Dell DataSafe Online

Dell DataSafe Online

When I got my Dell computer, along bundled with the software was Dell DataSafe Online - this is a free online service (with 2GIG Plan) to allow you to automate backing up for pictures, documents and other important files on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. While I discarded this to begin with – I have took another look at this and will explain how it works and how it is different from say dropbox.

The Cost

The prices go something like this:

2GIG – Free

10GIG – $29 per year

30GIG – $39 per year

50GIG – $49 per year

100GIG – $59 per year

How does it work

You create an account on that dell page and at the same time download the client (Windows only from what I can tell) and this will attempt to work out what to back up, picking any document, pictures and so forth. It is by no means perfect on this automated selection process and will not go and find picture stored on another drive, working only inside the User account folders. If like me to the backup came to more than 2GIG – then you will have to revert to folder view and now we can drill down and tell it what you need to back up – this part though does not count up how big each folder is.

Once you are happy with what it is you need to back up – you need to pick a frequency on how often it should backup (Daily, Weekly, Monthly) and at what time or you can tell it that the backup will be started by you on a “as needed” basis. Just a case of now pressing backup and leaving the machine to try and upload 2GIG (or close to) worth of data.

Speed

The initial backup, if you choose a lot of files (in my case 1.89GIG) and how fast your upload speed is (mine is 768K) can take 5 hours, shocking though it sounds, this is how long it would take me (roughly) to upload that much to a FTP Account. You can pause jobs while they are running should you find you have no bandwidth left for anything else or if you are subject to a restriction (such as capping).

Recovery of the files

You have a couple of choices here – you can use the client program or you can go to the website and login to get your files. At this stage of the program though, what I am not sure about is this:

If I delete some of my files and let the program backup as normal, will it delete the files that are no longer there? I will have to test this function much later and report back – I am suspecting it keeps all and you have to maybe manually go and delete them online yourself.

Is it not just another drop box?

The simple answer is no, dropbox works by creating a folder in your “My Documents” folder and anything you put in there is replicated online. Dropbox is more suited to sharing files with others easily or keeping a file in sync.

Thoughts and conclusion

The initial backing up is a long and drawn out process, this is the fault of my upload speed and not the program though. It gives you a complete dump of all your important stuff online and you can even access the files from any computer with a web browser – this can be handy in the event I need access to my CV for example.

There is MANY solutions out there, Dell are not about to go out of business and you can buy some space if that is important to you. This is not a solution to backing up your entire harddrive and I would never suggest anyone try and do that anyhow as it is a pointless task and very time consuming.

Gibe it a try anyhow – its Free and it may save your life when you need that important file you just deleted.

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