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Does Dropbox sync the entire files when a small change is made, or only the bytes of the changed content (like rsync). If it syncs the entire file everytime I save it, its huge waste of my bandwidth.

Are there any other cloud backup services (free of cost) which suits my requirement?

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migrated from superuser.com Jan 11 '11 at 17:26

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6 Answers 6

My understanding is that Dropbox only ships deltas over the network.

This page claims that the deltas are the only thing transmitted:

Efficient sync: only the pieces of a file that changed (not the whole file) are synced. This saves you time.

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Ask an important question of yourself. Do you need backup or online replica? Sound similar, but they're not the same thing.

Backup services enable you to revert to older versions of files e.g you accidentally save changes to a file, backups enable you to recover deleted files, backups enable you to permanently archive files safe in the knowledge you can recover them in the future.

Neither Dropbox, Mesh nor Mozy and many similar services in that genre are backup services. They offer online replicas of files, but they don't offer historic revisions of data - that accidental save will overwrite immediately if you're connected to Dropbox, nor support recovery of deleted data. Though Mozy may retain deleted files for ~30days - woe betide you if it takes more than 30 days to discover you deleted something.

I've used services like Mozy to store incremental and full backup sets created by backup software - that works quite successfully. But to be clear - I don't let Mozy backup my whole drive, it only syncs those backup files.

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This is not completely correct - I don't know about Mesh, but Mozy is definitely a backup service that keeps multiple versions of files. It's not designed for whole-system backups, nor as a file-sharing service like Dropbox, though it does have some web access features. Dropbox keeps deleted files and multiple file versions for 30 days, accessible via their web app, but I would agree it's not a real backup service - see dropbox.com/help/115 –  RichVel Oct 14 '11 at 5:50
    
Archiving is different from backups - archiving is about taking a long-term read-only copy of some data or software, and never changing it. Backup is a shorter-term insurance policy - for space reasons, older backups are eventually deleted. Some organisations may keep backups forever, but that's unusual and essentially turns the older backups into archives. See computerworld.com/s/article/103152/… –  RichVel Oct 14 '11 at 6:03

You can try Windows Live Skydrive, there are desktop interfaces for it, such as Gladinet Cloud Desktop or SDExplorer.

There is also:

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I think this review of back-up/cloud storage services might help: http://online-data-backup-review.toptenreviews.com/index.html

I personally use SugarSync for short-term repositories (their feature set is a bit richer than that of DropBox) and Mozy (which as far as I understand uses a highly-efficient differential/delta system) for large files and long-term back ups.

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There are plenty of online data storage services available. Online Data Backup Services are a SaaS solution combined with cloud storage, changing the face of data backups for both households and businesses.

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You can try cloudHQ service for Dropbox: http://www.cloudhq.net/dropbox

Additional to sync, you can browse, copy/move, and edit Dropbox document directly from Google Docs window.

And there is also backup of Dropbox into Google Docs.

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