Owen WilliamsFormer TNW employee
Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their word Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their words friendlier. In his spare time he codes, writes newsletters and cycles around the city.
Ever trusted a service like Evernote or Mailchimp with your most important data, only to lose it in some freak accident? When we use cloud services, we put a lot of trust in these companies to keep everything safe, but what if there was a way to take the safety of that data into our own hands?
Revert is just that; searchable daily online backups for your cloud services. The idea is that one of the problems with services like Mailchimp, is that a change or loss of your email address lists could be catastrophic, so it’s important to keep backups of that important data.
I’ve run an email newsletter out of Mailchimp and have experienced this exact situation; I deleted the wrong list of email addresses by accident and they were gone forever, with basically no way to retrieve them.
Luckily, I had Revert set up, so I was able to simply grab the list from Revert’s daily backup and carry on like nothing’s happened. If I had to try and retrieve it from Mailchimp, I’d probably have to wade through support channels and wait for days to get it restored, if at all.
One of the most powerful features is the universal, cross-backup search built into Revert. You can search for a phrase and get results from across every backup in the service. Simply searching for my own email address returns a Mailchimp list, files in my Dropbox and a note in Evernote.
We’ve been trained to trust cloud services with our data, but almost everyone I know has experienced some kind of data loss with a cloud app, yet we’re not encouraged to back them up like a laptop or desktop.
I talked to Nick Malcom, technical lead at Revert, who told me that the issue often comes down to “cloud services say they ‘back up their data’, [but] it’s usually for disaster recovery. Big rollbacks of the db to a point in time.” Ultimately, many of them aren’t able to fix things on a smaller scale, like for a single version of your document.
Nick said that “with Revert you are able to browse and restore versions with a daily granularity, giving back ‘power to the people.'” I like that idea; particularly being able to have a fully indexed place where all my cloud services are stored.
Right now, Revert offers daily backups for Mailchimp, Evernote, Dropbox, Google Drive, Tumblr, Pipeline Deals and Highrise, and it’s adding support for services as quickly as it can.
I asked Nick where the team see Revert going in the future and he told me that “ultimately Revert becomes a searchable archive of all of your online data, so that means lots more integrations.”
“We also want to make your data easier to access. Search is already awesome, but being able to search, view and restore data from outside of the Revert app would make for an even better experience. A Chrome extension to augment search might be awesome, for instance. We’re still thinking about this one.”
There’s a big opportunity for Revert there in the future; being able to see data from different services with a single search could be incredibly powerful for helping string information together.
Revert is free for some backups, like Mailchimp, up to 60 GB of backups, but also offers a Pro plan which allows you to backup more storage-intensive services like Dropbox, Highrise and Pipeline deals. The Pro plan is $9.99 a month for 500 GB of backup storage and offers phone/email support.
As far as peace of mind goes, Revert makes me feel much more comfortable trusting cloud services, because when something goes wrong I’ve at least got my own backup.
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