It is very rare that BT does something to impress me but this week has been an exception. For some time now I have been worried about what were to happen if my computer were to fail; I’ve made the occasional backup onto DVD-R but apart from that I’m pretty much unprotected should my computer crash, were stolen or destroyed. Backing up onto physical media such as a CD/DVD or tape has a number of drawbacks, most notably that if the physical media is kept in the same location as the computer itself then should the building be burnt down or ransacked by a burglar then you’d still be in exactly the same position as if you hadn’t have bothered making any backups at all. With three years of accounts on the machine, to say that I would be displeased if such an event were to occur would be a slight understatement.

The thought entered my head around 6 months ago that with a broadband connection I should be able to back up my files onto an online server but I was never able to find one cheap enough and easy enough to use. This morning someone informed me of BT Netbackup ( that starts from £3.99 per month for 300mg of space which should be more than enough for most users to back up their critical files. The principle is incredibly simple; BT has a number of servers which have an amount of space allocated to each user which you can use as your own personal backup space.

The first time you wish to make a backup you will be required to download a small piece of software and enter in a number of codes provided to you for security reasons and then this software will then log into your account so you can use your 300mg of space to backup files from your computers hard disk. Should you need to restore your backup for any reason you simply log back in to the server and download any of the files that are required. The advantages of backing up online are easy to understand; even if every computer and physical backup in Devon were destroyed you would still have your data intact on the online server should you need to get at it.

The backup program also has a number of other useful features. For example, all data is compressed when being transmitted across the Internet which reduces the amount of time the transfer takes and also the amount of your allocated space that is occupied. In addition, the software only uploads the parts of files that have actually changed; should you have a 50mg accounting package that is backed up every even, only the modified parts of this file would have to be send rather than starting the whole backup from scratch every evening. Schedules can also be set so that the software can backup specified folders at certain intervals (for example, overnight).

Another useful feature is if you are travelling and you don’t want to have to install the BT backup software you can still get access to any backed up files using a secure connection through a standard Internet browser. This could also be useful for allowing you to access home files at work and vice versa.

Of course, everything is quite secure and BT aren’t able to actually look at any of the files that you have stored in their systems so it is quite safe to backup confidential information on to them. All in all, although I’ve only been using this for around 24 hours now, I’m quite impressed and for the sake of £3.99 a month (£6.99 for the 600mg storage allowance) it could certainly save you a lot of headaches if something were to happen. For me personally, even if I don’t ever need to use the backups I would consider it money well spent just for the peace of mind aspect.

Sponsered by Refresh Cartridges

Back to Main Page