A remote or online backup service has become quite an important tool for those of us who travel a lot and require some of our files on the cloud for easy access anytime and any place with Internet connection. It can also be useful for users who need to sync some of their data across two or more computer machines most of the time.
An online backup system is usually built around client software that runs on a schedule, but some can work continuously, backing up files as they are changed. It collects, compresses, encrypts, and transfers the files to the remote backup service provider’s servers.
I have here a list of some of the best online or remote backup services for Linux. Most of these tools/services can backup and synchronize files across different operating system platforms, which should be really handy if you are using more than one OS.
At the moment, Dropbox is my favorite online backup service for its simplicity and ease of use. It is cross-platform and has desktop clients for Linux, Mac, and Windows, but it can also be used through its web-based client. Dropbox also has native applications for popular handheld devices such as Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, iPad, and a few others. With Dropbox, you can just drop or copy any file into a designated folder that is then synced to the cloud and to any other of the user’s computers and devices with the Dropbox app. You may also upload files manually through a web browser. Dropbox provides 2 GB of free online storage but a paid option is available for bigger storage size and for other premium services.
ZumoDrive is a file synchronization and storage service that enables users to store and sync files online and between computers using their HybridCloud storage solution. Like Dropbox, it has cross-platform clients for Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, and Android, and also has a web browser interface. Files in the ZumoDrive virtual disk can be shared with other ZumoDrive users. The ZumoDrive service is unique when compared to other file sync and storage services in the sense that it appears local to the filesystem and can be streamed from the cloud on demand. Users can have 2 GB of free storage space and may upgrade to paid plans ranging from 10 GB to 500 GB for a monthly subscription fee.
ADrive is an online backup, file sharing, and data storage service that provides an amazing 50 GB of free storage (largest amount of free storage and backup on the Internet) for its Basic Account holders. Paid subscribers can have additional storage and services like multiple connections, FTP with timestamp support, WebDAV, and file history recovery. ADrive has an easy-to-use browser-based file manage that is compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac.
Ubuntu One is Ubuntu’s very own storage application and service with a client application available only for Ubuntu 9.04 and newer. The client side is written in Python and uses Twisted for its low-level networking and Protocol Buffers for protocol description. What makes Ubuntu One different from other similar service providers are additional features like its integration with other applications such as Evolution and Tomboy. Ubuntu One offers 2 GB of free storage but users may upgrade to 50 GB for $10 per month.
SpiderOak is a cross-platform online backup and sharing tool that provides users with off-site server for data management. It differentiates itself from competition in administration of encryption and in automatic de-duplication of data. While some services can only backup a specified folder like in DropBox, SpiderOak allows you to backup any given folder from your computer. It also features a Fault-Tolerant Design, hence no file is ever removed from a user account before he manually does it through the client. SpiderOak offers a free 2 GB account, as well as a paid subscription for premium services.
Wuala is a social distributed file-system-like online storage service that allows users to have as much online storage as they give to other Wuala users. Its interface is comparable to a file manager but afar from the common file operations, it allows the user to easily share files with friends, in groups or with the rest of the world. Every user starts with 1GB of online storage but can get more space either by trading local disk space, by buying additional storage, by referring it to their friends or by using the promotion codes.
Jungle Disk is an online backup service that was highlighted by Amazon as one of the earliest S3 clients. It has the capability to periodically back up selected files or folders, and provides a local webdav server and a local web interface that synchronize to the user’s S3 account, alternatively encrypting backed up data on the client side. The basic Jungle Disk software is sold as a monthly subscription model. It provides a hosted web interface and more advanced backup functionality for a monthly fee.
CrashPlan is a a cross-platform backup software that allows users to back up their data to an offsite data center, desktop computers belonging to friends and family, as well as to shared folders. For personal use, a free version is available that offers basic functionality. For enterprise, CrashPlan Pro is available with a bunch of powerful features. Data are encrypted using 128-bit encryption for the personal CrashPlan, while 448-bit Blowfish encryption is used for CrashPlan Pro.
There are probably other good online backup services for Linux, so it’s up to you our dear readers to share them with us via comment.