Data backup is a real pain, especially if you are someone who has a couple of Android phones, a laptop, two desktop computers, a couple of websites, half a dozen USB drives along with two external hard disk drives, packed with all kinds of important as well as useless stuff.
The real problem with data backup is that a backup is not full proof, until and unless the following conditions are met:
- The backup must be up to date. A 6 month old backup is useless in most occasions.
- The backup should be automatic in nature. It is literally impossible to manually backup data from so many devices every other weekend and keep track of the changes.
- The backup should be incremental. If you delete an old backup and start copying 352 GB of data from an external HDD to your backup location, you know it is going to take ages.
Now coming to Android, I have always taken the default KIES route. And to be honest, it sucks.
There is nothing wrong with the program but whenever I realize that I have to manually backup everything from my Android device, a strange shiver runs down my veins. I have bricked my device twice, lost all the music, photos, apps and everything just because I was reluctant on backing up data from my Android. You never know when you are going to lose your phone, do you? So how would you keep a self updating recent instance of the backup?
Fortunately, the folks at Sandisk have come up with a powerful and seamless backup option for Android – the Sandisk Memory zone. I said seamless because Sandisk’s app allows you to backup files and apps from your phone’s SD card to a cloud storage provider (Dropbox, for example). You can choose a schedule of the backup and completely customize the backup plan according to your requirements.
Once you have installed the app, run it and it will scan your entire SD card and the internal memory of your device. Next, choose a cloud storage provider where you would want to backup all the data, an example is shown below:
I prefer Dropbox for regular files and use Box.net as a storage dump. There are ways to get enormous storage on both these services and luckily, I have managed quite a good amount of storage space on both Dropbox and Box.net. For free, of course.
For the phone backup, I would choose Dropbox over Box.net for two reasons. First, the entire backup will automatically appear on my desktop computer, the moment I run the Dropbox desktop client. Second, it is super easy to add files to my phone’s SD card from the desktop computer, all I have to do is copy the given files to my Dropbox folder and run the Dropbox app on my phone.
Once you have chosen your preferred cloud storage provider, you will be prompted to choose the items and the frequency schedule of the backup. I went ahead with “Only this time” just to make sure that all the data gets uploaded to Dropbox first. Next, I changed the setting to “Every day”, this will take care of the automatic incremental backup and I can rest in peace.
Hit the magic button once and everything is put on the upload queue. It is recommended to use a Wi-Fi connection for large backups such as videos or MP3’s.
While the upload is in progress, it makes sense to fine tune the app preferences and choose to initiate the backup only when a Wi-Fi connection is available. There is more, you can connect your Google Docs and Windows Live SkyDrive accounts and use this app to upload, download files and documents to and fro from the Android. A piece of cake!
Overall, this is certainly the best Android backup app ever built. Wake up every morning, take the first sip of coffee, run the Dropbox app on your desktop and all files from your phone are right there. Too good!