Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Backup for Windows Home Server

Now that my WHS installation is running properly I'm a bit happier because it means I now have a current backup of all of our other computers. That's a good start, but it doesn't solve the problem of having an off-site backup.

One option is to buy one (or more) external drives – backup the WHS data to the external drive and then transport that drive to a trusted external location. That's fine, but it would rely on me being disciplined enough to update it at regular intervals – and I'm not sure that I trust myself to remember to do that frequently enough!

The other option is to use the 'cloud' - subscribe to an online backup solution. Googling "WHS Backup" doesn't list that many useful results. The top result is a relevant question on SuperUser. Scanning the answers reveals two products that apparently DO work with WHS, and a number of products to avoid because they don't.


KeepVault provide online backup for Windows desktops and Windows Home Server. Their WHS product also includes a 'client connector' so you can also backup files from client PC's too.

Pricing starts at $US48/year for 40GB. A range of larger amounts are also available including 80, 130, 200, 300-900, 1TB-5TB. They also offer a 15% discount if you pay via PayPal.


Humyo don't specifically mention WHS, but the SuperUser comment indicates it installs and functions correctly.

Their pricing starts at $US8.21/month or $US82.24/year for 100GB. Additional amounts of 100GB can be added for $US11.74/month


So how do the numbers stack up? The comparison is simpler once you get to 200GB and beyond. To simplify things, I've used US dollars and excluded KeepVault's PayPal discount.

Provider 40 80 100 130 200 500 1000
Humyo     82.24   223.12 645.76 1350.16
KeepVault 48 89   139 199 480 930

Throwing the numbers into a graph illustrates this nicely. For amounts of data below 200GB, Humyo looks ok, but once you pass that mark KeepVault appears to be the best value.

Graph plotting data from table showing cost per gigabyte for Humyo and KeepVault

I can only see our backup requirements increasing, so at this stage I'm planning to sign up with KeepVault.


Laurent said...


FTP support to upload
Unlimited filesize and BW
60 days of retention (if no download)
100% FREE ;)

Anonymous said...

Just ran the numbers, and I think your using a conversion rate of £1 - $2 USD... thats why humyo looks so expensive.

Run it at the actual conversion rate of £1 to $1.5 USD and its only $176.80 for 200GB and $1024 for 1000GB.

For that you get the Smartdrive sync client and full tech support.

skarum said...

What about CloudBerry?


I use it and i works great. Used KeepVault a couple of years ago, but I think CloudBerry is mush nicer.

Carlton Bale said...

I've been using KeepVault for the past 3 years and the WHS interface is nice and easy to use. But I have 2 complaints: 1) They auto-renew your account every year with no warning or reminder or bill. It feels like they try to trick their users into renewing by not giving them the chance to cancel. It's upset me enough that I'm thinking about leaving. 2) The software backs-up from the d:\shares location even though Microsoft clearly specifies that all references should be to the UNC path (\\server\share\). That being said, I've never had a problem.

By far the best alternative I've found is CrashPlan. It doesn't have a WHS installer, so the desktop client installs via remote desktop. As with KeepVault, it has to backup from the D:\Shares folder. The pricing is fantastic. It can backup to a friends off-site computer for free. Or you can use their backup servers for $54/year - for unlimited data! If you're worried about the bandwidth of the initial backup, you can mail them a hard drive with the initial dataset and they will load it to your account for $125.

Because I'm running out of space on KeepVault, I've been using the free CrashPlan service to backup my 150GB music collection to another PC. I think I'll cancel KeepVault and switch to CrashPlan for all of my files in the near future.

Anonymous said...

I've tried 4 or 5 products/services for my WHS. I too liked KeepVault but ultimately I went with iDrive. KeepVault had fine upload speed and its restore functions worked great. I also liked that it had a WHS specific module.

The problem is with defining a backup set. There is no clean way to selectively exclude a file or folder from the set. For example:

I use Lightroom every day and my Lightroom folder is about 2G in size. However, 1.8G of that folder is for previews which do not need to be backed up. There is no clean way to tell KeepVault to only backup the Lightroom catalog and not the previews (their workaround is to have you mark the previews folder as "hidden" since KV will not backup hidden files/folders).

I understand they are working on this and when it's fixed KV will be the clear winner.

Anonymous said...

iDrive - $50 per year for 150G and $150 per year for 500G (US). Also has official WHS support (although there's no Console Add In). Works perfectly.

David Gardiner said...

Just to clarify on the currency conversion. If the specific site had the ability to display currency in USD, then I chose that. I didn't do the conversion myself.

Actually, I would have preferred Australian dollars (as that's what I have in my bank account!), but USD was the next best thing as far as a lowest common denominator to compare with.