Some Questions about WSA Backup & Sync

Discussion in 'Prevx Releases' started by Muddy3, Jan 12, 2012.

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  1. Muddy3

    Muddy3 Registered Member

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    There has been a lot of talk about the anti-malware module of WSA on this forum (which I think is absolutely fantastic!!), but I have seen very little talk about the Backup & Sync module. All I can find is this very short thread. Is that because this forum is devoted mainly to anti-malware? Or can I also ask questions about the Backup & Sync feature?

    In the hope that the answer is yes, here I go!

    I find the idea of synchronising data between computers (at the same time as keeping a backup in the cloud) extremely interesting, and I find the solution provided by SugarSync (and therefore by WSA Backup & Sync which uses SugarSync software) superior to Dropbox in at least one sense, that you are not confined to using only one place on your hard disk (ie the Magic Briefcase/Dropbox folder).

    However, I have some important questions:

    1. From a test of upload speeds, I am guessing that the storage server/s is/are based in the USA. This is because I am experiencing the same upload speed here in Europe as I do with Dropbox and Crashplan USA, 3½ to 4 times slower than what I get from European based storage services such as my current cloud backup service which is a Netherlands-based Crashplan host server.
      So am I correct? Are all Webroot’s backup/sync servers based in the USA?
      If so, this is bad news for those of us who live across the Atlantic. Indeed to the best of my knowledge, ALL the big cloud storage companies suffer from the same disadvantage. Has Webroot considered opening a server in Europe? This would put them two steps ahead of the competition over here :D .

    2. Another big, big drawback : SugarSync advise against backing up your Outlook .pst files. But these files, for many people, are the most important files on their computer.
      • Now I understand the reason for their advising against syncing them, seeing that they are large, open files that are changing minute by minute.
      • But not being able to back them up o_O ? What about Windows VSS?? This service Crashplan makes use of, and I back up my .pst files to my Netherlands-based Crashplan host partner server without any problem.

      I so want to start using the Backup/Sync service offered by WSA, and to do so I am prepared to upgrade to WSA Complete (for the increased 10 GB storage space they offer). But these two problems are frankly holding me back from doing so.

    3. Some related questions: does Webroot use their own server for Backup/Sync or do they use SugarSync’s? And is Tech Support for this service provided directly by the Webroot team or do they forward customer queries to SugarSync?

      Second: I have never heard of a situation where a Dropbox customer’s data has been corrupted by the Dropbox software. However, I have heard several horror stories on the Internet about SugarSync, eg. http://www.addictivetips.com/windows-tips/shoot-out-dropbox-vs-sugarsync/ (see comments by Jay and James). Admittedly one of these guys did a pretty stupid thing in deleting files that were being synced to his computer, but it seems very bad also that the SugarSync team weren’t able to find the deleted files on their server.
      So: can we be reassured that the Webroot team have found their SugarSync software to be reliable and not prone to deleted files disappearing altogether for example (or files getting corrupted; or files not getting backed up—another issue I’ve seen discussed on the Internet)?

    4. One more question: if you have three devices and one is a Tablet PC, will WSA Essentials consider the Tablet to be a third PC or refuse it, because it is not a PC in the proper sense of the word?

    I hope these questions are appropriate for this forum, and I’m sorry this post is so long :( .

    But I would be keen to start using this service if I can get the right answerS to all these questions. Hoping somebody out there might be able to give me some answers...
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012
  2. STV0726

    STV0726 Registered Member

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    Very good feedback.

    Personally I do not use the backup & sync feature, though it is definitely a viable option for file level backups as well as convenient file transfers (though Windows Live Mesh offers the same).

    I must advise that it is no replacement for running Windows system image backups!
     
  3. Muddy3

    Muddy3 Registered Member

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    Clearly not!

    I currently use not only Crashplan (for cloud data backup) but also Xcopy (for weekly USB key data backup—offsite, ie. in my trouser pocket!!) and Acronis True Image (for weekly disk partition imaging to external disk).

    But it is very interesting for syncing data across computers and maybe also for replacing Crashplan as cloud data backup (though there's also the question of how securely encrypted the data is compared to Crashplan—a point I forgot to raise in my post).

    Yes, but not really as I'm not yet using it only testing it and finding I have questions, questions. I'm hoping someone may have some answers?? Btw thank you for telling me about Windows Live Mesh. I'll have a look at it :)

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
  4. PrevxHelp

    PrevxHelp Former Prevx Moderator

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    To answer your questions:

    1) I believe they have servers across the world which are globally loadbalanced. It's hard to compare service speed with different providers as they may be compressing data differently, sending it to other locations, etc.

    2) I don't see any reason why you wouldn't want to back them up. Syncing would probably be problematic but there should be no reason to not back them up.

    3) I believe this is a Webroot hosted service using different hardware. We answer the tech support questions directly.

    4) I know that we're planning on supporting synchronization to tables (Android and iOS) so if it doesn't support it right now, it should in the future.

    Hope that helps!
     
  5. Muddy3

    Muddy3 Registered Member

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    Thanks for your swift answers, Joe!

    Re (1), that surprises me. A year ago I recorded very different upload speeds between Crashplan USA and my local Netherlands-located Crashplan host server: 3½ to 4 times difference in speed! (Since then, I have changed my Crashplan host supplier, but my new one who is also based in the Netherlands registers roughly similar upload speeds to my previous one). Dropbox, which I believe also to be US server-based, has similar slow upload speeds to Crashplan USA. The fact that I found WSA Backup & Sync to be registering approximately the same upload speeds as Crashplan USA and Dropbox made me conclude (perhaps wrongly?) that they didn't have a server anywhere close to me on the European continent.

    The problem with (2) is that, if the Backup & Sync service doesn't make use of a VSS freeze snapshot of the Outlook pst files, isn't the backup engine going to be in a continuous loop as it notices minute-by-minute changes to the pst files and so has to start all over again each time? See for example this and this (which latter I discovered since writing my post. Not ideal it seems, but a kind of a solution).

    Thank you for your answers to (3). That's clear :).

    My point with (4) is that Essentials is advertised as being for 3 PC’s whilst Complete is advertised as being for 3 PC’s plus 3 Mobiles and/or Tablets. If you have 2 PC’s and 1 Tablet PC, will Essentials recognise the Tablet PC as a third PC or refuse it because it’s a Tablet (I haven’t been able to test this yet 'cos I don’t have a Tablet)?
     
  6. Muddy3

    Muddy3 Registered Member

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    I wondered if you had any comeback, Joe, on points (2) and (4) (and perhaps if you could throw a bit more light on problems related to (1) & Northern Europe)? Or maybe I need to go directly to WSA Backup & Sync Support with these questions?? Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012
  7. Techfox1976

    Techfox1976 Registered Member

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    The Backup and Sync is definitely a live-monitored sync system. Quick testing shows that just like most live systems, no, it does not use VSS for a snapshot of the pst, so yes, it does go into a "Constantly updated" upload loop with the pst. Better to use the backup function in Outlook to create a file in a location that WSA will back up.

    I personally find the live sync and versioning horrendously useful for recovering documents that are corrupted during a save. :ouch:

    For "Complete vs Essentials vs Tablets", they mean Android and iOS tablets. :) If your tablet PC runs Windows, it will work just fine.
     
  8. Muddy3

    Muddy3 Registered Member

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    Thank you, Techfox, for your helpful points which go some way to answering my questions :) :)
     
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