Microsoft

Review: Remote Data Backups service

IT managers and network administrators needing to ensure critical business data is safely, securely and automatically backed up off site will find Remote Data Backups a reliable solution.

IT managers and network administrators needing to ensure critical business data is safely, securely and automatically backed up off site will find Remote Data Backups a reliable solution. The multiplatform backup service, which protects organizations from data loss due to technical and human mistakes, natural disasters and theft, also boasts outstanding reporting, which helps ensure backup routines continue operating properly.

Specifications

  • Manufacturer: Remote Data Backups, Inc.
  • Product: Remote Data Backups
  • Version: 7.5.2
  • File Size: 5.81MB
  • Operating systems: Windows 95b, Windows 98, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Mac OS X v10.4-5, Windows Server 2008 (beta)
  • Languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Hungarian, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
  • Download: Remote Data Backups.com
  • Price:
    • 250MB Plan - $119.40/year ($9.95/month)
    • 4GB Plan - $239.40/year ($19.95/month)
    • 10GB Plan - $359.40/year ($29.95/month)
    • Other plans (1GB, 15GB-250GB and Exchange/SQL) available
  • For a closer look at the Remote Data Backups application, check out the TechRepublic Photo Gallery

Who's it for?

Remote Data Backups offers businesses of all sizes proven back up services. Every organization, from single-site nonprofit operations to large multinational corporations, will find a Remote Data Backups plan tailored to their needs. From single sites needing to back up just 250MB of data to enterprise environments needing to safely secure 100GB-250GB worth of files, including SQL and Exchange server data, a wide range of back up service plans are available.

What problem does it solve?

Data is the lifeblood of many businesses. Certainly, financial information is critical to every organization. Remote Data Backups provides organizations with a dependable software solution for not only automatically backing up data, but ensuring copies of that data are safely stored off site. Because Remote Data Backups boasts extended file archiving capability and can store email, the service can also help organizations meet data storage compliance requirements.

Standout features

  • Reliability - The backup service simply works. My experience - based on first-hand use for a variety of clients over several years - is you create an account, install the software, specify the files to be backed up and walk away. Very rarely have I ever had to return to a client to troubleshoot a Remote Data Backups issue; I cannot say the same regarding other back up technologies and services.
  • Outstanding reporting - When creating a Remote Data Backup account, you can specify the name and email address for a technology contact. Should backups encounter trouble (you can set manual thresholds when creating an account), the administrative contact is immediately notified. Better yet, daily log files note the name and size of each file that's backed up. These reports provide assurance to clients and staff that critical data is being properly backed up.
  • Proven support - Some back up services run customers through a confusing maze of interactive menus. Trying to reach a human can prove vexing. Not so with Remote Data Backups. Support is housed stateside and operated 24/7. In many cases I've emailed support questions or upgrade requests and received personalized responses or return calls on my cell phone within minutes. In addition, Remote Data Backups' technicians know their product. The few times I have had to request support (such as when ordering upgrades or seeking help with an account migration), a single contact has proven sufficient to complete the task.
  • Secure - Remote Data Backups utilizes 128-bit bank-level AES encryption. In addition, the data stored on their servers is accessible only by users possessing a unique encryption key (created by the user) at the time the backup account is created. Further, Remote Data Backups leverages Cisco-powered firewalls, hardened storage facilities with finger scanners, motion detectors and camera tracking to protect its data centers.
  • More than remote back up - In addition to automatically backing up data and transferring a copy off site, Remote Data Backups offers other features. Remote File Access makes it possible for staff possessing the appropriate account information to securely access files stored offsite, regardless of the staff member's location. Easy File Restore enables end users to quickly and easily retrieve lost or corrupted data files, while Easy System Restore empowers restoring entire systems.

What's wrong?

  • First back up requires patience - Following the initial back up, back up routines require relatively little time to complete. Remote Data Backup, once the initial backup is finished, needs only to compress, encrypt and back up those files that have changed since the last back up operation. Finishing that first back up can prove tricky, however, particularly for users storing large amounts (4GB or more) of data. I've had a few clients who have been best-served scheduling the first back up to begin on a Friday at 5:00 p.m., as in some cases a couple days was required to complete the initial back up.
  • Less expensive alternatives exist - Cheaper alternatives abound. However, I've not found another off site back up service that provides the same level of support, reliability and accurate reporting as I've experienced with Remote Data Backups, so the old adage "you get what you pay for" once again rings true. And, when it comes to critical data protection, value-priced options often aren't a sound business strategy.

Competitive Products

Bottom line for business

You can find less expensive data protection alternatives. But when it comes to ensuring that mission-critical data is securely backed up off site with a minimum of fuss, and regularly confirming back ups are completing as required, Remote Data Backups offers as solid an option as any available. Add in the extra features, including Easy File Restore, Easy System Restore and Remote File Access, and Remote Data Backups quickly becomes a bargain regardless of your organization's size.

User rating

Have you encountered the Remote Data Backups service? If so, what do you think? Rate the unit and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review of Remote Data Backups in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review above.

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About

Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president o...

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