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How to Backup All Your Computers Using One Backblaze Account

Or How Backblaze and BitTorrent Sync Are a Great Combination

 

If your household is anything like mine you have more than one computer. In fact at our place we have five computers, two tablets and three smartphones and they all need to have their data backed up. With a little help from BitTorrent Sync I am able to backup all of that data to Backblaze and the beautiful part is it is all automatic.

Now to be fair you could do this with pretty much any service and not just Backblaze but I prefer to use Backblaze for a few reasons.

  1. They backup everything unlike other services that only backup the folders you tell them too.
  2. Backblaze is unlimited so no need to worry about running out of space in the cloud.
  3. I can use a private encryption key so everything stays secure on their servers.
  4. At only $50/year it costs less than a family plan with CrashPlan.
  5. I have a local copy as well as a copy in the cloud.

At one time before the tablets and smartphones came into the computing picture I used to do something similar to this with the two computers we had in the house. One machine would act as a simple file server and all the files from the other computer would be copied over to the other one using an xcopy batch file. As things progressed I switched to using the Microsoft Sync Toy to sync files between machines. There are other tools you can use like rsync but now that we are in the mobile and tablet age of computing I needed to find a way to sync it all up to one machine and back it all up.

BitTorrent Sync has become my default sync tool between all of the computers and devices in the house. With it I can easily sync data from all of the computers, tablets and smartphones to one Windows computer running Backblaze. Backblaze happily sits there backing it all up. How you set up BitTorrent Sync will depend on how you want the data on each device to be managed. You can setup read only syncs to simply copy data to the Backblaze computer or two way syncs if you want to manage the files on more than one machine. Personally I use a combination of both read only syncs and two way syncs.

There are limits to this. The first is I can only copy as much data to the computer with Backblaze as I have room for on that computer but that can still be several terabyte before I run out of room. Second, is it morally right for me to only use one Backblaze account to backup more than one computer? That could be debated. Some of the data I am backing up lives on a Linux computer that I cannot install Backblaze on in the first place. Backblaze also does not backup tablets and smartphone data. If I was manually copying the data to the computer with Backblaze I don’t think that would be a problem since that computer holds my local backup all I have done is replace the manual copy with an automated method. It can be debated let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Using BitTorrent Sync this way is not for everyone. I will admit it would be easier for me to simply purchase multiple licences for Backblaze and install it on each machine but that still leaves me with the problem of how to automatically backup the Linux computer, tablets and smartphone data. There is also the possibility that I will miss some data from a computer that does not get synced across but that is the risk I take.

This is definitely more of a do it yourself type of project, but one I am sure many people have thought of doing. The convenience of using BitTorrent Sync to copy all of my data to one machine to be kept safe has replaced making sure a Windows share is mapped on the other computers and made it possible to keep all of the tablet and smartphone data automatically backed up. Using Backblaze on top is just the icing on the home backup cake to keep it all safe in cloud as well in case something horrible happens to the computers here at the house.

What is your strategy to backup multiple computers and other devices?

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