data with SOS Online Backup 5.2.

SOS Online Backup 5.2 for Home includes these handy and robust features:

  • Military-grade encryption
  • Backup by file type
  • Backup by file and folder
  • Continuous Data Protection
  • Free iPhone and Android apps
  • …and much more!

Click here to start backing up with SOS Online Backup 5.2 for Home – today!


File Backup & Archive : The Importance of Unlimited Versioning – SOS Online Backup

February 12, 2012

SOS Online Backup is proud to keep all of your data secure, all the time. No exceptions. Once your data is backed up, SOS believes it should stay backed up. This is why all of our plans – for business and for home – offer unlimited versioning.

What makes unlimited versioning such a critical part of online backup?

1. The “uh oh” moment. 

We’ve all had that moment – we accidentally close a document before we’ve saved it. Perhaps your dog  swipes a paw at your power cord and unplugs your computer. Accidental incidents like this are what cause the majority of data loss. Having a backed up all versions of your document on an hourly basis, you will find it much easier to go back and find the right version to work on.

2. Going back in time.

You don’t need a Delorean to go back in time! With SOS you can go back to any version or any file at any time. Would you like to know what changes you made to a financial spreadsheet right before you did your taxes in 2009? No problem, unlimited versioning will help you get there.

3. Compliance

If you’re operating a business, you know that regulation compliance is a complicated issue between your customers, you, and the government.  Some of these regulations involve online backup. Many regulations that request online backup do so for the reason that they want truly unlimited versioning to be a part of your company’s data practice. They want to know that you’ll be able to go back to any of your data at any time – and that you’ll never lose it.

Learn more about unlimited versioning with SOS Online Backup by clicking here. SOS does not limit its versioning capabilities to 30 days, 45 days, or even one year. All backed up versions of your data are stored safely offsite with SOS for as long as you like.


Cloud Backup for Holiday Fun : Data Backup Options

December 27, 2011

The holidays are approaching quickly and I’m seeing the usual trends.  My work with residential clients is winding down for the year while my corporate clients are keeping me hopping with spending the last of the year’s budgets before the rapidly approaching deadline.  The funny thing is the fact that my corporate clients are generally on a pretty solid technology base, having had consistent IT support throughout the year, while the residential clients are actually the ones adding new technology without the thought of the infrastructure required to sustain it.

Infrastructure

Normally infrastructure is a word that people associate with corporate networks and information technology.  Infrastructure is the backbone of the network, the ‘back end’, encompassing the equipment, systems and processes that help keep the actual ‘front end’ equipment running smoothly.  What’s the difference?

Front-End

We all know the front-end equipment.  It’s what we use and what we play with at home.  iTunes, game software, printers and the sweet machine we’ve built to play the most modern and immersive games.  All of these devices have to be supported by the back-end.

Back-End

How does that multiplayer online game work?  From your PC, the data travels to a switch (if you have multiple devices) then to a router before flitting off to the Internet.  If any of those devices fail or are underpowered, the front-end experience suffers.

Let’s discuss some of the back-end equipment and systems I think every home user should be thinking about this holiday season.

Storage

How much storage space do you have?  These are your hard drives, where actual data is stored.  Data can be anything from the mass of songs purchased through the online music service to the photos and videos from your family event.

Ask these questions:

1. Do I have enough storage space?  Do I need to add an external hard drive for storage?

2. What happens if any of these devices fail?  Can I recover the data?

Backup

We gather data because we want to keep it.  Sounds like a simple concept.  We take pictures because we want to look at them later just as we download songs because we want to listen to them down the road.  The storage systems we use today in modern computing are prone to failure, so we have to have a system in place for that eventuality.

Ask these questions:

1. What am I willing to lose?

2. For the items not falling into question 1, how are you protecting them?

Keep Thinking

If you’ve read any of my articles in the past, you probably know that I’m going to give you a lecture about backing up your data.  You’re certainly in the right on that point, but I’m going to also give you some insight about where I’m coming from.  As a computer consultant with more years under my belt than I usually like to admit, I’ve found that the most effective thing I can do to as a business is to keep my customers happy.  Customers are always happy when I can provide the newest technology, bells and whistles.  It all falls down though if the fancy accounting system I installed crashes and all of their financial data is lost.  Recommending good backup strategies help me keep customers, both residential and corporate.  The biggest addition they bring to my bottom line is helping me keep that customer after disaster eventually hits.  I hate to tell a customer that they’ve lost data and I’ve had to do just that far more often than I like.

Think about your back-end at home.  You love the front-end toys and gizmos, so keep up the care and feeding of the systems that make them work.

– The Backup Master


New prices available today at SOSOnlineBackup.com : Cloud Backup Pricing Plan for Home & Business

December 13, 2011

We’re excited to announce that we’ve added new prices for business cloud backup and home cloud backup!

Available today, purchase 175 GB of business cloud backup for $299.99  - for unlimited PCs. The possibilities are endless when you’re backing up unlimited PCs. Backup an unlimited number of fileservers, an entire laptop fleet, or PCs in multiple offices with one account. If you happen to backup more than your 175 GB, you can always chat with a SOS representative and upgrade your account.

Click  here to learn more about SOS for Business features, such as HIPAA and SSAE 16 compliance.

We have a new home backup account size as well – backup 150 GB on 5 PCs for $199! Backup your home photos, vacation videos, important tax documents, and anything else you want to keep safe off site.

All SOS Online Backup accounts are protected with military-grade, three-tiered encryption – first locally, then in transit, and “at rest” in the data center. All accounts are also equipped with mobile management. Access and share your documents anywhere, any time!


Keeping the Memories Alive and Backed Up : Data Disaster Recovery Plan

December 10, 2011

My wife’s grandmother is the keeper of the family history.  Every family has one.  She and my wife have been spending a day a week scanning ancient photo albums, tagging ancestors with names before they are forgotten to the annals of time.  Much to my surprise, before I could even broach the subject, she asked me about the best way to preserve and backup this growing warehouse of data.

Being busy with holidays and end of year consulting with my clients, I hadn’t had time to discuss it with them.  Sometimes we forget that customers are a lot closer to home than we realize.

Her initial thought was typical.  If she could get an external hard drive and make a copy of the data, it would be protected in case something happened to her computer.  I’ve worked with enough residential customers to know one thing.  If the backup plan requires daily or even weekly intervention on behalf of the user, it typically doesn’t get done.

I talked to her about the goal of a solid backup.  The number one goal we can all agree with is the survival of the important data in case of a disaster.  They key people forget is that we should be talking about the survival of the data in case of ANY disaster.  That threw her for a loop at first.  If the computer crashes, the backup will still be there.  Then the discussion turned dark.  My fault, but that’s my job as a consultant.

The ‘What if?’ Factor

What if the house burns down?

What if there’s a flood?

What if a tornado scatters everything to the four winds?

That’s when the subject of offsite backup comes up.  To reach the goal of a solid backup, the data has to be able to survive more than just a computer crash.  Backing up to the cloud with an online backup system ensures this.  By storing your data in an offsite location, usually geographically distant, you are extending the zone of safety around your information.

We eventually set her machine up with an online backup service and now her data is safely stored hundreds of miles from its source.  After the initial backup completed, the only data being transferred each week are the new photos they’ve scanned and any changes to the tags they made that week.  It is simple and painless and hasn’t affected their lives at all, other than the peace of mind that their hard work will do its job; keeping those memories alive forever.

– The Backup Master


The Value in Automating your Online Backup : Continuous Data Protection

December 6, 2011

A customer shared a story with me about his online backup and I thought I would share it with my readers.  I thought it was a unique use of online backup technology as the user was creating additional value to his already valuable backup service.

Troy and his wife Mary have three children and are involved in more activities than even I am, and I run my own consulting business.  From coaching soccer to visiting dance and music recitals, Troy and Mary tend to take a lot of pictures.  Through coaching of my own, the couple protects all of these pictures through online backup software.  Once the pictures are transferred from the cameras and the phones, they are immediately backed up securely and safely online.

Here’s where Troy has added value to his account.  Troy’s extended family lives pretty much all over the states, with some spread out overseas.  In the past, he had been using an online photo sharing website to share the pictures with his family, but making the time to upload the pictures and organize them was becoming too time-consuming.  He had been busy one week and hadn’t updated the shared photos for a while when his sister called and asked him.  She said she knew he was busy, but everyone enjoyed the pictures and she would help him keep it updated if she could.

After a little bit of though, Troy walked his out of state sister through logging into his online backup account on the web.  He showed her the directory structure, where the new photos were stored and how to ‘restore’ or download them to her machine.

As of now, some of the family still views the photos on the sharing website, while others simply download them from the online backup account.  Within hours of Troy transferring the photos to his computer, the family can log in and make yet another backup, to their own home machines for their own enjoyment.  No additional work for Troy, but a great deal of additional benefit for his extended family.

What are some creative ways you are using online backup?  The automated features of online backup services and the quick web-based restores have a wide range of creative possibilities beyond just the concept of insurance for your important data.  Think of your backup as a sort of automated online storage vault you can access from anywhere.  It’s backup and so much more.

– The Backup Master


The Seasons Bring More and More Cloud Worthy Data : Digital Data Backup Solution for Smart Phones,Tablets & Laptops

November 23, 2011

Seasons are changing and the holidays are rapidly approaching.  As I gear up my own family for the festivities, I’m also thinking about my clients.  With new Black Friday electronics coming into the home, I need to make sure they’re prepared for the reality of the care and feeding required.

Just like when purchasing a new pet for a child, I like to make sure my clients understand the responsibilities required when caring for these new toys.  While a dog or cat requires love and affection, feeding and regular visits to the back yard, new electronics have their own requirements.  As I talk to them about maintenance and warranty concerns, I also have to bring up the purpose of most of these consumer electronics.

Data

Just about all of these devices have one common goal or one side-effect as I sometimes call it.  They create data.  Let’s go over some of the most common new products you might be purchasing and what sort of data you will be creating that needs to be safeguarded through proper backups.

Cell Phones – The day of the old ‘brick phone’ is over.  Making calls is something the manufacturers don’t talk about as much anymore.   We all assume that call quality will be fine and that the other party will receive our messages.  The more advertising-friendly features of phones are their data-gathering capabilities.  We fill flash cards with photos of events, video clips and even have the ability to edit and create professional video on some of the newer devices.  Do these files languish on the phone?  The solution: Make sure your desktop or laptop has a reader that will directly support the flash card in your phone and save your files there.  Transfer them regularly to the trusty desktop, and make sure they are going to a folder that is being backed up by your backup software. Backup your Android and your iPhone with SOS.

Tablets – From the iPod to some of the newer Android entries, tablets have hit the market by storm.  Unfortunately, even in the process of using them as a laptop-replacement, many users are neglecting the fact that they are creating important home and work documents and treating the tablet as just another gadget.  The solution:  Make sure your files are being synced to another device, be it though a flash card or over your home network.  The tablet will cease being a fun toy as soon as an important file is lost forever.

Laptops – More and more school-age kids are carrying laptops.  From term papers to final projects, the files they create are just as important as business files.  There is nothing like the ability to reprint a project that was lost in the grading process.  The solution:  Backup.  For a very reasonable cost, these important files can be protected with online backup, without the intervention of the student.  As they use the machine, the files are transferred online and are protected from loss.

So here’s to a happy holiday season.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we’re creating more and more data every day.  Let’s keep it protected.

– The Backup Master


Data Disaster – Julie’s Story : Data Backup Solution

November 14, 2011

Today I have another anecdote about the value of having a backup of important files on home systems.  Julie is the administrative assistant for one of my clients.  She contacted me the other day regarding her home machine, and I agreed to have a look.  After a recent thunderstorm, the machine was not booting at all.  I picked up the machine and upon looking at it was immediately distressed by the sound.  Once power was applied, the hard drive started making the ominous pinball machine sound that tells me the drive had been damaged.

I made some quick efforts to see if there was a chance I could recover files, but quickly determined that it was beyond my abilities.  Not wanting to risk letting the drive damage itself further, I called Julie to let her know the score.  Unfortunately, there was no backup of the drive and it contained a wealth of family pictures that she did not want to lose.  We sent the drive off to a data recovery outfit on the East coast, offering free evaluations of what data they could recover.  I prepared Julie for the possible costs of the recovery process, but she was figuratively over the barrel.  Though we always consider these things having ‘sentimental’ value only, that value is actually higher than we usually think.

We opted for the low-priority option at the data recovery center, which meant that we had to wait several days for word regarding the progress.  When we were finally contacted, the company informed us that they were able to recover a large portion of files from the directories that we specified (mostly pictures and personal files). The cost for recovery was over $500 and Julie didn’t really have any other options.

Needless to say, Julie is in the market for a new computer, as her old one was getting along in years.  We discussed options for preventing this from happening again, and she’s opting for an online backup solution.  We have created a sort of hybrid solution to keep her storage requirements under control as her volume of photos is fairly large.

Julie’s Plan

  1. Archived photos from years past are burned to DVDs and multiple copies are made.   These copies are distributed to family members across the country (something she always wanted to do anyway!)
  2. Current pictures are saved to the photo directory in her computer, which is backed up through the online backup service.
  3. As the photo directory reaches 4GB (around the size of a DVD), they are then burned to DVD and distributed.

Julie is feeling more confident now in the security of her system and is enjoying the comments from happy family members receiving the DVDs.  If disaster strikes again, she can always get copies of her photos from her online backup or from family members across the country.

– The Backup Master


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