The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
I have written often (see http://goo.gl/OZTXr) about the advantages of storing some of your backups off-site in "the cloud." Computer experts will tell you that everyone needs to make backups, and at least one copy of each backup needs to be stored "off site" where it is safe from local disasters such as house fires, burst water pipes, and similar in-home disasters. Storing some of your backups on Mozy, BackBlaze, Carbonite, Dropbox, Amazon S3, or other backup services is a great idea. However, most of these services provide only a limited amount of free storage space in their cloud (typically 2 to 5 gigabytes) and then charge you if you need more space. If you have a lot of data to back up, the charges can add up quickly. There is a cheaper method of accomplishing the same thing: you create your own off-site backup servers. Luckily, this is easy to do and, with a few pointers, is rather inexpensive. This article will supply those pointers.
Another advantage of this type of backup is that it lets you access your backed up files from anywhere you have an Internet connection. If you need a file from home, you can connect to the Internet from the office, from a hotel room, or from most any public library and retrieve whatever you need from your own server. You can even retrieve files by using an iPhone or an Android smartphone. Likewise, you can also save newly-created files from your laptop to your server in the cloud so that those files are available in the future from anyplace you can access the Internet. If you own multiple computers, you can back up all of them.
Actually, there are several methods of creating your own server(s) in the cloud. Today, I will focus on one method that is simple to accomplish at low expense by anyone with modest technical skills. If you already have an old computer sitting in a closet and gathering dust, the price for creating your own cloud-based server with nearly infinite storage space can be surprisingly low although not free. Because the data is stored on your own hard drive, and not on a cloud server that belongs to someone else, there's no data limit.
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