May 23, 2013

McAfee Online Backup

Yesterday I purchased McAfee Online Backup service.
I think it was a good deal; *unlimited* online backup storage for $60/year.

Their webpage didn't give me much information about their service. I was wondering what kind of options I can tweak, how many computers I can use, how can I restore files, how long they will keep my data after my license expires and so on.

What I found after buying it are:
  1. $60/year is only for one computer. I need to add another $60/year for another computer but it seems that they give some discount from 3rd computer.
  2. They delete every backup data as soon as my license expires.
  3. Since my internet uploading speed is not as fast as downloading speed, it seems to take for a while to consume big amount of promised backup storage.
  4. One license covers only one computer to be using the backup software. But it seems that I can download any backup files from any other computers via web user interface. I think this is very useful and otherwise I will be complaining a lot.

The Backup Options:
The backup software runs as a windows tray icon. It doesn't give me complex tweaks. Basically it lets me select which folders to be backed up. It also has some network traffic controlling and CPU utilization checkup to be a less intrusive background task.

The Web Restore:
A picture above is take from their web restore user interface. I can select files to download, then the system generate a ZIP file that includes the files. It seems to take some time to generate the file, which is understandable; when the data size is big, the system will have to spend some time to compress them. The web user interface doesn't seems to allow me to download more than 20GB at once, which is a minor limitation for me.

The Price:
My internet uploading speed is about 0.1MByte/s, which means I can upload 8GByte/day and 3TByte/year. So assuming that I have lots of data to backup 24/7, this is a good deal. Because it is like I am paying $60 for 3TB for the first year and in the next year I will be paying another $60 for another 3TB top of the 3TB I used the previous year.

Comparing to HDD price, I think this service is a good deal although I thought that $60 is little too much at first thought. These days the HDD price is around $90~$140 for 1~3TByte. Although HDD last more than just one year, most of time the limited-warranty is 1/2 years. After 3years later, HDD may stop working and there is a risk to lose all the back up data.

The real question for me at this point is whether I actually have data to backup that much unless I want to securely backup all the HD movie files.

*PS: I tried to access Network Mounted Drive from McAfee Backup software but it didn't show the drive at all. I believe there gotta be a way to trick the software and allow me to access remote files without another license.

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