What is an Online Backup Service?
An Online Backup Service is an Internet-based service that allows computer users to routinely backup and recover their important data using a secure and trusted server on the Internet.
If you use your computer to create and save valuable data for business or personal reasons, you should make some type of backup of your important data to prevent a total loss in the event of any kind of system failure or human error. Simple data backup can be done by saving your data to multiple locations, copying the data from its original location to removable media, another hard drive, or another computers hard drive on the network.
To make this task easier, specialized programs known as Backup Software exist to aid users in regularly making a backup copy of their data. Since some users are not interested in managing the tasks necessary for maintaining their own backups, a new breed of backup software was created, known as Online Backup Software. Online Backup software is designed to routinely copy your important files to a private, secure location on the Internet by securely transmitting your data over your existing Internet connection.
If you have a working Internet connection on your computer, you can use IST's Online Backup Service to keep your important files safe from disaster on a daily basis. Check the pricing of our Online Backup Service.
I have a slow Internet connection, does it make sense for me to use Online Backup?
Depending on the speed of your connection and the size of your backup, your initial backup over the Internet may take several hours or even days. Many people with large backup sizes and slower Internet connections will often run their first backup over the weekend. Once the first backup is completed, each subsequent backup is usually a small amount of data that can be backed up in just minutes over a slower connection.
Our software can also resume a canceled backup, so you can start the backup during your slow times and cancel it during your busy times. The next time you start the backup, it will pick up from where it was canceled until the entire backup is complete.
What files should I select?
Since your entire hard drive is likely to be much larger than the amount of storage you have purchased on the backup server, you should be selective in the files that you choose for backup. In general, you can avoid backing up any programs that you can reinstall from a purchased CD, such as Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, etc.). Why pay for storage for "stuff" you can easily re-install? Try to focus your selection on things like your "My Documents" folder and data files of your important programs like accounting, income tax, contact management, graphics etc. Your online backup software comes with predefined filters, which allow you to automatically select categories of files without knowing where all the files are located. Check the online help for Filters to learn how they can be used.
What happens if I exceed my quota?
In most cases, your account will allow you to exceed your paid storage quota on the backup server. If you exceed your quota, it is likely that a message will pop-up on your screen to notify you that you have exceeded your quota and you are likely to incur an additional charge for the additional storage used. Check your pricing plan to determine the costs for additional storage. Currently, additional storage costs $11.00 per month for each additional
1GB over your paid storage quota.
How do I delete files from the Backup server?
In order to control how much data is stored on the online backup server, your online backup software allows you to view all of the data stored on the server and selectively remove files from the server. To view the data stored under your account, run your online backup software and click on the folder tab labeled "Restore". In the left windowpane, Right-Click on the Desktop icon and select "Get Volume List from Server". This will show you each computer that has been backed up to your account. Now you can navigate the folders to see what data is stored on the server. To delete files, click on the button with the Red "X" to enable the Delete Files mode. Mark any files you wish to delete by clicking your mouse in the empty box next to the file(s) you wish to delete. Click the "Delete Files Now" to issue the command to delete the selected files from the server. WARNING: Once a file is deleted from the server, it can no longer be restored.
Can I backup more than one computer to my account?
Yes. We allow you to backup any number of computers to your account. You only pay for the storage space that you use. Your account should already be setup to allow you to backup several computers. If you have any problems backing up more computers to your account, simply call or E-mail (email@example.com) technical support to request additional computers on your account.
Please be aware that for each separate computer you want to back up, you'll need
an additional software license. Usage scenarios are illustrated
HERE under item number 2.
Should I also have a local backup in addition to my online backup?
It's up to you. Users that want an added level of protection may perform local backups in addition to their online backup. Local backups can allow you to backup ALL of your files, while the online backup is a great way to automatically store your critical files off-site. When it comes to your important data, you can never be too safe. Since everyone has different needs, you'll find a wide variety of backup software and services available to help you find the one that best fits your needs.
Please call us to discuss enhanced backup options for you or your business.
What is the Personal Recovery CD or
The Personal Recovery CD is a service that we offer which copies all of your data from our servers onto CDs
or DVDs. This allows you to restore the archive of your data from a CD without requiring an Internet connection. This is great for keeping long-term archives of your data or restoring large amounts of data without connecting over a slow Internet connection. When the Personal Recovery CD is ordered, it includes all of your account data. Each CD holds approximately 650 MB
and each DVD hold about 4.7 GB, so accounts with more that 650 MB of storage
will require multiple CDs or a DVD. Of course if you order a DVD, you'll need a
DVD reader on at least one of your computers. We can install one for you if you
are in our local service area.
How do you calculate my billing?
Monthly Billing Customers - On a monthly basis, we will compare your pricing plan to your actual storage usage and determine your costs for that month. If your storage usage is below that amount of storage provided in your base plan, no additional charges will be processed. If your storage usage is greater than your base plan amount, an additional charge is calculated based on the additional increments of storage space needed to accommodate for your storage usage for the month. A new calculation is performed every month to determine the billing total for that month.
Monthly Billing Example:
Base Plan: $29.00 per month for up to 1000 MB of storage;
Additional Storage: $11.00 per month for each additional 1000 MB
Scenario 1 - Actual Storage Usage = 425 MB
(Cost=$29.00; 425 MB is less than the allowed 1000 MB for the base plan)
Scenario 2 - Actual Storage Usage = 1395 MB
(Cost=$40.00; $29.00 for 1000 MB, 1 x $11.00 for each additional increment of
Annual Billing Customers - When you purchase an annual plan, you purchase a certain amount of storage for an entire year. For instance, a customer that purchases a
1000 MB annual plan can store up to 1000 MB on the backup server for an entire year. Each month, your storage usage is compared to the storage allowed by the annual plan that was purchased. If any additional storage is being used, a charge for the additional storage will be processed for that month. This additional charge only applies for months where the storage usage exceeds the amount allowed by the base plan that was purchased.
If we see that your storage requirement has exceeded
your plan limit, we will contact you before making any changes to your billing.
How can I get a receipt for the services billed to my credit card?
You can call our offices at 858-536-1115 and request a copy of any account
activity or charge.
How do I change my billing information?
You can call our offices at 858-536-1115 and speak to a representative to change
any parameter of your account.
How do I cancel my online backup service?
We never like to see anyone cancel their online service, but in the event you must cancel your service, please call us at 858-536-1115 and
ask to speak with someone regarding the cancellation of your online backup service. Once an account is canceled, the data may be permanently deleted, so if you want a copy of your backups, please consider a Personal Recovery CD
or DVD (standard charges will apply) prior to cancellation. If you wish to cancel your account via E-mail, send a message to
firstname.lastname@example.org and please provide your complete contact information including address, phone & E-mail along with your Username for the online backup service.
What do I do if I have trouble connecting to the server or performing a backup?
During business hours (9am - 5pm PST) you can call our offices for assistance. You can also view the technical support section of our web site for some helpful information.
Can I backup open and locked files with the online backup software?
In the case of many backup software programs, files and databases that are in use during the backup may not get backed up successfully because they are locked to prevent any other program from altering the data. To solve this problem, IST's Online Backup can be used with the optional Open File Manager program to make sure that these open and locked files get backed up successfully.
What is a FastBIT backup?
The FastBIT patching process is the core technology
behind our speedy backup service. The patching process involves the comparison of two
different versions of the same file and extracting the differences between the files. When
the differences are extracted from the two files, they are saved into a new file and
compressed into what is known as a Patch. The patch file is often 85% to 99.9% smaller
than the file which the patch was extracted from originally.
In order to perform a FastBIT backup, the software has to backup the files 3 times: the first backup is a full, the next backup will perform an incremental, and the third performs the first FastBIT backup.
Do you have a chart for Bandwidth Requirements?
It's very difficult to analyze those requirements because of all the variables added by FastBIT. However, the basic formula is pretty simple:
Take the expected size, in MB's, of the data you might see in a day, divide it by the amount of seconds in the day and divide that number by 8 to obtain MB/Sec Bandwidth. This will result in the required bandwidth (MB/Sec) needed to sustain 100% load throughout the day.
Example: Let's say we have 500 users sending us an average of 600MB per month, then the formula follows:
600MB * 500Users = 300000MB (300GB) / 30days (per month) = 10000MB Per Day (10GB) / 86400seconds (1 day) = 115.74Kb/sec * 8 (to convert to MB/Sec) = .93MB/Sec or about 61% of a full T1.
Of course, this assumes that you have full saturation throughout the day, which isn't going to happen. It typically gets a bit peaky around noonish and around midnight, so to accommodate the mean, you should probably have a 30% overhead, which in the above case, would translate to just about a full T1 (1.5MB/Sec).