User Feedback - Comodo Online Backup (beta 4)

Here’s the most important feedback - this product works!

All the existing features seem to work without bugs on my system (XP SP3). Particularly nice feature is the “modified” flags that show on the second and later uploads (following the initial upload). Files that don’t change are labeled as “unmodified”. NICE !!

Here is a list of improvement opportunities:

(1) Although C.O.B. comes with a default set of Backup Sets, I believe there should be greater flexibility to Create, Edit, Save, and Delete Backup Sets - AND users should be able to schedule each Backup Set independently.

(2) The scheduling utility looks a lot like WinXP’s built-in “Scheduled Tasks” - but my C.O.B. backup doesn’t show up there. Not sure if this is an error or intentional design.

(3) It would be great to have an integrated viewer to explore the contents of the C.O.B. stored folders (or buckets). Even better, users should be able to download, upload, and delete files and folders from within the viewer.

(4) Not sure how to optimize “Network Setting Limits”. Hopefully this will be clarified when documentation is developed.

(5) There seems to be file compression in use, although the compression method is not stated. My wish is for more granularity here - give users the option to turn compression ON and OFF, and maybe select from a list of compression methods.

(6) For me, SECURITY is the area with the greatest number of unknowns at the moment. If a user checks “Encrypt Data”, what actually happens? What encryption methodology is employed? Where are the encryption keys stored?

 What is the link between the "Encrypt" checkbox and the "Set Login and Password" button? [i](If they are linked, I don't like this - I prefer to have my data encrypted with a private key - under my sole possession, and not using my Comodo login credentials - which are not really that private at all.)[/i] 

(7) It looks like critical parts of C.O.B. are installed in C:\Documents and Settings..\Local Settings\Apps\2.0\ which appears unusual. Is this a requirement of .NET?

That’s all for now. This is a very exciting project, and I look forward to its continued development and eventual success!


Thanks a lot for your detailed feedback! :■■■■

This is planned to implement.

COB uses Windows scheduler (XP or Vista, depending where it is installed). COB task is hidden.
This gives us not only the benefit of flexible scheduler but additionally the security - Windows scheduler automatically impersonates user whose backup this is and backup executes under the rights of that user, making impossible to access others’ files using backup.

You already can browse the contents of snapshots using “Restore” dialog. (I’ll add screenshots later)
Using advanced options of this dialog you can also restore only a subset of backed up files (selecting some of them), and/or restore files to particular folder vs original places.

This dialog will be significantly improved in further releases. In particular, deletion of individual files and whole snapshots will be added. (Currently deletion of snapshots resides in “Manage snapshots” dialog).

What do you mean under “uploading” files? How do you see it?

This option serves to allow bandwidth throttling i.e. you can limit maximal upload/download speed you allow COB to use.
This can be useful to have COB not interfere with you normal usage of internet (e.g. web browsing).
By default COB tries to make backups as fast as possible using up to all available bandwidth.

Why do you want this? How will you use it?

For encryption, a separate key is used which is generated on client side. Symmetric encryption is used.

Thats true. COB requires .Net (and it is installed automatically with COB if you don’t have it already).

Thanks again for your feedback! We’re very glad to hear it.

alexey: Thank you for the very detailed reply! You answered many questions, and asked a few others which I’ll attempt to answer now. I also have a few follow-up questions, if it’s OK.

Topic #3 - Integrated File Browser

I might not understand how COB works. My suggestion is that users have the ability to view files stored in the cloud without restoring them to the local computer. The restore function and its various options as you describe it is fantastic - but it isn’t a real-time file viewer. Also, the future plans to expand the functions of the Snapshot Manager sounds great to me.

And to answer your question - about “uploading” - I was referring to the ability to drag and drop individual folders or files from the local computer to the COB cloud from within the browser. As I think about it, it isn’t really necessary.

Topic #5 - File Compression

When I was suggesting an ON / OFF control for compression - it was because some of my largest backup sets will old files I have already archived (.zip and .rar files). So - I was thinking it might make sense for users to be able to configure COB’s compression ON or OFF when creating the individual backup set. Again - nice to have, probably not vital.

Topic #6 - Encryption

I am not an encryption expert - but I am serious about the privacy of my stored files. My understanding of symmetric encryption is that encryption and decryption are done using a single or shared key. However, if I didn’t create the local COB encryption key using my own secret password, how can I know it is uniquely my key, and that only I can use it? Also, where is the key file stored on my system, as I would like to back it up.

Thanks again Alexey ! I am really anticipating this project blossoming into something of tremendous value to the Comodo user community.

Comodo Online Backup does it itself: certain file types which size can not be reduced significantly with compression (e.g. archives, music, videos) are not comressed.

Keys are managed by Comodo currently so no need to back them up. (And they are stored separately from your data - even in other geographic location).
In future we’ll add an option for advanced users to manage keys themselves. Selecting this option, user will be able to take all the responsibility of storing key and protecting it from stealing – and loss of key will mean loss of backup.

I connected once and it worked, then when i went off it. I could NOT connect. Please help me. What shall I do. Personal Message me please!!