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As a followup to my previous article recommending the use of an online backup service versus hardware based solutions such as external drives, I plan on reviewing several online backup services. In the interest of fairness I believe that all these services need to be judged on the same criteria. Here is what I’ve come up with for my reviews. If you have features or requirements you would like to see evaluated, leave your thoughts in the comments section.
1. Ease of Installation
The service should be simple enough for non-technical users to register and install. I’ll document the registration and installation process and note any problems that arise. A successful, hassle-free setup awards the service 10 points. Each hassle I encounter during the setup process will result in the loss of a point. Failure to get the service installed results in 0 points.
Platform support earns the service 10 points. I will be testing all products on Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, but each service must work on all versions of Windows XP and Vista, including both standard x86 and x64 editions. For each operating system that is not supported, a point will be docked.
For fairness I will re-image my test machine with a clean install of Windows XP Professional x64 Edition before I test each product. I will upload the same batch of test files and will track the length of time it takes to upload the files to each service. The service that uploads the quickest will be awarded 10 points. The service with the worst speed performance will be awarded no points. All other services will be awarded points in between based on their relative performance.
4. Storage Space
The service with the highest storage capacity on their free service is awarded 10 points. The service with the lowest capacity is awarded no points. All other services will be awarded an amount in between the two extremes.
5. Automatic Backups
The service must have a method of doing automatic or scheduled backups. Ten points are awarded for 100% automation, no points for manual backups, and partial points for any level of automation in between.
I will test each service for 5 days. Each day backups are finished without error the service will be awarded a point.
7. Unique and Notable Features
Up to five additional points may be awarded for features that make the product stand out from the competition. Such features include file revisions and HIPAA compliance.