Feeds

Linux life savers for paranoid penguins

When one safety net isn't enough

Business security measures using SSL

Best of Linux So far, in my look at Linux compared to Mac and Windows, I've covered music players, photo organizers, and video editors. But all those apps – and all the documents they create – are lost if your hard drive crashes, your laptop takes a spill, or some other catastrophe strikes.

If you have documents, you must have a backup solution - Mac users at least have the option of Time Machine and Windows offers Live Drive. In this final installment of my look at the Linux desktop, I'll assess how Linux stacks up against backup solutions for Windows and OS X.

To keep things simple, we'll divide backup options into two camps: those that backup to a disk, and those that backup to web servers. For the latter, there is some degree of trust involved. While all of the options I've outlined offer secure encrypted connection, if you still aren't comfortable with the idea, then web-based backup services are not for you.

Ubuntu One web interface

Ubuntu One: dead simple and nicely integrated with the desktop

Also remember that, as any good paranoid can tell you, one backup is never enough. Rather than deciding on one of these options, consider using several in conjunction for an even more fool-proof backup system.

Most Ubuntu users are probably aware of Ubuntu One by now. The service, launched with Ubuntu 9.10, gives Ubuntu fans a simple, cheap way to backup documents to Canonical's servers. In addition to simple backup, Ubuntu One can be used to sync files between your PCs.

Ubuntu One is dead simple to use and nicely integrated into the Ubuntu desktop. Once you set up an Ubuntu One account, your files will be backed up on the web and synced to any other registered Ubuntu computers. In addition to file syncing, Ubuntu One can also track your contacts, Firefox bookmarks and notes.

Ubuntu One is free for the first 2GBs of data and in our experience, while it's glitchy, it has never lost any of my data so it's at least worth turning on.

Dropbox web front end

No hiccups: Dropbox lets you access your files, no matter the system

However, web access to your documents can be especially flaky. Upgrades rolled out with the release of Ubuntu 10.10 seem to have improved the overall stability of Ubuntu One, but it still has the occasional problem.

Ubuntu One also got a few new features with the release of Maverick Merekat, including the ability to stream music to Android devices. Unfortunately you won't be streaming for free. There is a 30-day free trial period, but after that you'll have to pony up $4 per month - plus any bandwidth charges from your mobile provider, depending on your contract.

Still, if access to your music on the go is something you'd like, Ubuntu One is the only solution here that delivers and the price isn't too bad - particularly if you've got an unlimited data plan on your phone.

While most of Ubuntu One's features are free, and work reasonably well, it's worth taking a look at the rest of the pack before you commit.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Next page: Beyond Ubuntu

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.