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Overview of BuddyBackup

Programs to back up your files are by no means new. In fact, there are a whole load of similar programs out there that will all offer solutions. Usually, these programs will either backup your data to their own servers or offer a facility to store it on your own external devices. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with these types of backup, BuddyBackup aims to offer something slightly different.

BuddyBackup works by backing up your files to your friends, family and colleagues’ computers. In this way it creates an off-site copy of your data, safely stored on someone else’s computer. So what are the specifics?

First of all, BuddyBackup does an initial pass of your data and collects it all up for the first backup. A local backup copy is then saved to BuddyBackup’s database, encrypted and then sent to your buddy over the internet. Any changes in data from here are then tracked incrementally, meaning that the program isn’t sending your whole drive across each time it scans for backup.

This process will require you to have BuddyBackup installed on your friend’s computers – the more the merrier, since it’ll mean there’s greater redundancy of your data. If your buddy isn’t online then the program will track the changes and wait until they are. Of course, the idea is then that these friends can send their backups to your computer.

By default, two copies of your files are spread out amongst your buddies, but this can be adjusted. The program will regularly scan your buddies to make sure there aren’t any problems. If a hitch is discovered, it’ll automatically back your data up to someone else. If your buddy removes the program, suffers long term outage or a full-blown computer failure, your data will remain safe.

By nature, BuddyBackup requires that you and your friends have a fair bit of spare storage space. Internal or external drives can be used, but there needs to be enough free space to hold all of your data – it has to go somewhere after all! Those pushing the limits on their current drives may be put off by this, but cheap external storage isn’t hard to come by. It may end up cheaper buying a new drive then investing in another service.

Which brings us on to the kicker: the program is entirely free! Even for commercial use, BuddyBackup comes without cost. Providing your buddy has enough free space, the program is capable of handling unlimited amounts of backup.

You might be, or at least should be, wondering how secure this all is. Your files are encrypted locally before being backed up, which means that by the time they arrive on your buddy’s device they cannot be read by anyone but you – the sole holder of the encryption keys. AES-256 keys are used to protect the data, with RSA-2048 public keys for authentication and SSL encryption between the client and BuddyBackup servers. Finally, a Salsa20 stream cipher is used for buddy to buddy communication.

More information about BuddyBackup, including a link to download the program, can be found on the official website.


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