is an online backup up system which lets you perform manual,
scheduled, full or incremental file backups from your computer
and network to a secure, remote, encrypted data server.
The key words are "remote" and "encrypted" because
the whole concept only works if your personal or business
files are securely stored in a way that is so difficult
to hack that the effort just isn't worthwhile. Remote data
storage is here to stay. It's simple enough to set up and
use, and above all else, security and encryption technologies
exist which are robust enough to make remotely located
data storage a viable daily option. High speed broadband
Internet connections don't hurt either.
home-office and small business, data backup is probably
one of the most important supporting factors in the creation,
maintenance and growth of a solid company. As a matter
of fact, if you compare the current data backup needs
of home-office and small business with the needs of ten
years ago, the importance of secure, reliable, consistent
and regular data backup has grown by a factor that is
almost immeasurably large. The reason? Compared to ten
years ago, a much larger percentage of almost every set
of business needs (no matter what business you're in)
demands the use and manipulation of computer data files.
Even for typical or traditional craftwork businesses,
a huge percentage of designs, customer information files
and so on are now maintained in digital formats. Ergo,
you need to back up all of that data securely, reliably,
consistently and regularly.
of you who read my Big City Byte columns or who have
read my consumer advocacy rants over the past 18 years,
know how I harp and bluster about the need for backups.
Despite that, I didn't tackle this review with any kind
of preconceived notions about how wonderful yet another
backup solution was going to be. Far from it actually,
I have been ardently skeptical about online backup solutions
because I just haven't seen enough of them work well
enough (logon, configuration and user interface problems)
or reliably enough (a few data storage companies actually
went out of business in the 2000-2002 period). But with
the publication of ever more stories in the news about
needless data losses due to the complete absence of backups
and with the advent of otherwise rock-solid companies
getting into the online data storage and backup business,
Nauticus Deep Data Storage seemed to have come along
at the right time.
a nod to the latest encryption overkill, Nauticus employs
several flavors of seriously secure data protection within
the client program and on the data storage servers. Choose
from DES, Triple-DES and 448-Bit Blowfish (currently
the most complex encryption key available for Blowfish).
Your data is encrypted before it's transferred to the
data storage facility. In subsequent backups, the FastBit
binary patching method is used to figure out changes
(which files are new and which have been updated, moved,
copied or deleted). The resulting file set is then compressed
and securely encrypted before being sent to the storage
server. Binary patching is the same method used by Microsoft
and many other major software vendors to construct product
updates and patches. For the purposes of determining
which files to update for a backup, the FastBit binary
patching method seems to have been flawless throughout
all of our usage during the review period.
me break any suspense you may be feeling. Nauticus works
well. If you've been looking for a robust, no-brainer
backup solution and you're prepared to spend about $15
a month, go to the Tugboat Enterprises web site and set
up an account. You can set up a new account, install
the little client program, set up a data backup schedule
and have your first backup done in less than half an
hour (longer if you've got some really large backup needs).
Nauticus monthly pricing is based on a core account of
$10/month for 500MB of storage ($0.02 per MB). Additional
storage space costs an additional $0.01/MB per month.
In other words, an additional 500MB will only cost you
another $5 per month. Two GB will cost a total of $25/month
(which includes the monthly licensing fee). Three GB
will cost you $35/month, and so on. Much larger data
storage needs can be accommodated, and you can contact
Tugboat for pricing.
my perspective (and maybe also from the perspective of
people who are doing their taxes as this review is published—February
2006—with the related need to calculate the cost
burdens of data backups and the value of backup equipment
depreciation), not having to mess around with backup
hardware, backup media, or worry about off-site backup
CD or DVD storage, or whether or not tape backups are
actually secure or even usable is easily worth ten, twenty,
thirty or a hundred dollars a month or even more. Pick
your poison. As long as backups are a necessary evil
but a huge benefit when there's server or workstation
trouble at your place, and as long as Nauticus is accessible
24 hours a day, 7 days a week from your office or anywhere
else in the world that has an Internet connection, no
sane reason exists to avoid doing data backups. The last
data loss that I know of among the business clients I
deal with took place just before Christmas 2005, at a
company which was paralyzed for an entire day as a result
and which needed three additional days to get fully back
on track. Losses were eventually calculated at around
$60,000. Not funny. The company's tape backups were largely
useless because nobody had added new tape cartridges
in over a year, resulting in worn out, useless media.
Only two of six tapes were usable. Color me scared.
Enterprises had in mind the goal of making Nauticus Deep
Data Storage into an easy to use backup solution for
businesses of all sizes. Of course Nauticus can be used
for personal data as well—any data at all actually.
But for home-office and small business users in particular,
this is a backup solution worth investigating. Setting
up automatic backup schedules and data sets for any computer
or server on your network is quite easy. A Windows Explorer-like
client program (albeit with a few user interface confusions)
is used to provide access to all of the backup tools.
It's up to you what you want to back up and how often
you want it done thereafter. We're talking data files
here, not entire boot drives. Retrieval and restoration
of data is as easy as logging on to the client program
and picking & choosing individual files, individual
folders, entire directories or entire backup sets to
copy back to your PC.