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FAQs

What is DataShell Backup?

DataShell Backup is a very simple and powerful online cloud storage and data backup solution.

You choose which folders you want to backup, and DataShell Backup will upload your files and protect the contents of those folders – it keeps a mirrored copy of your files securely online so that you can retrieve them at any time if they are lost or damaged.

Files that are selected for backup are stored securely with DataShell and can be accessed and restored through the cloud via the web portal or restored using our Restore Software.

As DataShell Backup just makes a copy of the selected files from your machine to the cloud there is no additional space used on your hard drive.

The Desktop Software installer will take you step by step through setting up your backups – it’s so easy to configure…just follow the on-screen instructions.

DataShell keeps up to 30 versions of files uploaded to the servers so you can revert to a previous version if you made an incorrect change to a file and saved over the original.

DataShell also keeps any deleted files for 30 days to allow for recovery in the case of accidental deletion.

Please note: DataShell Backup are not to be used for archiving. You must at all times hold an original copy of the data in the original location on the system it was backed up from. If you delete files from your computer that have been backed up we will remove the corresponding backup from our servers.

What is DataShell Drive?

DataShell Drive is our flexible and innovative access-anywhere product, that lets you access your files wherever you go, and see the same files on all of your PCs. It is storage space on our servers that can be used to keep files synchronised across multiple locations, or to simply store files online without keeping a copy on your local machine.

As it is shared between all of your computers, and accessible from anywhere online, it is a great place to put the files that you use most regularly.

The DataShell Desktop software can be set to keep your Drive files on your hard drive as well as online, and you can access them at any time through a drive on your computer.

Once the software is installed you can use your Drive files just like any normal file on your computer. Because these files can be locally cached on your hard drive, as well as online, you will be able to use them when you’re not connected to the internet.

You can use files in your Drive like any normal file, but with the added benefit that if you change a file on one computer it is automatically updated on all the other computers with the same DataShell account. You can view, edit or add files to your Drive anywhere in the world from your web browser.

DataShell keeps up to 30 versions of files uploaded to the servers so you can revert to a previous version if you made an incorrect change to a file and saved over the original.

DataShell keeps any deleted files for 30 days to allow for recovery in the case of accidental deletion.

Please note: The changes made to files within the Drive do not sync back to the original location of the file. For example, if you make a change to a file on your local hard drive, the changes will not be synced to the same file in the Drive .

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How do I signup for a Free Trial of DataShell backup?

Visit our shop section of the site and choose the free trial option

How do I access my DataShell web portal?

To access your DataShell web portal type: http://YOURUSERNAME.datashell.co.uk

What Features are Available in the Mobile Apps?

The DataShell mobile apps are packed with useful features.

The top features include:

1. Browse your backups, Drive or files that others have shared with you.
2. View your office documents (less than 10MB)
3. View photos
4. Stream all of your music, and browse it by Album, Artist, Genre or Year – even if the music isn’t in iTunes! (.mp3 only with no DRM)
5. Stream your videos (no DRM)
6. Upload files (pictures only with iOS)

With your DataShell Cloud account, you can stream video media files through your web portal or mobile applications.

Please note that DataShell will only stream videos that are under 1.5GB, and with no DRM.

The following video types are supported: .MOV, .WMV, .MPG, .3GP, .AVI, .MP4, .M4V, .MKV, .OGM, .FLV, .ASF

Simply open the file in the web browser or mobile app and start the streaming!

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Do You Ever Limit Bandwidth or Transfer Speeds?

No – there are not any limits on how much bandwidth you can use each month.

Nor are there limits on the speed of your transfers beyond the natural limits of technology – our data centres have super fast connections. Unlike some other providers we don’t punish you for making use of our service by throttling your bandwidth just because you store a lot.

Uploads are dependent on your connection speeds to our data centres in London, UK. To test your connection, please go to www.speedtest.net and point the locator to London, UK. Once you have your upload speed, divide it by 8 as the site shows it in mega bits per second (Mbps) and uploads are done in mega bytes per second (MBps). Your results will give you an average upload speed.

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Is There a File Size Limit When Uploading?

DataShell does not have a file size limit when uploading files using your desktop software.

However there is a 2GB limit when uploading to your DataShell Drive product via your web portal.

Where is My Data Stored?

DataShell’s offices and data centres are all based in the UK.

We have multiple low-latency/high-bandwidth links which allow customers around the world to transfer their data at high speeds wherever they are in the world.

What are the Minimum Requirements for DataShell?

Windows

1. 2003 or later (XP, Vista, 7 and 8), and Server 2003-2012
2. 1 GHz Intel or equivalent CPU
3. 512 MB of RAM
4. Broadband Internet Connection
5. Internet Explorer 7 or higher/Firefox 2.0 or higher/Google Chrome
6. The latest versions of Java and Flash
 
Mac
1. OS X 10.6.8 or later
2. 1 GHz Intel or equivalent CPU
3. 512 MB of RAM
4. Broadband Internet Connection
5.  Firefox 2.0 or higher/Google Chrome/Safari
6. The latest versions of Java and Flash
 
Linux
At this time we don’t support backing up directly from Linux however you can backup a network share / network attached storage (NAS) from a windows based PC which is an extra service we provide.

How Secure or Safe is DataShell?

Data stored on your DataShell Cloud account is held on multiple storage servers at our data centres in the UK ensuring your data is fully protected.

Our network is protected by enterprise-grade firewalls ensuring that once your data is on our servers only the people you want to access your data can.

Files stored on our servers are encrypted, using military grade, AES-256 encryption, so in the very unlikely event that someone compromised our data storage and stole any data it would be meaningless. This storage encryption is processed by our web service on receipt of the file, rather than by the Desktop Sync Software on your PC to allow you to be able to, e.g. view files through the web portal, to download the unencrypted files directly from the web portal etc.

The encryption you can use between the Desktop software and the DataShell servers is a separate process – more similar to the SSL connection you use when sending data to and from your online bank.

User’s data can only be accessed by being logged in as the user, except where it is shared publicly when it is visible to everyone through the sharing portal.

We have strict processes in place to ensure that the team cannot access customer data stored on DataShell.

We can close a DataShell account if the customer violates copyright regulations by publicly sharing data that they do not own, but data stored privately on DataShell is private and cannot be accessed by staff.

What is De-Duplication?

DataShell gives each file a hash which is essentially its own fingerprint.

When you select a file or folder to backup the software searches for files which have the same fingerprint or hash, and if it already exists on our servers, it will copy the file instead of getting the DataShell software to upload the file again.

Even after you have deleted files and folders, they remain on our servers for 30 days, and after this time are permanently removed.

Using this technology (de-duplication) we prevent customers having to upload entire files and folders they may have previously uploaded to our servers.

 

Can I backup individual files instead or folders?

Within the backup product you do have to specify folders to backup, you can’t select individual files for backup.

If you wish to backup individual files or manually you can buy our DataShell Drive product. This will allow you to move files into the drive which in turn backs them up including 30 previous versions of each file if it’s been overwritten. You could then leave the files in the drive (which stores a synced local copy) to work on or you could manually drag and drop the files from your own hard drives as and when you wish to back them up manually.

Which Files Shouldn’t Be Backed Up?

The DataShell Backup product gives you the option to backup an unlimited amount of files on the cloud. All of your important office documents, images, music, videos etc. can be kept safe in their original folder on the cloud.

However storing every file from your computer to the cloud is not a good idea. This is because many of the files on your computer are specific to that installation, and will not work if they are placed on another machine. Adding unnecessary files to your backup set will also increase the time it takes to upload your files to the cloud and in some cases will stop the files uploading that you wish to upload.

Below we have written a list of the things you should not backup to the cloud.

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Temporary Files

Computers contain folders which store temporary files. These files could be from websites, programs, unsaved office documents etc. The contents of the temporary folder on your computer will constantly modify, with many files being created, updated, and deleted. The problem with backing up this folder is that it will be scanned by DataShell, and will mark many files for uploading/updating on each scan. This will greatly increase the total time it takes for you to upload your files to the cloud and the temporary files are essentially inconsequential.

Windows and Mac files

Each Operating System contains their own set of essential system files and folders. As with the temp folder, many items in the operating system folder will also change and we be uploaded frequently. To reduce the time it takes to upload content we would suggest not backing up OS files.

Backups using 3rd Party Applications

For example, Mac users have the ability to backup their entire hard drive using Time Machine. However due to the content being backed up using such system files, DataShell does not support the backup or storage of other 3rd party backups as they may contain system folders and files.

Program Files

When the software is installed files are placed in other areas of the computer and some other system files will be edited. We suggest that you do not back up program folders and instead back up the install files or folders.

We suggest making sure the following files on Windows and Mac are not backed up:

Windows

  1. “C:\Windows” folder
  2. “C:\Program Files” or “C:\Program Files (x86)”
  3. “C:\Users” or “C:\Documents and Settings” (you can select folders within the User accounts such as My Documents, My Videos, My Pictures, My Music, Favourites etc)
  4. “C:\Users\{username}\AppData”
  5. System settings
  6. System files
  7. “C:\Users\{username}\Ntuser.dat”
  8. Live databases (exchange, SQL, SAGE, etc) – any database that is constantly in use
  9. Your entire hard drive
  10. Backups using other 3rd party applications
  11. Websites

Mac

  1. The entire “/User/” folder (you can select folders within the User accounts such as Documents, Videos, Pictures, Music etc.)
  2. The entire “/Library/” folder
  3. Applications Folder
  4. Utilities Folder
  5. Downloads Folder
  6. Public Folder
  7. Trash
  8. Time Machine
  9. Websites

How to remove files from Backup

To remove files/folders from you Backup:

1. Click on the DataShell icon

2. Select Manage Backups

3. Navigate to the file/folder you wish to stop backing up, and deselect the item

4. Click OK

Once the item(s) has been deselected, they will be marked for deletion and permanently removed from the servers after 30 days. You have 30 days to restore deleted files.

 

How can I see how much of my data has currently been backed up?

If you right click the DataShell Icon in the tray on your Mac / PC and go to Status it will display how much data is currently being uploaded or if it’s Up-to-date, from here you can click to scan again or go to a detailed Status to see more information. You can also view your online portal to see if the data has been uploaded.

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Network attached storage (NAS) devices

If you want to backup data from a network attached storage device (NAS) this can be purchased as an extra service from DataShell in our shop. Each purchase entitles you to one network share or NAS.

Any of the DataShell products – DataShell Backup Home, DataShell Backup Enterprise and DataShell Drive can be used alongside the backup of NAS.