“Holy guacamole, a disaster made my computer crash!” Most people get caught unaware when something disastrous wipes away their valuable data.
However, people have different experiences when it comes to the next steps they take. For some, spending hours lamenting over the unfortunate loss is the norm
On the other hand, others quickly dust themselves off and smile, because they proactively protected their data using cloud backup automation tools. In this article, I’ll discuss the concept of cloud backup automation, and also review five essential tools which will help you backup automatically to Amazon S3.
5 Tools For Automatically Backing Up To Amazon S3 –Table of Contents:
How to Choose Cloud Backup Automation Tools
Choosing a tool for backing up data to the cloud, can work for or against you. A reliable and user-friendly tool will help in efficiently recovering lost items, in case disaster strikes.
Alternatively, an ineffective solution will just make you weep louder due to the loss of valuable digital data. First, evaluating your needs is critical. Do you have a lot of data to backup or is the quantity minimal?
Choosing a cloud backup automation tool that reflects your preferences and requirements, will help better protect:
Furthermore, if your documents contain sensitive or highly confidential information, opt for a solution that provides zero-knowledge security. Secure cloud backup automation software will include beneficial features, such as encryption and password protection.
Therefore, go for a service that does not distribute your payment details or other relevant personal information to unauthorized third-parties. Another essential factor worth considering, when choosing a cloud backup automation tool, is its pricing plans.
Because you’re going to spend hard-earned money on a cloud backup automation tool, it is important to know from the beginning what expenses will be incurred. Most cloud backup services are subscription-based, and to increase the appeal of their products; companies usually use various techniques to slice and dice their fees
Some will require subscribers to pay on a monthly basis, especially if you are committing to a one-year or two-year payment plan. Others provide entirely free accounts, with fewer features, while many only provide a free service for a limited period.
More importantly, a cloud backup automation tool is of no help, if it complicates the retrieval process. Look for a service that conveniently restores files and folders — well, I’ve done the looking for you already, but it’s still a useful tip to remember.
At the same time, you need a tool which is capable of quickly preparing files for backup, and restoring them fast to a destination location. And you’ll most likely regret picking a cloud automation tool that doesn’t fully utilize your bandwidth.
Benefits of Cloud Backup Automation Tools
Critical business assets and personal information can no longer be stored safely only on computers or portable media.
Such traditional storage methods are usually unreliable and difficult to sustain. More so, data has become a business’s lifeblood, in the current technological world and safeguarding it is vital.
The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), have revealed that 25% to 45% of businesses fail to continue their operations after a significant data-related disaster.
Today, most businesses and individuals are using various cloud backup automation tools, so that they have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan in place, for whenever a disaster might strike:
The Upsides of Using Cloud Backup Automation Tools
Efficiency And Reliability
Most cloud backup automation tools use state-of-the-art technology to offer efficient and reliable ways of backing up and restoring data, down to the last minute.
Additionally, during the cloud backup process, most tools will encrypt data, and quickly transmit it to data centers which are monitored 24 hours a day.
Therefore, you can always have peace of mind knowing the stored files are safe, regardless of what happens.
And, you can quickly restore saved files and folders, at any time, and from anywhere.
Automatic Continuous Backups
After the initial setup, most cloud backup automation tools start backing up important documents automatically and do so continuously with minimal, if any, intervention.
What’s more, most solutions can schedule backups to meet your needs, whether it is two times a week, daily, or multiple times a day—the decision is all yours.
Just set the system to “set and forget”, and the miracle of backup will continue, and you don’t have to worry about tweaking things, or doing complicated tasks.
Storing a copy of sensitive data off-site is critical.
Even if your documents are backed up on a server, a natural catastrophe or robbery can destroy the computer and local backups — causing havoc.
Therefore, storing backed up data ensures your documents are safe, regardless of what ill stroke of fate takes place.
Anytime, Anywhere Access
Do you sometimes forget important documents at home?
Are you fond of showing friends captivating photos?
Then, do not worry, any longer.
Keeping data in the cloud enables easy access, wherever and whenever you want files.
And when there is an Internet connection available, you can restore files easily to a computer or mobile device.
Instead of emptying your wallet on expensive external hard drives, cloud backup automation services allow you to reduce backup procurement costs significantly.
In fact, the pay-as-you-go model used by cloud backup services, which have nearly unlimited backup space, is a great money saver.
Especially for backing up big amounts of data frequently. According to a study by Computer Economics, companies that use cloud services gained more than 15% savings on their IT budget.
Moreover, security measures employed to protect backed up data in the cloud far exceeds those of traditional backup options, like hard drives and discs.
A majority of cloud backup automation tools offer file versioning (read our online backup with versioning guide).
Which is the ability to see and retrieve previous versions of a file, in case you erroneously made edits or deleted it from the computer.
Most services also come with free premium support. Other extra features offered by cloud backup services include the ability to:
Backup to local storage
Remotely locate lost devices
Securely wipe data
Use apps to access files
The Downsides of Using Cloud Backup Automation Tools
A majority of cloud backup automation tools, though they glitter, aren’t always gold — they have a few drawbacks
Which are easily outweighed by the many advantages that speak for themselves, but nonetheless, it’s important to have an understanding of their weaknesses.
Here are the disadvantages of using cloud backup automation tools.
Because cloud infrastructure is completely under the management of a third-party service provider, it gives you minimal control over what happens to data.
You’ll only have the opportunity of managing applications, without the privilege of controlling what takes place at the backend, even if you’re IT savvy.
Essential administrative duties, such as shell server access, and firmware management, will be left entirely in the service provider’s hands.
With such minimal control, you can do little in case a service provider fails to reproduce your backed up data.
Due to infrastructure based malfunctions or another reason.
Without a fast and reliable Internet connection, your network will get bogged down every time a backup takes place.
More so, you will depend on the Internet to restore files from the cloud, anytime they are required.
Worse still, sometimes cloud service providers get overwhelmed with too many clients, which result in system outages, that can seriously hurt your operations.
The switching or swapping of data between cloud services can get difficult to accomplish successfully, especially if you have limited IT skills.
Hosting and integrating most cloud backup applications on a platform different from the vendors’ stipulations, is usually not a straightforward process.
|S3 Backup||Duplicity||DragonDisk||Jungle Disk||CloudBerry Backup|
|Free Trial?||60 days||None||None||None||Free version available|
|Money-back Guarantee||30 days||None||None||30 days||None|
|Platforms||Windows, Mac OS X (beta)||GNU/Linux||Windows, Mac OS X, Linux||Windows, Mac OS X, Linux||Windows, Mac OS X, Linux|
|Basic Pricing||$35 (Permanent license per computer)||Free to use||Free to use||$4 per computer per month||$29.99 (Permanent license per computer)|
|Customer Service||Active support community||Limited support available||Email, phone, or live chat|
Introducing The Big Five
Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) offers users a secure, affordable, and highly-scalable means of backing up data.
Here is a video explaining how Amazon S3 works. After creating an Amazon S3 account, you can conveniently use tools compatible with its infrastructure to transfer valuable data.
In this section, I’ll review my top five useful tools you can use to make the most of Amazon’s S3 services.
1. CloudBerry Backup
I tried out the CloudBerry Backup app and found it to be a simple, fast, and convenient way to backup or restore data.
I was particularly impressed by the feature-rich interface, which can easily backup files to Amazon S3, without any required oversight from me
What’s more, file restoration worked well and quickly.
The two main versions of this tool are:
- CloudBerry Desktop Backup Free Edition
- CloudBerry Desktop Backup Pro Edition
Choose the free version if you are a personal user with minimal backup requirements. It has most of the Pro edition’s features, such as scheduling capabilities and retention procedures.
The Pro version, priced at $29.99 per computer for a lifetime, comes with additional benefits, such as file compression and encryption technology.
Pros and Cons of CloudBerry Backup
- Compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X
- Simple backup and restoration process
- Free version can manage up to 200GB of data
- Encryption and data compression in the Pro version
- Custom file versioning options
- Easy and quick setup process
- Ability to automatically schedule backups
- No phone or live online support
- 1TB maximum storage on non-enterprise version
- High costs when buying numerous licenses
2. S3 Backup
The tool offers strong encryption, which saves me from always looking over my shoulder for hackers.
Furthermore, with S3, I can conveniently run a scheduled backup.
On the other hand, what failed to please me about S3 Backup is its customer support, who are only available via email, or by opening a ticket on their site.
Although they responded to my queries quickly, I at least expected to find a live chat feature, or a phone number, which I could use to contact them.
If you are looking for a cloud backup automation tool that has a simple user interface, offers strong encryption, and is cost-effective (a permanent license costs only $35 per computer), then S3 Backup is worth trying out.
Pros and Cons of S3 Backup
- It has a free trial of 60 days
- 30-day Money-back Guarantee
- Uses strong passwords and encryption
- User-friendly interface
- Ability to compress data
- Lacks live chat or phone support
- Expensive to backup several computers
- Only works on Windows and Mac OS X (beta)
Are you searching for a secure and portable backup solution that provides complete control? Then try combining the reliable command-line utility of Duplicity, with an Amazon S3 account.
With Duplicity’s versatile command-line, you can perform backups efficiently and without spending any money.
Except, of course, the cost of running an Amazon S3 account.
At first, I found the tool a bit complicated to use, but after studying the user manual, executing Duplicity became comfortable.
Once I launched the tool, it initially generated a full backup. After that, backups only stored incremental changes.
Pros and Cons of Duplicity
- Free to use
- Performs reliable, automatic, and secure backups
- Gives you the opportunity to be in control
- Active support community available
- Bandwidth and space efficient
- Requires some level of technical expertise
- Runs only on GNU/Linux platforms
- File restoration takes time
DragonDisk is a robust file-management tool you can use to freely backup critical data to Amazon S3’s infrastructure.
It’s a desktop application, which comes with an interface similar to that of Windows Explorer.
I like DragonDisk’s ability to manage files quickly, using a drag and drop feature.
However, a major drawback I noticed with the software, is the fact that it hasn’t been updated in a very long time.
Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a cloud backup automation tool with rich features, which are also incredibly easy to use, then you might find DragonDisk an ideal option.
Pros and Cons of DragonDisk
- Free to use
- Easy and quick setup process
- It works on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux
- Support file versioning
- Secure data encryption
- Move files easily between Amazon S3 accounts
- Data compression for reduced cost of files hosting
- Infrequent software updates
- No warranty of any kind provided
- Backup scheduling not possible
5. Jungle Disk
Jungle Disk deserves an honorable mention in any list discussing competent cloud backup automation tools.
Its adaptability allows you to easily backup data to the cloud and restore files, anywhere, and at any time.
The tool features a flexible, pay-as-you-go model, which allows you to pay only for the storage used.
Pricing starts at $0.15 per GB, after an initial 10GB of free storage.
However, I didn’t find their software’s interface sleek or easy to navigate.
Nonetheless, Jungle Disk is a good option, especially if you want to protect data from various threats such as viruses, ransomware, and unauthorized leaks.
Pros and Cons of Jungle Disk
- Reinforced data security shields
- Compatible across multiple platforms
- Availability of data encryption and compression
- Unlimited and unrestricted data backup
- Pay only for what you use
- Excellent customer service via email, phone, or live chat
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Costly compared to other providers.
- Lowest plan costs $4 per user per month
- Confusing user interface
Amazon S3 is a powerful web infrastructure that offers high-speed and dependable storage services at low costs. It is a great platform for securely backing up data to the cloud, so that you’re prepared for when disaster strikes, and deletes important files or documents.
The five tools that will help you backup automatically to Amazon S3 are:
Duplicity didn’t work well for me, mainly because it lacks multiple platform support, and the restoration process is time-consuming and arduous.
Likewise, S3 Backup does not support multiple platforms and has poor customer service. Although DragonDisk is a free and powerful tool, the fact that it is not updated frequently and does not come with any warranty, exposes it to multiple security risks.
I liked Jungle Disk’s rich offerings and various important features. However, I can get the same features from CloudBerry at less than $4 per month. So, I think CloudBerry Backup’s Pro edition, costing $29.99 for a permanent license, rocks!
Although it is not a perfect cloud backup automation tool, the software is user-friendly, reliable, secure, and compatible with most platforms.
Do you have experience with any cloud backup automation tool for Amazon S3? Which ones do you consider the best? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below and thanks for reading!