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  1. #1
    secure backup; use rsync and encrypted dmg on google docs, possible?

    Member Since
    Oct 09, 2011
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    9
    secure backup; use rsync and encrypted dmg on google docs, possible?
    Hi all,

    Here's my plan for offsite backup of "data" (I already backup to an external disk - but that is on site).

    1. Create an encrypted .dmg (let's call it deskdmg) in which my data is stored.
    2. Upload deskdmg to google docs. deskdmg is ~8GB and has critical dox like bank account logins, scans of id etc etc.
    3. rsync (using ssh) deskdmg between my computer and google docs everyday.

    Just wanted your thoughts on workability of this plan. It seems ok to me, but request your comments on flaws and drawbacks.

    p.s. my password is secure (>15 characters, no dictionary words, no personally identifiable info, special characters, upper and lower case etc).

  2. #2
    secure backup; use rsync and encrypted dmg on google docs, possible?
    McBie's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 26, 2008
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    If I understand it correctly, you have already a backup on an external disk in the house and now you want a second backup of the same data on Google Docs ( or similar. )

    It is technically feasible, but my suggestion is not to do that, for the simple reason that there is no legal framework around storing your data on-line.
    In which country will Google Docs store your data ?
    What law will be applicable ?
    What guarantee do you have that your data on Google Docs will be available to you when you need it ?

    My suggestion is to create a 2nd backup on a hardware encrypted USB pen drive ( IRONKEY ) and store it off site.
    If your data exceeds the capacity of a pen drive, use a hard disk and store it off-site.

    My 2 cents.

    Cheers ... McBie
    A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.
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  3. #3
    secure backup; use rsync and encrypted dmg on google docs, possible?
    vansmith's Avatar
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    Oct 19, 2008
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    Aside from McBie's comments, there's the technical limitations. Unless you've purchased extra space, you have a 1GB limit. Although you can upload 10GB at a time (here), you'll be limited by how much space you purchase.

    Second, uploading that disk image will take forever. Using rsync isn't going to alleviate this either (does GD support rsync?) since (if I remember correctly) any changes to the disk image will require the entire image to be re-uploaded.
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  4. #4
    secure backup; use rsync and encrypted dmg on google docs, possible?

    Member Since
    Oct 09, 2011
    Posts
    9
    Thanks for your comments.

    The plan originated from the rsync.net site in which after the first upload, subsequent could be differentail syncs.

    Since rsync costs 80 cents per GB per month, I was hoping to get by, by paying GD 5 bucks.

    I guess the question really is, does a dmg sync needs full container upload (a la truecrypt) or will a differential sync work. Any ideas or thoughts on this?

    Rgds

  5. #5
    secure backup; use rsync and encrypted dmg on google docs, possible?
    Pigstick's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 12, 2011
    Location
    China
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    79
    Specs:
    Mac OSX 10.7.3: MBP 15" Early 2011 2.0GHz i7, 8GB, 500GB 5400RPM
    I have a similar concept but am using Truecrypt (I tried a sparse image file initially to keep the size small but prefer Truecrypt) (and you can open it on PC machines as well if necessary).
    I store it using Dropbox which means it also backs up to my other machines. The size is much less than the available free 2GB but the data you are describing does not take up a lot of space.
    I use iStorage drives for normal backups as it has hardware encryption.

  6. #6
    secure backup; use rsync and encrypted dmg on google docs, possible?

    Member Since
    Oct 09, 2011
    Posts
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by Pigstick View Post
    I have a similar concept but am using Truecrypt (I tried a sparse image file initially to keep the size small but prefer Truecrypt) (and you can open it on PC machines as well if necessary).
    I store it using Dropbox which means it also backs up to my other machines. The size is much less than the available free 2GB but the data you are describing does not take up a lot of space.
    I use iStorage drives for normal backups as it has hardware encryption.
    Hi there and thanks for your comment.

    I'm guessing you'd need to upload the new TC container everytime. Are you able to md5 or sha1 checksum the remote container with your main container to guarantee that the data has moved across correctly?

    For 10 GB of data, on a 500 kbps upload, I estimate time of ~6 hrs. While I don't mind doing this overnight, once a week, I'm worried about ensuring data integrity. I thought the rsync .dmg solution is a good one form this perspective.

    Appreciate your pointers on this.

    Rgds

  7. #7
    secure backup; use rsync and encrypted dmg on google docs, possible?
    Pigstick's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 12, 2011
    Location
    China
    Posts
    79
    Specs:
    Mac OSX 10.7.3: MBP 15" Early 2011 2.0GHz i7, 8GB, 500GB 5400RPM
    I guess it mainly comes down to the amount of data you want to back up. If you are storing 10 GB of data I can see why you want a differential sync but I think I would go with McBie's suggestion at that point with offsite storage. I store a fraction of 10 GB but can still hold a large amount of data for personal data, scans of stuff etc.

    Dropbox handles the uploading of the TrueCrypt file no problem and because it happens in the background I don't pay much attention to it. I am personally reluctant to be beholden to one company with my data and am not worried about Dropbox as it feeds to my other computers as backups as well - and I can access it from anywhere if needs be.

    I've never had a problem with Truecrypt files corrupting but it is beyond my expertise to comment on how it works or what checks are carried out when I move the file around.

    Personally, having been bitten a couple of time, I prefer hardware to software encryption which is why I like the iStorage drives.

    Passwords would start me off on a rant but personally I go with length and something easy to remember with spaces and ignore funny characters etc.

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