Cubby is a pretty good backup solution, but could be better
Backing up the stuff on your computer is something that there’s still not a great solution for. You can backup to an external hard drive using something like Apple’s Time Machine, but that only protects you in case of a hard drive failure, and not for things like theft or fire. You can use an online backup plan like Mozy or Carbonite, but those are slow to initially upload, are an ongoing cost, and worst of all, if you ever needed to backup, it’s another expense and takes a long time.
A good solution is CrashPlan, which has an online component like Mozy and Carbonite, but it has another, free solution: you can backup from a hard drive in one place to a hard drive in another. It takes out the slowness of the initial upload in that you can just load up one drive at home and then give it to a friend or set it up on your work computer, and then it only has to upload new files, rather than everything.
All this to say that I was excited by the prospect of Cubby, a combination of Dropbox and Crashplan. They give you 5 GB of online storage (which is better than Dropbox), but make it easy to set up a CrashPlan-like solution of syncing multiple hard drives in multiple places. It seemed like the perfect plan, and I bought a new hard drive and took my old drive with all its files to work and set it up to sync with Cubby.
Besides a little bit of confusion setting up the sync, there was just one thing that stands in the way of this being a great solution: both hard drives have to be online at the same time, meaning I need to remember to leave my home computer on when I go to work, so it’s far from the set-up-and-forget solution I was looking for. Not only does it mean that I need to constantly remember the backup process, but it also means that my files aren’t always backed up, which is what any of us look for in a backup solution, right?
There’s just one little thing that could make it great: that little 5 GB of free space that you get with Cubby, just sitting there unused (for me). Why not allow a setting that lets Cubby to use this space as an intermediary between the two hard drives? I work at home, the files are backed up on the 5 GBs of space, and then I can turn off my home computer and when I get to work, it takes the files from the online space and syncs them with the hard drive at work. With that in place, it would be the best possible solution until the folder backup solutions come way down in price…
By the way, I have five invitations to Cubby. If you’re interested, drop me a line at this domain name at gmail.