Disaster Recovery

Review: IBackup online backup service

IBackup eliminates the need to use burnable discs or external hard drives for backing up your computer. Matt Nawrocki gives us his review.

Sometimes carrying around an external hard disk can be a pain for backups. IBackup gives you an online disk where you can save your files and, more importantly, you can use it anywhere.

System requirements

  • Operating systems: Windows, Mac OS X, and iOS (iPhone)
  • Cost: Varies depending on level of service; base price $9.95/month
  • More info: http://IBackup.com

Who's it for?

IBackup is for anyone who wants peace of mind that their data is safe and who desires easy automatic backups without relying on extra equipment or complex software.

What problem does it solve?

IBackup eliminates the need to use burnable discs or external hard drives for backing up your computer. Those solutions are susceptible to bit-rot, physical damage, or theft.

Standout features

  • Easy to use: There's nothing to it. Just log in to the IBackup app with your credentials, select your drives and directories, and press the Backup button. It's really that simple.
  • Supports the iPhone too: IBackup also supports iOS devices and can allow for backups over your WiFi or 3G connections with the same level of ease as the desktop version. IBackup can serve as a nice secondary alternative to iCloud by Apple.
  • Supports differential backups: If you simply change a file here and there and nothing more, IBackup will automatically note the changes and only back up those files instead of doing the whole drive.
  • Backup options for servers: In addition to backing up your local machine, IBackup can also connect to any SQL, MS Exchange, SharePoint, and Oracle server you might have and back those up as well with relative ease.

What's wrong?

  • Slow backup navigation: Using the Backup explorer can be painfully slow over most Internet connections. I have experienced up to ten seconds of lag opening individual directories on the backup volume as IBackup scanned for files. There should be a mode to cache the directory listing locally.
  • The UI has weird glitches: Occasionally, the main window will not draw correctly on the screen, warranting an app restart to get the window elements to refresh properly.
  • Extra plugins system is unnecessary: Backing up any special servers using the special Backup-Restore menu will require the installation of additional advanced plugins. If they are offered for free, why not simply bundle them with the main application?

Competitive products

The bottom line

For a backup system that will cover all the basics handily, IBackup might just fit the bill. It's easy to configure and will give you the peace of mind you desire for all your data safety needs.

About

An avid technology writer and an IT guru, Matthew is here to help bring the best in software, hardware and the web to the collective consciousness of TechRepublic's readership. In addition to writing for TechRepublic, Matthew currently works as a Cus...

10 comments
zargos28
zargos28

Don’t ever use Ibackup, besides supper slow software that will use tons of resources, small tech support group, they will get you this way: You sign up for a contract let’s say of 100 G. for 10.00 Dollars; The next plan is 20.00 dollars for 250 Gigs. So you are not there at the time. After 3 months your business grows, and you need now to backup 150 G. You get an email your out of quota, I mean don’t panic, you know you will have to upgrade your plan to the next level of $20.00 No problem correct? Wrong! You will be charged insanely instead of going to a new contract. Sorry Ibackup two thumbs down.

Gadget Gurus
Gadget Gurus

I'll continue to keep my backups in a real secure place thank you. Physical media that I own, locked in a large metal safe that I own and cannot be damaged by dropping or movement. Also less expensive than $10 per month.

b2itgroup
b2itgroup

I have seen very mixed results with iBackup. When it works, set it up and simply watch the email messages. The worst I've seen so far is a client site with around 95GB. We have been trying to get a backup to report completed since December of 2011. Here we are at January 30th, 2012 and I'm in chat mode with iBackup India tier two tech support about three times a week. Lots of "work arounds." Today we discovered that if we log off while the Exchange Backup is making local copies, the backup stops with absolutely no notification. We had no idea the iBackup for Windows client software and Exchange Add-in are so buggy until we installed at this client site. The kindest thing I can say about it is that it is a WORK IN PROGRESS. We've concluded that we have been LUCKY with the other client deployments. We are shopping for an alternative. Please - suggestions, recommendations WELCOME. Thanks, Bruce.

mparrill
mparrill

Matt, Thanks for highlighting IBackup. We are a small business system integrator that has been using IBackup for years. The killer app may be the ability to backup a running Microsoft Exchange database. ProSoftnet has been aggressive with pricing and they are always great to work with. Matt http://www.wintechgroup.net

beck.joycem
beck.joycem

I've used iBackup for some years, on more than one system. I share the experience that the backup navigation is slow, but I've not seen the UI misbehave. To answer Mark Kaelin's question: I've been plugging online backup a long time, for all sorts of people. The usual reasons: off-site, accessible from any computer with internet access, set-it-up-and-forget-it. The only downsides are the upload speed, particularly for the initial backup set, and I find that non-techy users may need a bit of help setting up. Some online backups provide a 'send-us-a-hard-drive' service which can be good, otherwise I tend to start with the essentials and gradually add more folders/files to the backup set on first installation.

GoldBytes
GoldBytes

Hi Matthew! Thanks for taking the time to check out IBackup. I wanted to address your three "What's wrong?" bullet points. For 1 and 2 we're preparing a completely re-designed user interface that will be launched during the last half of this year. For 3, we've always opted to leave the plugin out since only a small percentage of users installs it and it allows us to keep the installer under 10MBs. ~Stephen Gold, Business Development Manager, IBackup.com

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Do you use one of the online backup systems like iBackup? How well to they work? Are they a good solution for small businesses?

Matt Nawrocki
Matt Nawrocki

Physical backups are also a very good option if you don't mind taking extra steps to keep the backup medium free from damage and to preserve it properly. Actually... M-DISC from Millenniata offers a disc that can supposedly withstand the test of time. It looks interesting and might be worth checking out. http://millenniata.com/

Matt Nawrocki
Matt Nawrocki

Many thanks for your post Stephen! I sincerely appreciate it when the app developer comes out and sends some words out like this, especially with news of a new and improved version of the IBackup client software. I can't wait to try it out! :)