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35 Comments

Validation: A wireless time machine backup SaaS

Question: could you read my concept and answer the three questions below? Thank you.

Concept
Automated backups for your Mac that backup everything, everywhere and always. This includes a backup of your files, applications and settings. When something happens to your laptop or computer you can restore a copy like nothing ever happend.

Besides that feeling of security, you will also get access to the full version history of every file. Be able to scroll trough time in your folders!

Its real easy: Backsup makes sure you have a full encrypted backup if your mac, everywhere and always.

How does this work?
Backsup uses Apple's Time Machine. Where you normally connect a hard disk via USB, we have set up a system whereby your computer is, as it were, always wirelessly connected to an external hard disk. As long as you are connected to the internet, a backup is always made.

How about security and privacy?
A valid first question, with a happy simple answer. Your backup is sent encrypted from your Mac, so your data never leaves without encryption. It is impossible to read your data without the encryption key you set during the setup. It uses Apple security and can be compared with Firevault encryption.

Three questions for you

  • What do you think about the idea?
  • What would you like to pay monthly for this?
  • Would you like to use it for free during the alpha testing?

We will be launching this week so any feedback is highly appreciated! I will post the landings page when it is live.

Let me know if I can feedback anything for you, I'd be happy to do it!

Thank you.

  1. 1

    I like the concept behind it and I've been thinking about one solution throughout the years. But in the end, I use a few services and combined that helps me to switch my machine easily at any time. These services are where I need them and very reliable.

    Here's how it works for me:
    I have all my photos in google photos, my files when working on a project on google drive, my source codes on github for any project, designs are in figma (cloud already). I can throw away my laptop and start using another one in same day. Yes, it might take a while to setup everything but that takes at most a couple hours.

    I was surprised how little information I had to move from a laptop to another. The only thing is the SSH keys. But I guess I need to store them in my password manager.

    Alpha testing: same as others have mentioned, I wouldn't do that. I even can't do that. I work with clients and I sign NDAs. I know it's encrypted etc but I don't feel comfortable all of my files be somewhere in an alpha project cloud.

    A side thought: the service could end up being very expensive due to huge traffic and the need for tons of storage. Only for me you'd need 300gb+. I don't do gaming or photography/videography(these guys need TBs of storage backed up, they might buy it). That is dropbox or one drive type of storage with huge infrastructure.

    I'm leaning more towards virtual desktops now. See Geforce Now or Google Stadia: cloud gaming. It is definitely doable. I've tried both and it works blazing fast. Why buy a powerful computer? So I'd rather use a chromebook, login into a remote powerful machine with good cooling and voila: all my data in cloud, my env is always set up. Anyways I can't work without internet.

    Last thought: everyone is leaning towards the cloud: videos (who downloads movies now?), gaming, docs, IDEs, Design tools, Game development tools and video production tools. I know at least 1 service of each of these that offer a cloud service for those. In very near future nobody will need a powerful computer to carry around: plug in your phone/watch and use a big screen while logged into your cloud computer.

    1. 1

      Thanks for your valuable time and feedback! I appreciate it a lot. Your view on this is very interesting and I agree with a lot of parts, aspecially the last part is something I think we can all agree on. It's pretty wierd that we all carry around a "server" physically attached to a screen.

      Anyways, I have written down your feedback and we are very gratefull for your time! Thanks again. I also followed you, mind following back? Good luck!

  2. 1

    Hi Marijn,

    1. I would like the functionality but probably wouldn't pay for it. Also i would be worried that if it became popular apple could implement something and that would destroy the business.
    2. No, i already have a google drive backup, so unless it was as easy to use and cheaper, i probably wouldn't pay for it.
    3. Sorry, i wouldn't want to use it for free during alpha testing, i would wait until the bugs were removed, as i wouldn't want any chance of my data being lost or shared due to a bug.
    1. 1

      Hi, nice to "meet" you. Thanks for your valuable time and feedback. Totally understandable response! I also followed you, mind following back? Thanks again for your time!

  3. 1

    Hey! Here are my two cents about it (haven't read the other comments so far):

    1. I really like the idea of backing up the whole computer including all applications etc. To be honest, that's what's keeping me from using e.g. Backblaze. I already have a 2TB Dropbox that syncs most of my files, but setting up a new computer always takes me 1-2 days to have it configured. That's a lot of productivity lost. Having the ease of mind that in case of a disk crash or lost laptop I'll have my replacement computer up and running the way I want it in no time (maybe having it restored overnight) would already have me sold on your idea.
    2. I looked into setting up a wireless time machine backup at home but I found it too expensive to buy a compatible NAS server for ~200€, I'd prefer a subscription model tbh.
    3. Bandwidth is not an issue for me. I have an upstream of 300mbit, what I'm more worried about is CPU usage. Also, I don't care if the initial backup takes two weeks, as long as it prioritizes the important bits (all the hidden files in my home folder, the ~/Library folder, maybe ignoring the ~/Dropbox folder until everything else is done).

    Pricing wise I think 15-20€/month is fair. Backblaze is 5€, Dropbox is ~10€ and your idea delivers value that no other service can give me so far.

    However, here are a few things that make me skeptical:

    1. How does the restoration work? I suspect you'll add some driver to MacOS that will trick the OS to think your service is a local hard drive? Does that also work, when I'm booting my Mac with CMD+R into recovery mode and try to restore from time machine backup? That's a must-have for me. If this doesn't work, I wouldn't buy.
    2. How about reliability? In the past, I had an old hard drive connected to my router that claimed to have time machine capabilities through some Linux package. Once every two months or so the backup failed and I would have to start all over again, losing my version history. That was such a major hassle that I stopped backing up altogether. What do you do, calm my nerves about that? If I pay for a service, this must not happen! There's no point in paying for a backup service I cannot trust.
    3. The name. Okay, I'm nitty-picky here again, but it took me three re-reads to understand that "Backsup" is not a typo. My brain kept reading it as "Backups".

    If you have an early version ready, let me know!

    Best,
    Johannes

    1. 1

      Hi Johannes, feel free to checkout our website and try our 30 days free trial! - https://www.backsup.nl

    2. 1

      Hi Johannes, thanks for your valuable feedback and time! Your response really made a difference here, very interesting insights. To answer your questions:

      *1. How does restoration work? *
      We are leaning towards a way to physically send you a hard drive or indeed trick mac OS in thinking the server is a local hard drive. As the file you get will be a ".backupbundle" you will always be able to use it for time machine in safe mode.

      2. How about reliability?
      As we are not officially live yet, I can't give any numbers. But we do have it up and running on about 9-10 mac's right now and we have not seen any major issues. Losing your version history or starting over is something that would not happen unless your data gets lost, which is impossible.

      "3. The name*
      haha I appreciate your honesty, you are the first to mention this but I will bring your feedback in the team to hear their response.

      Thanks again for your time!! I also followed you, mind following back? Good luck on your journey!

  4. 1

    What do you think about the idea?

    Sounds cool, it's like https://www.backblaze.com/mac-online-backup.html

    What would you like to pay monthly for this?

    $5 / month probably

    Would you like to use it for free during the alpha testing?

    I don't own a Mac ^^

    1. 1

      Thank you for your time and valuable feedback! I appreciate it :)

  5. 1
    1. This would completely break my internet connection. Unless you have a phenomenal upload speed this can get annoying quickly. Constantly running encryption services in the background is also pretty annoying, unless ofc you have the 3000$ 9-core MBP.

    2. Most people (including me) back up their more important files (documents) either frequently to a hard disk or online using Google Drive or similar options. Being constantly connected already happens in 99% of cloud software and it's much more convenient to download a single file you might have deleted than to do a massive 300GB time machine restore after having to download it for hours and hours.

    3. Most corporate clients already have their SharePoint / Disk sytems with RAID-backups in place and the majority is still using Windows while you're building a tool exclusively for Mac.

  6. 1

    Hey! I have a mac, sooooo here I go.

    • What do you think about the idea?

    Love the idea, very straightforward, I understood the concept. Being honest, the second I read the idea, I would go straight to an official apple site to check if there's something like that.

    What would you like to pay monthly for this?

    Annualy, 50 USD. I would love if my company pay for it, for example. I once payed a ensurace company for a thief ensurace, I would love if they offer me that with my payment! That's an interesting marketing strategy.

    Would you like to use it for free during the alpha testing?

    Give me the link and I will see more there! Im always exceptical about privacy, because I don't not much about it. It can be encrypted end to end, but the hard drive on my desk feels always safer. A person with more or less knowledge might feel safer, i'm in a stupid middle point :)

    1. 1

      Hi, feel free to checkout our website and try our 30 days free trial! - https://www.backsup.nl

    2. 1

      Hi, thanks for your time and valuable feedback. I appreciate it!

      Good to know about your privacy concerns, we think this will be one of the main things to tackle. I will let you know once the Alpha version is available, then you can see it for yourself! Thanks again.

  7. 1

    1- I like this idea. Apple storage systems seem pretty annoying, especially with physical requirement for Time Machine. Cloud based backups seem nice. Will it be possible to access singular files remotely or is this purely for the purpose of a full restore?

    2- AT THE MOMENT, I don't think I would pay for something like this, as I generally keep my important files in Google Drive. However, in the future, if I rely more on my Mac for my main source of income, this would be well worth ~$50-$75 annually to me. If this meant instantly restoring my entire file system + dev environment instead of spending a day setting everything back up then that would be a lot of potential money saved.

    3- I'd be happy to sign up for a mailing list but I would prefer to use this when it has been trialed a bit more.

    1. 1

      Thanks for your valuable time and feedback! It will be possible to access singular files yes, and understand for your desire to have it tested a little bit more. I will let you know once we have had some more tests. Thanks again! I also followed you, mind following back? Good luck on your journey!

      1. 1

        Great, thanks for that info! It sounds really promising. Looking forward to updates, I followed back : )

        1. 2

          Hi, feel free to checkout our website and try our 30 days free trial! - https://www.backsup.nl

          1. 1

            Hey, i'll check it out but getting this error:

            backsup.nl redirected you too many times.
            Try clearing your cookies.
            ERR_TOO_MANY_REDIRECTS

            1. 1

              yeah we had some DNS problems.. should be all good now!

  8. 1

    I think it's an interesting idea. I can see a lot of people really liking it too. I'm not sure I'd be a customer though. I'm not a mac user for one, but I also generally just want to make sure my files are backed up. I'd probably just start over with a new machine.

    1. 1

      Thank you for your time and valuable feedback! I understand and appreciate it :)

  9. 1

    Hey Marijn,

    Here is my feedback:

    1. What do you think about the idea?
      Really like the idea, could be very practical, both for personal and professional use.

    However, I would use it because of:

    • The impact could have on bandwidth (except if you can prove it wouldn't break my entire network).
    • I wouldn't agree to store my entire laptop data in the cloud, with all my browser password, etc… (as I don't get enough guarantees that you cannot use it for malicious purpose).
    1. What would you like to pay monthly for this?

    If you can solve the two points above, I could pay something around 5$ / month for that (for a 256GB drive half-full).

    1. Would you like to use it for free during the alpha testing?
      Not really, because of the two items cited on point 1.

    Wish you a great success

    1. 1

      Hi, feel free to checkout our website and try our 30 days free trial! - https://www.backsup.nl

    2. 1

      Hi Alex,

      Thank you for your constructive feedback, very interesting points and questions!

      To answer your two biggest concerns:

      Impact on bandwidth
      The impact on your bandwidth is only big on the first upload, it then has to use as much GB as is stored on your hard drive. After this one time the impact is minimal since it only syncs your edited files (that would be a lot if you for example edit big videos), and can be paused on your demand.

      Security
      All your files never leave your computer un-encrypted. When setting up you enter a password that is used for the encryption. The only thing stored on servers is a ".backupbundle" file. The encryption used on this can be compared to firevault.
      The only way your data could be used for malicious purposes is when the core security/encryption of Mac OS gets hacked, and I think we all have a bigger problem when that happens.

      If the above did not take away your concerns, what could? Feel free to be honest if this still isn't enough. It's a matter of secure feeling, and this involves correct communication.

      Looking forward to hear if we can sign you up for the Alpha test and thanks again for your time! If I can help you with anything then let me know, I owe you one.

  10. 1

    Hey Marijin! 👋

    Here we go:

    1. I think it would be very useful for me and many others
    2. I don't know if I would pay monthly if it is super costly. If it is cheap, then "yes I would pay monthly"
    3. Yes I would love to use it! However, I use a windows laptop, would that not work because you are using Apple Time Machine? Try to make it available for Windows if it's not too much trouble

    Hope that helps! 😄

    1. 1

      Hi, feel free to checkout our website and try our 30 days free trial! - https://www.backsup.nl

    2. 1

      Hi Brayden, thanks for your valuable feedback!

      The price would be something around $5-10 a month, would this be worth it to you?

      Windows is possible but we don't support it yet, but good to know you would like to use it! I'll put you on the list to inform you when we have a windows alpha test. Thanks again!

      1. 1

        I might be able to pay that...

        Yes I would love to be on the beta test for windows 😄

  11. 1

    Hi Marijn,

    I've played with a few concepts like this previously. Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that it takes HOURS for my computer to backup completely. We all know that upload speed is much slower than download speed. With that being said, how is your service different?

    I do like the TimeMachine connection but what makes this all different than say, Dropbox backups?

    Best,
    Jacob

    1. 2

      Hi, feel free to checkout our website and try our 30 days free trial! - https://www.backsup.nl

    2. 1

      Hi Jacob,

      Thanks for your response! I appreciate it that you took time to give some feedback.

      I totally agree with your first argument, and unfortunately I can't change the fact that it will take hours to complete the first initial backup. However, from that point on it we made it so that it only syncs the changes and not a whole new backup, so that means that if you add 2 lines of texts to a file, it only has to upload those two lines.

      I do like the TimeMachine connection but what makes this all different than say, Dropbox backups?
      The key difference is that dropbox syncs files, and we sync everything. And with everything we mean absolutely everything. You can access your files separately, but when your Mac crashes or falls into a pool for example; you can download your backup and have your mac exactly the way you dropped it into the pool. So that saves a lot of time in re-configuration and setup.

      It runs totally in the background and will go unnoticed until you need it the most.

      Thanks again for your feedback, looking forward to any other questions or a response!

      1. 1

        I love the idea of the backup only backing up changes. That would drastically improve upload times.

        I have used Dropbox for computer backups previously; not just for files.

        As for being an alpha tester: absolutely!

  12. 0

    Hey Marijn,

    See my feedback below...

    1. I think it's a good idea. Lots if people have all sorts of critically important materials on their computers and having piece of mind that all will not be lost is something I'm sure plenty of people would be willing to pay for. That said, I admittedly don't know much about this space personally and what alternatives are out there.

    2. While I have tons of files and work stuff on my computer that's important, I'm generally the type of person that likes to believe if I lost my laptop the world wouldn't end and it would just be an opportunity to start fresh. I also like to move to far away places as an excuse to sell all of my belongings and start fresh... I think realistically plenty of people would pay for this but it's a low cost, set-it-and-forget-it type of product. Maybe $9/month or $99/annually?

    3. Happy to provide feedback during the alpha!

    Geoff

    1. 1

      Hi, feel free to checkout our website and try our 30 days free trial! - https://www.backsup.nl

    2. 1

      Hi Geoff, thanks for your time and valuable feedback! I appreciate it.

      I enjoyed reading your response to question number two. Although I do not hope you lose your laptop often, I do understand that a fresh start can feel amazing and bring your where you need to be.

      As of number three, I'll put your on the list and we'll get in touch. Thanks again for your time! If I can help you with anything let me know, happy to.

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