General Networking/Lan/Wan/Backing up to a server off site


Hi Jeff. I backup my personal computer to an external drive as I have thousands of photos and other documents that I would never want to lose but I want to also have a backup copy at another location in case my computer and external drive are stolen or damaged due to fire.  I have an old XP machine that I could throw a huge hard drive in and keep it at my parents house.  I am wondering how I can back up to that.  Would I need to find some backup software that can back up via FTP, or is there a better method?  I could either have it backup direct to that or even duplicate my external drive since they should end up being duplicate copies of each other.  Please let me know if this idea will work and the best way to implement it.  I want to avoid having to pay monthly fees of on line backup companies.  Thank you.

Hi Dan,

I'm sorry that I didn't have a chance to get to your question until now.  It's been a crazy busy week.

After reading everything, I have to admit that I think that your idea is probably as good as you will get, for a non-recurring cost solution.  But .... with a bit of a twist.  A big hd for your paren't PC isn't the best idea as it burns up their electric and you MUST bring your laptop to their place every week, and then kick-off a big copy or a backup.  Not so flexible or cool.  

So ... why not just get a 2nd (or even 3rd if need be) USB drive of whatever size you need (say 1 TB or whatever).  They are like $80.  Then you can backup to it as often as you like during the week.  Automate it if you like to do it while you are at work or asleep.  Then rotate drives from your place to your folks.  Simple and effective.

Then when you visit your folks you get to spend your time with them - not doing "tech stuff".  All you need is the extra drive and a small spot in a desk drawer to keep it.  You could do the same in reverse for them?

Fortunately, hard drives are MUCH more reliable than they used to be.  So if you have 1 copy at your place and a week's old copy at your folks ... that is really pretty darn good. has a very good selection and prices - and reviews.  Personally I try and stick to the BIG HD brands like Seagate, Western Digital, Maxtor, etc.  There may be no logic to it, but I only buy hard drives from the companies that have been doing it for decades.

I hope this helps!


General Networking/Lan/Wan

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Jeff K


I'm a Network and Application Performance Specialist, and have worked for some of the best software companies in the world.


I have over 20 years in Information Technology & Networking.

Lots of hard work, study and real-world experience. I've had some formal training along the way but most of my knowledge is from working in the field, not the classroom.

©2017 All rights reserved.