I'm looking for a solution to backup both my PC and my laptop to one place. I'll primarily be backing up documents and images, but will undoubtedly have some movies and music too. I'm keeping my options open, but at the moment I'm thinking an external drive in case I need to, for some reason, flee with my data.
Ideally I'd like to be able to backup both machines over my network, but in the alternative would be willing to move the drive back and forth between computers periodically.
At the moment I'm thinking of an Iomega eGo Portable Mac Edition. I understand they can be reformatted for Windows use, and have Firewire 400 and 800 connections (fast is good). Suggestions? If at all possible I'd like to keep my cost at or below $100.
I'd also be curious to hear what people think about software given my needs.
While you can get network drives, they tend to be more expensive and would probably put you over budget by a good margin.
Probably the cheapest way to go is buy an external case buy and fit your own drive.
These come in USB, eSATA & firewire, they can be combinations of USB/eSATA with or without firewire, straight USB, or USB/firewire. Prices will vary accordingly.
Obviously best option is all 3, failing that my next choice would be USB/eSATA as eSATA is the fastest.
Your laptop may have an eSATA port if you are lucky, the desktop may or may not, if not an adaptor can be purchased, some model cases come with one supplied.
To backup documents, photos and music, it's easy enough if you keep them stored in their respective folders, to simply copy and paste the folders to the new location.
You could use Windows backup if using Vista you have the Easy Transfer Wizard for the job, me I prefer to just copy and paste and not worry about corrupted compressed backup files. There are lots of backup utilities around if you really want them, just Google.
The Windows Vista ETW is handy if you want to save settings as well as data.
Do you have an old PC lying around? If so, you can turn it into a NAS for free! I had an old P4 3.0GHz machine. I downloaded FreeNAS, burned the image to a USB key, and now I have a NAS that I can backup my PC to as well as the other PCs I work on. It was pretty easy. Did I mention it was FREE!!!
I haven't used it enough to be able to tell how "fast" it is, but I plan on running some tests in the near future.