Disaster Recovery

Review: KineticSecure online continuous backup

KineticSecure online backup provides continuous backup and versioning to ensure that your backups are up-to-the-minute.

KineticD takes online backup to a new level of ease of use, convenience, and protection. Their KineticSecure offering provides continuous backup and versioning to ensure that your backups are up-to-the-minute.

Note: This review was performed based on a publicly available 14 day full feature trial of the software.

Specifications

  • Software Requirements: All versions of Windows and Windows server from Windows 95b up, or Mac OSX Leopard 10.5.7 or better
  • Windows Hardware Requirements: 5GB disk space, 512MB RAM, Pentium 4 1.7GHz CPU or better
  • Mac Hardware Requirements: 5GB disk space, 512MB RAM, PowerPC G4 1.5 GHz or any Intel CPU
  • Pricing: $2/GB per month (no user or device limit)
  • Additional Information: Product Web site

Who's it for?

Due to the nature of continuous online backups, KineticSecure is best suited for computers which can afford extended downtime in case a full system restore is needed. It is well suited for mobile users, home usage, typical desktop users, and lightly used servers.

What problems does it solve?

Traditional backup utilities operate on a schedule, which is often cancelled by users when it makes their computer hard to use or does not happen at all because the computer is off. In addition, online backups are often interrupted by network connectivity issues. KineticSecure is constantly backing up files, so there is never a long, scheduled backup operation to slow the computer down or to be missed.

Standout features

  • Continuous Backup: The key feature here is the continuous backup, which backs up a file the moment it changes. The backup also handles open files.
  • Versioning: By default, three versions of a file are always kept available, although you may increase that up to 28 if you need to.
  • Ease of Use: KineticSecure is very easy to setup and to use; by not worrying about types of backups or schedules, much of the usual backup complexity is eliminated.
  • Pricing Plan: KineticSecure offers a simple pricing model ($2 per GB per month, with as many users and devices as you want), which ensures that you only pay for service that you need.

What's wrong?

  • Relies on the Network: As good as KineticSecure is, it cannot avoid problems inherent in the online backup model, namely that file backup and restoration is only as fast as your Internet connection.
  • File-Level Backup: KineticSecure is not able to perform any kind of backup suitable for a bare metal restore.
  • UI Always Prompting for Password: The UI seems to be spread across numerous small utility applications and Web sites, so it feels like every few screens you need to re-enter your username and password.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

KineticSecure (formerly Data Deposit Box; while the name has recently changed, the application still has the original name) is a very compelling entry in the online backup space. The out-of-the-box configuration is just fine for most users, but for advanced (or choosy) users, there is a very rich set of configuration options. These additional configuration choices include file locations other than "well known" locations (documents, browser bookmarks, etc.), exclusions, setting of time periods when to not perform backups, bandwidth usage, and more. The depth of configuration should satisfy even the most discriminating user or administrator.

File restoration is easy enough, with your choice of using the Web site or the local client to perform restorations. Unfortunately, this is where KineticSecure's biggest weakness shows. KineticSecure backs up files, but there simply is no tool or capability to perform a bare metal restore. This means that to restore a system, you need to get it up and running to the point where doing a file restoration is possible.

You will probably not want to use this process to restore an application server, Active Directory server, etc. and it will certainly not be suitable for a mission-critical server (not to mention the time needed to download the files).

Likewise, a network file server in any sizable company probably has enough data changing on it daily to make the continuous protection take up an awful lot of bandwidth. For those situations, traditional on-site backup continues to rule the roost. You can also use the Web based administration to access your files remotely, which is handy, and you can provide others with a link to the files to share them.

That being said, KineticSecure is as good as it gets for online backup. The simple, functional experience from the get-go is a winner. The pricing model is outstanding and is as customer-friendly as can be imagined. If your backup needs are a good candidate for online backups, KineticSecure should be at the top of your list of applications to evaluate.

User rating

Have you encountered or used KineticSecure? If so, what do you think? Rate your experience and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.

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About

Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.

2 comments
Sevz
Sevz

I'd be concerned with the security of the data. Although most users that this is aimed at most likely don't have life altering, top secret information to back up, but I'd be concerned with who else will have access to the information.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Do you use an online offsite storage and backup application? How well does it work? Is there a particular feature you would like to see implemented?