ReviewsAdd-In Review – KeepVault v3.0 for Windows Home Server

Add-In Review – KeepVault v3.0 for Windows Home Server

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KeepVault from Proxure is an online backup solution add-in for your important files that your store on your Windows Home Server. The latest version, version 3 has just been released.

What features does version 3 contain?
• Backup to local drive for an extra layer of protection
• Status via SMS, Email, Twitter
• Faster File Uploads (up to 30% faster than version 2)
• Schedulable backups for any time of the day
• Maximum file size 20GB
• Real Time File Monitoring
• Compression for faster uploads
• Bandwidth limiter
• 128-bit encryption for your protection
• Backup any file, not just shares
• Manage online backups
• Single-file restore
• All-file restore
• Real time status indicators
• Local Event log for easy software diagnosis
• Free Support

INSTALLATION

What are the system requirements for KeepVault WHS?

Minimum:
– Windows Home Server Power Pack 2
– 1.0 GHz Intel Pentium 3 (or equivalent) processor
– 512 MB RAM
– 80 GB internal hard drive as primary drive
– 100 Mbit/s wired Ethernet

Recommended:
– Windows Home Server Power Pack 2
– 1.6 GHz Intel Pentium 3 (or equivalent) processor
– 1.0 GB RAM
– 80 GB internal hard drive as primary drive
– 100 Mbit/s wired Ethernet
– External USB/Firewire/eSata HDD for local protection

When you have downloaded the KeepVaultWHS.exe file to your desktop, double-click it and the EULA is displayed. Read through this and click Agree to continue.

EULA

You then need to specify the path of your WHS Add-Ins folder (don’t worry this should already be there for you), so just click Next.

Installation file location

Click the Launch Console button to complete the installation process.

Completing installation

You will also need to click on the Finish button.

Log in to the Windows Home Server Console as normal.

You will then need to install the add-in as normal – so click on Settings, Add-Ins, Available, and then click Install on the KeepVault for Windows Home Server entry.

Installting the addin

The add-in will now be installed and your Windows Home Server Console will restart – this is normal.

CONFIGURING KEEPVAULT

When you log back into the Windows Home Server Console, you will notice a new tab called KeepVault Backup v3.0.

new WHS Console tab

If you click on the new tab you will be asked to enter your e-mail address and serial number. If you don’t have one there is even a button to buy KeepVault at a special price (nice marketing move on the part of Proxure).

Configuring keep vault

Enter your details and also choose whether or not you want to generate your own encryption key or use one that KeepVault will generate for you. KeepVault uses 128-bit AES encryption and encrypts your files before they leave your PC to ensure maximum protection. If you create your own encryption key just make sure you don’t forget it otherwise your files will be useless.

Click on the “I agree…” box and then click Login.

My Online Backup Job

Decide which of the folders you want to protect, for example I really want to protect everything in my Photos share, so just right click the share and select Enable Protection (if you decide later to stop protecting it, just do the same thing only this time you just select Disable Protection).

enabling protection of a folder

KeepVault will now start uploading your files in order to keep them protected. It is important to note here that depending on how many and how big the files are, plus your available bandwidth and speed, this process may take a considerable amount of time, so you may want to start this off before going to bed if you have a lot to protect.

If bandwidth is an issue for you, you can choose to limit the amount of bandwidth that KeepVault will use by checking the Limit Bandwidth box and using the slider. This will result in the upload process taking longer, but it will mean that you can continue to use your bandwidth as you need.

You also have the option to switch off both encryption and compression, but to be honest I would leave these on! Yes it adds to the time, but it gives you greater protection and better use of your storage space.

You can watch the progress of the uploading as well.

Protecting Protecting 2

You can stop the upload at any time by clicking Disable Protection. You can always go back it it later!

Once the upload is complete your files are protected and whenever you add files to the watched folders they will automatically be uploaded for you, so as long as KeepVault is watching the folder for you, your files are protected and you don’t have to do anything else. By default this protection is in real time (now why is the 24 tick toc going off in in my head 🙂 ) but you can change that to be between a specific time, such as over night when you bandwidth is not being used as much.

You can add and remove folders that you want to protect with a couple of clicks of the mouse.

Adding a folder

You may ask why you would want to remove protection? Well, by default, all of your shared folders are listed, but as Not protected. Lets say for arguments sake I never wanted to protect my Recorded TV folder? After all, this folder might be many many gigabytes of data and do I really want that? So rather than leave it sitting in the list permanently saying Not protected I can click on it and click Remove. This keeps the things neat and tidy and I can easily see what I am protecting, although some people might find it equally as useful to know what they are not protecting.

USING KEEPVAULT

It is also very easy to delete something from the backup. Just click Manage Protected Files and click through the files you want to delete, check the relevant boxes and click Delete.

delete from the backup

The files will now be deleted from your backup – remember they are still on your Windows Home Server though.

deleted

You can see a list of all of your protected files by clicking on View Protection History.

protection history

So lets say that the worst has happened and you have somehow lost your files. It is very easy to recover them from your KeepVault. Just click Recover files and choose which recovery option you want to use, for this example I am choosing Selective Recovery which gives me the option to choose which file I want and also to overwrite an existing file.

Recovery options

I have selected which file I want to recover and then I just click Recover.

selecting recovery

Just remember, the amount of time this recovery takes is dependant on the same factors mentioned earlier – number of files, size of files and available bandwidth!

recovering

Another useful feature is the inclusion of an event log, so that you can get more information in case something goes wrong.

I decided to cancel my restore and I got a warning, so I clicked on View Event Log and got some more information.

Event logs

There is also a tab called My Local Backup Job. What this is designed to do is enable you to backup your chosen files to an external drive in the same way as the Online backup worked.

My Local Backup Job

I tried to get this to work several times, but every time I plugged in an external drive and tried to select it from the drop down list, the Windows Home Server Console crashed. This is not necessarily caused by KeepVault but I can add the same drive to WHS as a backup drive without problems.

There are also some specific settings that can be made from the Settings area of WHS. These settings are all to do with communication options, specifically you can have notifications emailed to your, or texted to your phone, or even sent to you via Twitter if you so wish.

KeepVault Settings

CONCLUSION

KeepVault 3.0 is simple to set up and get running with. All you need to do is select which files you want to protect and ensure you have a decent Internet connection.

The price for KeepVault 3.0 varies depending on how much storage you want. It starts at $48 a year for 40GB ranging all the way up to $4460 a year for 5000GB, yes you read that right, 5000GB!

Remember these prices are per year and also come with a 30 day risk free money back offer.

So if you want ensure you are protected against the loss of your important data you need to consider an offsite backup solution, and this is certainly worth considering, and as Proxure state on their website, they are cheaper than Amazon S3.

My only problem with whilst doing the review was the WHS Console crashing every time I tried to select an external backup device, although I cannot be certain it was KeepVault that was at fault and I couldn’t find any mention of the problem on their support site, so I am going to assume it conflicting with something on either my PC or my WHS.

UPDATE: Proxure looked into the problem I was having with the crashing console and in less than 24 hours had provided me with a updated version of the add-in to try, and I can report that it works perfectly. This update will be included in later versions of their software for those small amount of users that had the problem.

For more information on Proxure and KeepVault 3.0 for Windows Home Server, click here.

Oh, and watch out next week for a KeepVault giveaway here on Using Windows Home Server.

Andrew Edney
Andrew Edneyhttps://moviesgamesandtechcom.wpcomstaging.com
I am the owner and editor of this site. I have been interested in gadgets and tech since I was a little kid. I have also written a number of books on various tech subjects. I also blog for The Huffington Post and for FHM. And I am honoured to be a Microsoft MVP since January 2008 - again this year as an Xbox MVP.

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