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Norton Online Backup Overview

A few months ago I finally upgra

A few months ago I finally upgraded my virus protection software to the newest version of the Norton security suite - I know bad geek not being protected - anyway, after configuring the software to protect my system from viruses and attacks the software kept prompting that my system is still at risk. After poking around a bit in the software I found that the software included a backup utility as part of the yearly subscription.

Since I already paid for the software I decided to try it out and see how well it works so I launched the software which started a scan of the files on my system to determine which files should be included in the backup. The default scan checks the My Documents folder and adds files including photos, music, financial, contacts, office documents, Internet favorites and other files types that the software locates within the directory.

Once the scan finished a summary screen appeared that listed an overview of the backup details and options for configuring the backup. The options included:

What:

This is the listing of files to be included in the backup. Initially, these files are the files that the software added during the system scan but can be customized to include exclude or include different files and/or directories.
Where:
This is the location where the files will be stored during the backup. There are several locations where the files can stored including Nortonís Secure Online Storage, local disk, CD/DVD drive or flash/external drive. The best protection is the Secure Online Storage but if you feel uncomfortable storing files on a third-party solution then the next best location is an external flash/hard drive which can be stored in a different location than you computer.
When:
This is the schedule for when the backup will occur. The options include Automatic, weekly, monthly or manual backup. When automatically is selected the backup will occur when the computer is on and not in use. This option is not available when the destination is CD or DVD.

If weekly or monthly is selected for the schedule then the day and time can be set for when the backup should occur. Like the automatic backup the system needs to be on in order for the backup to occur.

If manual backup is selected then the backup needs to be started manually by selecting the Run Backup button.

At this point I activated my North Secure Online Storage account to test the online backup feature and found out that my account only has 2GB of data while I needed to backup 5GB of data. This leaves me with the option of backing up to an external drive, since 5GB will not fit on a DVD either, or purchasing additional storage with Norton for a yearly fee to store all my data which is not very cost effective.

To finish my testing I then decided to backup a subset of data to the online account to see if the service is worthwhile for either a small amount of data or an upgrade to more storage. The first thing I noticed is that the software was estimating a period of two days in order to backup all my data (5GB) online - which not an acceptable amount of time to complete a backup. I selected a smaller subset of data (around 100MB) and the time estimate reduced to one hour so I initiated the backup which completed in about 20 minutes and included 771 files - much less than the estimated time.

My next step in testing the software will be with the use an external drive and scheduled backups. Stayed tuned to find out the results!



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