File backup solutions have been in the news recently, as the news filtered out last week that it’s the end of the road for Windows Home Server, but that there are a number of improvements coming for Windows 8 that could provide much of the same functionality.
Today, in a blog post on the Windows 8 blog, Bohdan Raciborski, a manager on the Windows 8 storage team, details File History, a replacement for the Windows Backup and Recovery Service in Windows 8. The service is a response to some sobering statistics Raciborski offers up in the blog post, that “nowhere near half of consumer PCs are backed up”. With File History, Microsoft is “actively trying to accomplish the following:”
- Make data protection so easy that any Windows user can turn it on and feel confident that their personal files are protected.
- Eliminate the complexity of setting up and using backup.
- Turn backup into an automatic, silent service that does the hard work of protecting user files in the background without any user interaction.
- Offer a very simple, engaging restore experience that makes finding, previewing and restoring versions of personal files much easier.
You can read more about setting up File History on the blog post, but File History has made backing up a Windows 8 PC much easier. External hard drives and network locations are supported, and while you can’t backup to SkyDrive, or do a full system backup, you can back up your SkyDrive to local File History storage, or use Windows 8 Storage Spaces to create "a resilient storage pool using off the shelf USB drives".
We’ve been using Windows Home Server on a "frankenmachine" for local backups of the 3 or 4 computers running in this house, and at LiveSide we use Jungle Disk and Amazon S3 to back up our WordPress instance daily, costing us a one time $20 fee, and about a dollar a month. As soon as we finish this blog post, we’ll be setting up File History, too.
Do you back up your files? What do you use? Have any lost files stories? And will you be setting up File History on your Windows 8 PCs, or have you already?