What Is Duplicati And Is It Worth My Time?

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Duplicati is an open source online file backup solution that works with multiple operating systems.

Want more privacy with your backups?

Want to be freed from paying high monthly fees?

Read on.

What is Duplicati?

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Duplicati is an open source backup solution that can be used to store your backups online in an encrypted, secure form.

The software is totally free, even for commercial usage, under the LGPL open source software license. The Duplicati backup software can be installed on the Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems.

If you want more online backup options than just Dropbox and Google Drive, Duplicati may be for you. It can also work with existing cloud backup services like these.

As of this writing, Duplicati 2.0 is available in beta form. You can also download the previous version, 1.3.4, but it is not supported.

What Should You Be Backing Up Regularly?

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While it is ultimately up to you what files you want to save and delete, you should probably sit down and write out exactly what files are critical to save. You might just want to back up everything. Or, perhaps, you just want to focus on the essentials.

Important files might include historical versions of your job resume, family photographs in digital format, your favorite albums and MP3 playlists, digitized receipts, ebooks, PDF files, emails, and videos.

If you make backup copies of your DVDs for personal use, you might want to have an offline backup of those as well.

Or, on the other hand, you might think that they are not that important to save, as you can always repurchase the DVD if some catastrophe happened, and wasting time and disc space on the backup is not fully worth it for you.

Whatever you decide with your files, Duplicati can be used to manage them.

Why Should You Consider Using Duplicati?

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You may already know from a terrible experience the value of backing up your files and hard drives. You do not want to lose copies of your precious personal photos or your extensive and rare MP3 music collection.

You could use a service such as Dropbox, that offers a free version as well as additional storage space for a subscription fee. But, we recommend you use Duplicati instead. Why?

1. Privacy

You may be concerned that commercial backup services are able to index and see what files you are backing up on their servers. Sure, they may promise that your files are private and secure, but is that the reality?

You don’t necessarily need to be worried about Microsoft or Google scanning your files for digital copyright violations.

But, for example, you might have private pictures of yourself or your lover that you don’t want floating around the general Internet, and you also want to have them saved away from your home computer.

If you are in total control over your backup process and files, then you don’t have to worry about your files being poured over by a backup file company.

2. Control and Customization

By using Duplicati, you can have total control over your online backups. You can choose where they are stored, what the backup schedule is, and which files are backed up.

If you want, you can set up a virtual server on a reliable, affordable webhost that is solely dedicated to backing up your files.

You can back up your files using Duplicati in numerous ways using the protocol and storage medium of your choice.

3. Cost Savings

Depending on how you ultimately set up Duplicati for your file backups, you could potentially save a lot of money.

Commercial file backup software is not necessarily that expensive, and some of the best for pay options can run from $39.95 to $99.95, with a middle price running around $49.95. And then you also have to check to see if these are one-time costs or a yearly subscription model, which more and more software companies have moved to.

Also, you are also looking at possible costs in terms of storage space if you use a service such as Dropbox.

You can potentially find cheap places to get disk space. Or, perhaps you already have disk space you would like to use more effectively.

Microsoft Office, for example, has some subscription packages that include terabytes of online storage space via Microsoft OneDrive. If you are already subscribing to Microsoft Office for your home business, then you might benefit from using Duplicati to back up files to OneDrive.

Some of the Great Features of Duplicati

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So, what exactly is Duplicati capable of? Here are some of the many features of this free, open source backup software:

1. Internet Connection Protocols

Let’s say you want to use Duplicati to backup files to an online web server that you also use for your small business website. You can connect Duplicati with FTP, SSH, and WebDAV, which leverages HTTP to “publish” files remotely.

2. Commercial Cloud Space

As we already mentioned, you can use Duplicati to upload backup files to Microsoft OneDrive and other commercial cloud storage space services such as Amazon Cloud Drive, Google Drive, hubiC, Mega, and box.com.

3. Built-In Encryption

Duplicati offers powerful built-in encryption options using AES-256 algorithms. GPG is also included as a method to encrypt your files when you back them up.

4. Space Saving Features

Duplicati can be configured to perform incremental backups as well as manage space through data deduplication.

5. Restoration of Interrupted Backups

You probably have experienced that high level of frustration when you are downloading a large file using the Google Chrome browser and your Internet connection fails temporarily. When a download is interrupted, you often have to start it all over again from scratch, which wastes time as well as bandwidth.

Duplicati is designed to easily resume interrupted backups with ease, and it also verifies backups to ensure that broken backups are detected and rectified.

6. Web-Based User Interface

You can manage your entire Duplicati backup system from a web browser. It will even work from a mobile smartphone browser.

A “headless machine” is one that doesn’t have a monitor, keyboard, or mouse attached for input. But you can manage a Duplicati system that is set up on such a machine through a web browser on another machine.

7. Backup Scheduling

No truly robust backup system can exist without good scheduling. Scheduling enables you to set specific times and days that backups are performed, such as every Tuesday morning at 3 am.

Without a schedule you would have to execute your backups manually, and that’s no fun, nor is it efficient.

Duplicati’s full-featured scheduler has many options to enable you to manage the times your backups run.

8. User Support Forum

Given that Duplicati is free software, you may not get the most amazing technical support from the company. However, an online support forum is available on the Duplicati website and it is extremely active. Most of the posts on the forum’s front page are 24 hours old or less.

Granted, a lot of the people who are active on the forums are more advanced technically, and this is not necessarily going to be that helpful for people who not well-versed in computers.

Potential Downsides of Using Duplicati for File Backup

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As we already hinted at with the description of the user support forum, the people who use Duplicati tend to be more advanced users who may be developers or have system administration experience.

This means that if you are not comfortable really getting into a program and understanding it, Duplicati may possibly be too robust and feature-filled for your particular needs.

It is not uncommon for open source, free software to be geared a bit more towards the advanced user. You usually don’t get your hand held as much as you would with a commercial product.

For this reason, if you are a busy person who hates meddling around with computer code, you might choose to go with a commercial software solution instead, because it will make things simpler.

Yes, you will have fewer options, but you may be less confused. You may also get better technical support from the company.

Duplicati: A Great Open Source Backup Solution

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If you are looking for a totally free, open source backup solution to save copies of your files online, Duplicati is a great option.

Compatible with a variety of protocols and online storage services, Duplicati has a ton of customizable features that can make your life a lot easier. That is, provided that you are comfortable going through and configuring all these extra options.

Why pay for expensive backup software when an open source version exists? Try Duplicati today.

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