Incremental Backups with Google Drive

With Google Drive out (my take on it here), I was looking for what to do with the free 5 GB of storage. I do not want to store anything sensitive on it, neither do I want to use it to store media since I have much more than 5 GB worth of that. One thing I am paranoid about is having a backup of important stuff which I store in a folder that syncs across all of my computers (using Wuala, a great multi platform service).

I thought, how could I store a backup of this folder on Google Drive, while at the same time keep it encrypted with a password known to me only? Most importantly I need something that can do backups incrementally to save time and bandwidth. I could simply throw everything into an encrypted 7zip archive and password protect it. However, if changes are significant it might require uploading the archive over and over for simple changes (emphasizing the need for incremental). Then there is the issue of scheduling the whole backup process, logging into my Google Drive account and uploading the backup.

Then I came across an excellent backup program for Windows called Duplicati. In a nutshell Duplicati can:

  • Encrypt using 256-bit AES (which is very hard to crack, assuming the password is strong šŸ˜‰ ).
  • Performs full and incremental backups.
  • Multiple upload destinations.
  • Rules and filters if you don't want certain file types to be uploaded.
  • Splitting files, better for unstable connections.
  • A wizard: Probably the most important feature to bind everything above!

The wizard is very easy to go through. You basically select what you want to backup, choose a password for encryption (optional), select the destination, enter authentication for destination and you're basically ready.


Tip: In case you want to backup to Google Drive, you should set the destination to Google Docs in the wizard (remember Google Drive is still being rolled out). Now you know how to backup safely to your Google Drive :-).

2 thoughts on “Incremental Backups with Google Drive”

  1. Nice post! I’m wondering what happens after I`ve synced to Google Docs? Will those files still be accessible from other computers and interfaces? Aren’t they encrypted? Will it ask for a password?

  2. Hello John,

    Google Drive will sync any files you have to your other devices. However, if you use Duplicati (like I did above) it will create encrypted containers that can only be decrypted using Duplicati. So you will most likely need Duplicati installed on other computers if you need to open one of the containers.

    If you do not care about encryption, you can simple store the files in plain format to your Google drive. Then you can access it without any additional software.

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