One of my friends, a Mr John Wood, has been working for the past year on a piece of software that allows you to automatically backup your data to a small peer-to-peer based network of your trusted friends, or buddies. It’s called BuddyBackup.
BuddyBackup monitors the folders you ask it to and makes sure that your files are backed up (encrypted, of course) to the people you nominate. In return, their files are backed up to your PC. Once you’ve chosen the folders, the software can be left to run in the background and it will make sure any changes to the monitored folders are distributed to your buddies, safe and sound. The changes are sent compressed and only a diff is sent to each buddy, so it doesn’t swallow all your bandwidth.
I’ve been party to the development process, and John’s thought long and hard about how to make this easy to use and reliable. Now it’s the time to release it to a wider circle of testers and so he has, in the great software tradition, released a beta version. Don’t be worried about the beta tag — the software is robust, it just needs checking on a larger scale to make sure it scales well. It’s been used to backup its own source code among many other things (including several peoples’ dissertations, I believe) for many months now and performs well.
I encourage you to give it a go and send your feedback on what you think. Get yourself over to http://www.buddybackup.com/ to download and try it out.